Restoring power to the water supply was Dayton’s “biggest concern” following the Memorial Day tornadoes, according to text messages between Mayor Nan Whaley and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine the morning after the storm.
“The lack of power to the water system is a major concern,” Whaley told DeWine.
The conversation was obtained by the Dayton Daily News from the city of Dayton using Ohio’s public record laws. The newspaper requested the same records from the governor’s office but has not received them yet.
Dayton’s water system lost pressure after the 15 tornadoes cut power to treatment plants and pumping stations. The loss of pressure in the system prompted a boil advisory that lasted four days.
This is the second time in 2019 that Dayton’s water system has lost pressure. City employees estimate it functioned for over 30 years without losing pressure before this year.
Whaley sent DeWine pictures of the damage. She told the governor, “A lot of our businesses (are) just gone. In Old North DAYTON.”
“Oh wow,” DeWine texted back in response to the pictures showing bare trees, and homes and businesses without roofs.
Whaley told DeWine the areas of Harrison Twp., Trotwood and Brookville were hit hard.
DeWine told Whaley to inform him if there was anything specific that the city needed from the state. He toured the damaged areas later that afternoon, May 28. He also declared a state of emergency for Montgomery, Greene and Mercer counties.
Whaley thanked DeWine for coming to the Dayton area in the aftermath of the storms.
In a visit to Dayton on Monday, DeWine announced that he would formally seek federal assistance for some individuals who were impacted by the storms.
Federal Emergency Management Agency officials arrived in Dayton last week to begin surveying the damage and checking to see how much property was insured.
Federal assistance will have to be approved by President Donald Trump, who tweeted about the storm after a conversation with DeWine the morning after the tornadoes touched down.
“My Administration fully supports the people of the great State of Ohio as they begin the cleanup and recovery,” Trump said.
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