Storms lead to Ohio flooding, water rescues, power outages


A car is submerged in the eastbound lane of Frank Road west of I-71 on Friday, March 20, 2020, in Galloway, Ohio. Thousands of people remain without power after severe thunderstorms roared through Ohio, causing flooding and knocking down trees across the state. The storms that struck late Thursday and early Friday contained heavy rains and strong, gusty winds. (Eric Albrecht/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Severe thunderstorms caused significant flooding in parts of Ohio and prompted some water rescues Friday, including in a parking lot outside a county jail.

After waters partly submerged vehicles at a lot near the Franklin County jail south of downtown Columbus, the county sheriff’s office reported that its dive team rescued two employees stranded in vehicles and functioned as a water taxi for others headed to or from work there.

The storms that struck late Thursday and Friday brought strong winds and several inches of rain in some areas of the state, knocking out power for thousands of people, officials said.

Subsequent flooding led to travel issues in some areas, such as washing away a bridge in Bellbrook and collapsing a portion of Route 79 in Licking County.

A Heath police officer had to be rescued after a boat sank, and a 2-year-old girl in Newark was taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries after getting caught up in the high waters. Meanwhile, several neighborhoods in central Ohio were evacuated as a precaution and temporary shelters were set up in other areas.