Governor Declares Emergencies In Nine Ohio Counties

COLUMBUS, OH -Governor Ted Strickland today declared a state of emergency for Allen, Crawford, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam, Richland, Seneca, Van Wert and Wyandot counties. Northern Ohio was inundated with heavy rainfall of  6 to 9 inches within a 24-hour period on August 20. A total of 21 counties have been affected by flooding and wind damage.

"County and state emergency responders have been working around the clock since Monday, the start of the severe storms and flooding," Strickland said. "With this emergency declaration, we can ensure that state resources will be used to help affected Ohioans recover from this disaster as quickly as possible."

State agency personnel continue to maintain contact with all affected county emergency management agencies from the state Emergency Operations Center. The Ohio Department of Transportation has closed or restricted traffic on numerous local, county and state routes.

State agencies assisting affected counties include: the Office of the Governor, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Ohio departments of Administrative Services, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Public Safety and Transportation. The American Red Cross is conducting preliminary damage assessments and has opened shelters in numerous affected counties.

As a result of the governor's declaration, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is providing disaster assistance to residents of declared counties.

Affected families may be eligible to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) disaster assistance benefits of up to $1,500. Elderly and disabled individuals may qualify for a one-time cash assistance of up to $750.

Applications will be accepted at county Job and Family Services departments.

Showers and thunderstorms are forecast for Ohio for the remainder of the week.