The Upper Arlington area has mostly recovered from the aftermath of Hurricane Ike that blew through central Ohio on Sept. 14, although some areas of the city were without power for a full week.

The Upper Arlington area has mostly recovered from the aftermath of Hurricane Ike that blew through central Ohio on Sept. 14, although some areas of the city were without power for a full week.

Immediately after the storm, 85 percent of Upper Arlington was without power, city manager Virginia Barney reported at city council's meeting Monday night.

"As of four o'clock today, 21 homes are left without power," she told council members.

At one point, traffic lights weren't working in 39 of 54 intersections -- 70 percent -- throughout Upper Arlington, said Rick Calhoun, the city's acting streets superintendent. All traffic lights were working again by Sept. 21.

In spite of the large number of traffic lights that were out, "there were only 13 traffic crashes for the week," Barney said.

More than 150 street trees damaged or destroyed in the storm, Barney said. Awnings were destroyed at Devon Pool, causing the pool to close for the season a week early. Equipment was damaged at the Northam Park tennis court, but six courts reopened by Sept. 16.

"Many of the trees in our parks are down or damaged and we're just now getting in there" and assessing damage, Barney said.

Between 3 p.m. on Sept. 14 and 7 a.m. on Sept. 15, Upper Arlington Police/Fire Communications Center fielded 120 9-1-1 calls. The center normally receives 12 to 15 9-1-1 calls daily. To date, police have received more than 165 calls about downed trees and power lines.

The city collected 20.1 tons of spoiled food at a drop-off at Thompson Park, Barney said. Keeping residents up to date on cleanup efforts proved a challenge because many residents' phones were out, she said.

"We made 3,000 calls and 67 went through," she said.

Inland Service Corp., the city's solid waste contractor, will continue to collect residents' storm debris until it's gone, Barney said. She encouraged residents to gather debris in bundles no longer than 5 feet and place them at the curb but far enough away from the street so as not to clog gutters in the event of rain.

The city has been paying overtime to Inland workers and additional staff from Franklin County who have been assisting with cleanup efforts.

Because Gov. Ted Strickland declared a Class A emergency, the city will seek state reimbursement for overtime costs, Barney said.

In total, Barney estimates $2-million in private property damage throughout the city. Some businesses were hit especially hard, sustaining thousands of dollars in lost revenue while power was out.

Huffman's Market in Tremont Center lost electricity on the evening of Sept. 14 and didn't regain power until Sept. 18, forcing the family-owned business to dispose of valuable perishable merchandise.

So much was lost that proprietor Tim Huffman said he hadn't tallied an exact dollar amount.

"We lost all of our produce, all of our dairy, all of our seafood, all of our ice cream, all of our frozen food, lunch meat," Huffman said. "Anything that had to be refrigerated, we lost."

Huffman said the market was able to restock and become fully operational again by Saturday, Sept. 20. Customers who had to replace spoiled food because of power outages kept business brisk when the market reopened, Huffman said.

"It's pretty busy," he said. "People are coming in, getting replenished."

The Rusty Bucket Tavern was one of the businesses in the Shops at Lane Avenue that lost power for a couple of days. After losing power on the night of the storm, the Rusty Bucket reopened the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 16.

The restaurant was fortunate and didn't lose much food, said manager Mike Vannatta.

"We got a refrigerated truck out here right on point," he said. "We threw away all of our dairy and seafood, just to be safe."

Like many area restaurants, the Rusty Bucket experienced a jump in business from customers seeking to get out of the dark and have a warm meal.

"Since we reopened, we've been very busy," Vannatta said.

The Upper Arlington Public Library's three branches were also busier than usual when they reopened on Sept. 18 after three and a half days of being closed due to power outages.

"One of the things we did find out from the outage is ways the library could be another community resource," said community relations manager Ruth McNeil. "We invited patrons to come in if they needed to power up their cell phones. We have (wireless Internet) here. We offer those services every day, but we all learned how really important that is. We just wanted the community to know that's another way we could provide services to them when they couldn't get it at home."

The library also did not charge fines for overdue items during the days it was closed. Staff members emptied book drops so they didn't overflow.

"There were quite a few books to restock on Thursday morning," McNeil said. "By 10:30 or 11, that had been taken care of."

The library's three branches at 2800 Tremont Road, 1901 Arlington Ave. and 1945 Lane Road didn't sustain any damage other than minor roof damage at Lane Road that is already being repaired, McNeil said.

Three Upper Arlington City School buildings (Jones and Hastings middle schools and Barrington Elementary) also sustained minor roof damage. Schools were closed Sept. 15-16 and reopened Sept. 17, except for Tremont Elementary, which reopened on Sept. 18.

Other than the roof damage at three schools, "we were very fortunate," said Dan Donovan, schools spokesman. "We did lose some food and some milk, but I don't have any numbers on that."

The district has not gotten word from state officials on whether the days off will count toward the allotment of five calamity days per school year, Donovan said.

"We don't know that yet. We are assuming that they are calamity days," he said. "Some schools (in the district) have some left and some don't."

cbournea@thisweeknews.com