XENIA — Greene County Commissioners declared a state of emergency in Greene County 9 a.m. May 28 following a tornado outbreak.
Serious storms moved through the Miami Valley May 27, causing significant property damage across communities. Commissioners passed a resolution declaring the emergency to facilitate recovery.
The resolution states: “we hereby invoke those portions of the Ohio Revised Code which are applicable to the conditions … to be in full force and effect in Greene County for the exercise of all necessary emergency authority for protection of the lives and property of the people of Greene County and the restoration of local government with a minimum of interruption.”
“We will now be able to call upon federal and state resources to help with the clean-up and repair efforts. Our hearts go out to all those who were affected and we are doing everything possible to help things get back to normal,” Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson told the Gazette via email.
Commissioners urged citizens to comply with necessary emergency measures and to cooperate with public officials and disaster service forces in executing emergency operations plans.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said he and the police chief of Beavercreek surveyed the damage via helicopter this morning.
“This morning we were able to see how bad it was … The damage is extreme. There’s a lot more damage than I anticipated,” Fischer said.
Fischer said he’s received reports of damage in the City of Beavercreek, Beavercreek Township, Xenia Township and Cedarville Township. He said he watched from the air a house in Beavercreek — its natural gas not shut off yet — catch fire and burn. He also saw a cell tower that had crumbled.
Fischer reported noticeable flooding in the northeast area of the county.
The sheriff said the number one safety precaution is to pay attention to wires that are down.
“Unless you know for sure a wire is not hot then just assume any down wire is a hot wire and wait for somebody to come by and give the all clear,” he said. “People need to realize there could be live wires and restoring electric to certain areas may be awhile.”
Fischer said this storm was a lot bigger than the April 3, 2018 storm, which also caused significant damage.
“We’ll recover,” he said.