Prairie Township will continue to help residents clean up after the aftermath of an historic wind storm which uprooted trees and downed power lines, leaving many in the dark.

Prairie Township will continue to help residents clean up after the aftermath of an historic wind storm which uprooted trees and downed power lines, leaving many in the dark.

Township trustee Steve Kennedy said many residents were affected by the remnants of hurricane Ike after it swept through on Sunday.

"From what I have heard, I'd say about half of Prairie lost power for some amount of time," Kennedy said. "As of this morning (Wednesday), Lincoln Village plaza was still without power, so the senior center has been closed."

Kennedy said he would like to thank township residents for helping out their neighbors.

"Neighbors were helping neighbors with clean-up, borrowing and sharing tools," he said. "Neighbors that had electric had electric cords running across roads so the neighbor that didn't have electric would not lose all their refrigerated food."

Damage around the township was widespread, Kennedy said.

"There are numerous homes with shingle and siding damage," he said. "But most of the damage was damage by falling trees and limbs. Prairie Fire Department had 49 runs during the storm. Most for dealing with live wires in roadways."

Kennedy said the scope of damage was so widespread and knowledge that most residents didn't have any means to discard the resulting limbs and debris led the township to decide it had to help, he said.

"The township was able to borrow a chipper and on Monday started picking up and chipping the debris," Kennedy said. "They started in Little Farms because the area seemed to have the most damage because of the older trees."

Kennedy said it didn't take long for the township to grasp that there was a lot of work to be done.

Township officials were able to get a second chipper, and now there are two crews working until the township is cleaned up, he said.

"As of now, there are plans to make a second pass through the township after we are finished making the first pass," he said. "The township asks residents to get the limbs to the road right-of-way, the area between the sidewalk and street."

Kennedy said cleanup could take as long as two weeks and asked residents to be patient. Some of the worst damage occurred on Beacon Hill, where a large tree not only fell on a woman's brand new car, but hit a gas meter, breaking it and releasing natural gas.

Large trees also fell on power lines along Amity Road. That caused the western portion of the township to lose power for days, Kennedy said.

"In my opinion, the worst situation was the numerous cases of live electric lines down in the roads," he said. "I personally have never seen a storm in central Ohio cause so much wide spread damage. I would say this storm was the closest thing to a hurricane central Ohio will ever see. I hope never to see anything like it again."

csmithwestside@aol.com