Late Wednesday night, April 8, Wyoming residents were awakened to tornado warning sirens, followed by an ominous sound much like the noise of a rushing train. Powerful thunderstorms moved through the region, bringing damaging straight-line winds in excess of 70 mph and reports of tornadoes in the area, said the National Weather Service. Luckily, within minutes after the fierce weather, help was on the way. The sirens of the Wyoming Fire/EMS Department and police vehicles could be heard as they rushed to help homeowners deal with significant damage. Wyoming’s Fire Chief Dennis Brown said his department responded to 37 calls, starting right after the storm and continuing through to the next morning. The storm downed power lines, trees, and utility poles in many spots in Wyoming, with the worst damage in the neighborhoods south of Compton Road. Crews quickly assessed the areas, put up caution tape around downed power lines and trees, and covered damaged windows with plastic tarps.
The Fire/EMS and Public Works departments worked with Duke Energy to identify downed power lines and damaged transformers and to secure the area. As soon as a location was determined to be safe from live utility wires, Public Works began the long process of cutting and removing trees blocking roadways. Director of Public Works Terry Huxel estimated his crew spent almost 200 man-hours from late Wednesday night through Friday afternoon clearing debris, to give Duke Energy trucks access to restore electrical power. Public Works will continue to clean up storm debris through the week of April 20, with a special curbside pickup of storm debris for residents.
The April storm was almost as devastating as Hurricane Ike in September 2008, which affected many communities throughout Cincinnati. Brown says Hurricane Ike holds the record of more than 50 emergency runs to assist Wyoming residents
Editor’s Note: On April 16, the National Weather Service classified the April 8 storm as an EF0 tornado, with winds of 85 mph. The tornado’s path was over 6 miles long and 300 yards wide, starting near Colerain Avenue in Colerain Township, traveling through Mt. Healthy and Springfield Township, and finally ending in Wyoming on Compton Road near the Wyoming Golf Course.