The season’s first ice storm that hit the Dayton area this week is being linked to a driving fatality and widespread power outages – including at some schools - that could last for days.
As many as 51,000 DP&L customers were reportedly without power Thursday, prompting the utility to make a call for mutual aid to assist more 800 workers.
“With the amount of people we have out, this could potentially be a multi-day event going into the weekend,” said DP&L spokesperson Mary Ann Kabel. “So preparedness is key.”
Weather was a factor in a Greene County crash that killed an Illinois man Wednesday night, when freezing rain hit the area, dumping .4 inches of ice that factored into widespread power outages causing school closings, and downed utility lines and trees.
Slick roads played a role in the death of Ivan J. Jones, a passenger in a minivan hit a pick-up truck heading west on U.S. 35 struck a guard-rail after hitting a slick spot on the highway near New Jasper Station Road, according to the Xenia Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
With the ice helping to snap utility lines and trees, tens of thousands of utility customers lost power Thursday, officials said, among them schools in Dayton, Centerville, Kettering and Vandalia.
Belmont High School closed while Kettering Fairmont sent students home.
Late Thursday afternoon, more than 18,000 DP&L customers remained without power. Going forward, people should prepare coolers with ice to store food and any medication that needs refrigeration, as well as ventilate areas for any generator use, according to Kabel.
“Take those precautions now,” she said.
Freezing rain isn’t expected to be in the forecast through the weekend, according to StormCenter 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs.
Temperatures should range from 29 to 43 degrees with chance of a passing flurry today, she said. Saturday and Sunday are expected to be mostly dry.
Those seeking to clean up tree limbs or other debris in the coming days should also take caution, authorities said. Better Business Bureau President and CEO John North said if the debris is on power lines, contact your utility company.
If you are seeking to remove trees or limbs, call the jurisdiction in which you live to see if it is providing that service, he said.
Should you look to hire a private company, “be very careful,” North said.
Dozens of area companies have been given F ratings by the BBB “and they are not organizations that you necessarily want coming and removing things,” he said.
Signs of questionable practices, according to North, are people going door to door and not operating out of marked vehicles.