By News Staff Reporters
FREDERICKTOWN — A storm packing very high winds swept across Knox County and the Fredericktown area around 4 p.m. Wednesday. The wind felled numerous trees, flattened some corn crops and took out power to customers all over Knox County.
Jim Ruhl, who farms just south of Fredericktown on Dean Road, said the wind was the strongest he had ever witnessed. “I was in the barn doing chores and the wind blew rain half way across the inside.”
After several days of closely monitoring the output of water over the Mohawk Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is putting out the maximum flow of water this morning, according to Brian Swope, facility manager.
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Trees were blown down across several roads in the area. Fredericktown Community Fire District Assistant Chief Dwayne Canter said 17 firefighters went out on trucks with chain saws and cleared the roads. He said none of the trees fell on structures or power lines. Mishey, Carson, Lower Fredericktown-Amity and Armentrout roads were all affected by downed trees. Canter added that some branches were removed from Waterford Road.
The Associated Press reported the storm brought winds of 70 mph or more through Central Ohio.
Numerous Knox County residents experienced loss of electric service when strong thunderstorms roared through the area once again Wednesday afternoon.
About 1,000 Knox County customers of Consolidated Electric Cooperative lost electric service in the thunderstorm. Pam Hawk, vice president of marketing and member services, told the News that there were still about 860 of these customers without power as of 8:30 this morning. All of these customers are in Wayne Township. Extra crew members are being called in to help get power restored. Hawk is hopeful that service will be restored to all customers by this evening.
Around 3,900 Knox County customers of American Electric Power were without electric service as of this morning. Most of these customers are in the Danville and Millwood areas. Crews are currently working to get service restored. But it is expected that some may be without power for multiple days due to damage sustained to lines and equipment from the storm.
Knox County Engineer Jim Henry said four county roads remain closed as a result of the recent storms.
Flat Run and Montgomery are closed for culvert repair, and high water has closed Zion Road and Hazel Dell.
Although other county roads are open, Henry said the work of clearing debris continues throughout the area.