Comissioners declare State of Emergency


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners declared a State of Emergency for the county at its meeting on Tuesday. The declaration follows a similar State of Emergency declared by Governor Mike DeWine following the tornado on Thursday, March 14.

The proclamation states that “a state of emergency exists in Darke County, Ohio and that we hereby invoke and declare those portions of the Ohio Revised Code that are applicable to the conditions and have caused the issuance of this Emergency Proclamation, to be in full force and effect in Darke County for the exercise of all necessary emergency authority for protection of the lives and property of the people of Darke County and the restoration of local government with a minimum of interruption.” The commissioners proclaimed that “all public offices and employees of Darke County are hereby directed to exercise the utmost diligence in the discharge of duties required of them for the duration of the emergency and in execution of emergency laws, regulations, and directives – state and local.”

The commissioners also asked all citizens to “comply with necessary emergency measures, to cooperate with public officials and disaster service forces in executing emergency operations plans, and to obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified officers.”

Mindy Saylor, director of Darke County EMA, pointed out the county has made significant progress in cleaning up debris. “We do have some issues that could potentially – we know we might need additional resources from the state,” she said. “This basically, just allows us the ability and protects us to be able to access resources beyond Darke County.” She noted the proclamation is not because things have worsened but is in anticipation of things they know will be a long-term project. Saylor noted the governor’s State of Emergency and the county’s State of Emergency work hand-in-hand. “It’s not a requirement, necessarily, I think that it is something that should be done if you are going to ask for resources beyond your borders.”

One of those long-term projects will be Greenville Creek. The tornado caused several trees to clog the river that supplies water to the City of Greenville. Saylor said she’s been told the trees are creating a log jam, which could create issues with water flow to the city. It may also cause flooding issues in the areas where the trees are or cause trees to become dislodged and damage bridges. The county can’t do anything to the river unless the state intervenes because it is considered a State Scenic River and is protected. “We have to work with ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) on projects for approval. It sounds like it is going to be an extended, long-term issue.

Sheriff Mark Whittaker said he heard from a lot of the elected officials the night of the tornado, including Congressman Warren Davidson. “We were lucky we didn’t have any loss of life; we were fortunate. The message of sirens, the broadcasting that went through, we were fortunate we only had a couple of minor injuries,” he said.”

Greenville Township Trustees held an emergency meeting to consider how they will move forward with the removal of some of the debris in the township. Trustee Jeremy Edger announced they have over 100 FFA students from Mississinawa Valley and Ansonia helping clear debris from the fields in that area. During the meeting the township discussed how they were going to remove and pay for debris removal. They called the City of Greenville’s Street Department and received approval to use some of the city’s equipment and manpower. Edger and Trustee Justin Hines discussed taking the metal items to 1 Shot and the remainder to Rumpke. The trustees agreed to approve $5,000 in expenditures and will discuss if any additional expenditures are needed at their next meeting.

Greenville Township was hit hard by the tornado with many properties damaged on Fisher Dangler, Fox and McMecham Roads.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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