Severe Weather Preps Across NE Ohio

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As Hurricane Sandy pushes further west, several communities are prepping for the high winds and rain that will come with the storm.

Officials in the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County said at a press conference Monday afternoon that they are on high alert and are monitoring for flooding and other damage so they can respond accordingly.

They said they have been monitoring the storm since Sunday and will continue to do so.

But Mayor Frank Jackson said changes could be made quickly depending on the storm. He is cautioning everyone to be careful on the roads, and to make sure you have enough food and water in your homes.

“We will continue to take this moment by moment,” Jackson said. “All of our partners are prepared to be ready in an instant. We are also in contact with the National Weather Service, and we will continue to monitor East Shoreway as well as other areas challenged by severe weather.”

Officials with the United Way and Red Cross also stressed that if anyone needs non-emergency help they are asked to call 211. Officials said they already had received more than 700 calls by 1 p.m. Monday.

The City of Westlake is asking residents to be advised of high winds, and several power outages Monday night. Officials there say that if travel is necessary, to watch for downed power lines, trees and debris.

Westlake officials also suggest that when approaching an intersection and the traffic signal is out, to treat it as a four-way stop.

In Lake County, the city of Mentor is opening an emergency shelter for any Mentor residents who need a place to go during the storm. Beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, the Mentor Senior Center at 8484 Munson Road will be open. Anyone who needs transportation can call 440-255-1100. The city is asking anyone who needs to take shelter to pack a bag with items to cover a 24 to 48 hour period, including medications. The shelter will not take pets.

Officials in Lorain said the water distribution facility there was operating on emergency generator power due to a large-scale power outage as of about 11 p.m. Monday. The use of emergency generator power was hindering the city's ability to supply drinking water, said officials.

Officials are asking that all customers serviced by the city's water facility conserve their water until further notice. Areas included are: Lorain, Amherst, Amherst Township, Sheffield Lake and Sheffield Township.

Meanwhile, Portage County officials said that the Portage County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office is monitoring the weather and that the county will be most severely affected beginning Tuesday.

But they are encouraging residents to be prepared and have a plan for evacuation if the situation warrants it. They said to have emergency preparedness kits with flash lights, battery-powered radios, cell phone car chargers, blankets and non-perishable food items.

Officials in Portage County said they anticipate power outages and flooding and to watch for fast-rising water in low-lying areas. They said the Portage County area could see one to two inches of rain and winds around 35 miles per hour with gusts of 50 to 60 miles per hour peaking overnight.

In Summit County, emergency officials said they are staying in close communication with their communities and the National Weather Service to alert residents of any changing conditions. They ask residents to listen to the weather and get out their emergency preparedness kits.

They say if you come upon a downed power line, do not touch it and call your local police or fire department or utility company. If you come upon a flooded area in your vehicle, officials say to turn around, and if your car stalls, abandon it and get to higher ground.

Summit County officials are also asking citizens to prepare for high winds and flooding.

In the City of Green, officials said their crews have been preparing for rain and wind since Saturday, checking potential flooding areas. They said crews will work throughout Monday night to respond to any calls or issues like downed trees or flooding.

The recycling center in Green is also extending its hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday so residents can drop off any debris from the storm. Anyone in Green who needs to report downed trees or flooding, should call 330-896-6610.

In Rocky River, the situation isn't much better. The impact from Sandy has knocked out power to most of the city. It is not known when it will be restored. Wind gusts up to 60 MPH have caused trees to come down throughout the city.

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