COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that he has declared a state of emergency in 20 Ohio counties impacted by damaging flooding last month.
Ohio counties included in the governor’s emergency proclamation include: Adams, Athens, Brown, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington.
“Many of these counties were still recovering from last year’s severe flooding when they were hit hard yet again,” said Governor DeWine. “This is a key step in getting these 20 counties the assistance they need.”
The counties suffered from significant infrastructure damage as heavy rains poured down on already-saturated soils, damaging public infrastructure like roads and culverts. Beginning February 5 and lasting through February 13, severe storms and excessive rainfall created “dangerous and damaging conditions affecting the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Ohio,” according to the governor’s proclamation.
The state of emergency proclamation authorizes various state departments and agencies to coordinate the state and federal response and to assist local government in protecting the lives, safety, health, and property of the residents of Ohio.
Representatives from FEMA and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency will be meeting with county and township officials in each of the 20 counties this week to assess the extent of damages in a process called a “joint damage assessment.”
Heavy rains and severe storms in February 2018 led to an emergency proclamation and a Major Presidential Disaster in 20 Ohio counties (14 of which are included in this year’s proclamation).