Ohio Governor Mike DeWine formally called for a state of emergency Thursday in counties across Ohio. The decision was made in response to excessive rainfall that resulted in severe flooding in 20 separate counties.
According to the Emergency Proclamation, from Feb. 5th to Feb. 13th “Severe storms and excessive rainfall resulting in localized flooding impacts created dangerous and damaging conditions affecting the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Ohio.” As a result, a state of emergency has been declared in the following counties: Adams, Athens, Brown, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington.
This week “FEMA and the Emergency Management Agency will be meeting with county and township officials” will convene to organize an action plan to address the dangerous conditions. The situation is compounded by the fact that much of these areas were already heavily saturated with rainfall.
For 17 of these counties, this is the second year in a row that a state of emergency was declared as a result of severe flooding dues to excessive rainfall. In February of 2018, then-Ohio Governor John Kasich declared a state of emergency after storms caused the Ohio river to crest at a little more than 60 feet – the highest in two decades.
Per the Office of Emergency Management of New Jersey, a state of emergency authorizes:
…the Governor to speed State agency assistance to communities in need. It enables him to make resources immediately available to rescue, evacuate, shelter, provide essential commodities (i.e., heating fuel, food etc.) and quell disturbances in affected localities.It may also position the State to seek federal assistance when the scope of the event exceeds the State’s resources.
Flash flooding: $178,548,000Flooding: $54,551,000Heavy rain: $126,000Heavy snow: $4,860,000Tornadoes: $196,559,000