Storm Update #5
City crews are still out clearing debris from streets and trees lawns following last Friday’s microburst. We are on the lookout for unstable trees and branches that may have been impacted by the storm but may not have fallen. As we encounter hazards we may need to block roads temporarily to remove them which could restrict access to affected areas sporadically. Cleanup efforts will continue over the next couple of weeks. More detailed information will be included in this week’s City News Update, the City’s biweekly electronic newsletter. You can sign up for the newsletter at https://www.clevelandheights.com/599/City-News-Sign-Up.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Cleveland Heights residents who lost power have been restored. As of this morning, less than 5 customers remain without power. City Manager Briley met with CEI President Mark Jones and Vice President Kevin Sestak to discuss progress with recovery efforts and the plan going forward. In some cases, temporary repairs were made to restore power as quickly as possible to and crews will need to return to make permanent repairs. In addition to power lines, several telecommunications lines were also damaged and will require work by other utilities such as phone and cable companies. Residents should report those outages to their respective providers.
We will continue to provide updates throughout the week as new information becomes available.
Storm Update #4
Posted at 12:43 pm on 9/16/2019. Clean up efforts continue today with multiple City crews working to clear the debris the storm left behind. Hanging branches and unstable trees continue to be a threat to safety and we want to encourage everyone to be aware of their surroundings while walking, biking, and driving through the impacted area. The intersection at Demington and Fairmount has been closed due to a unstable tree that must be removed. Access to this area will be restricted until the tree is taken down. As First Energy crews continue their work the rebuild power lines and replace utility poles some areas may be temporarily blocked off for travel. We may not know in advance when that work is taking place so we ask that everyone respect the yellow caution tape and find alternate routes to your destination.Global restoration of power is now estimated to be Tuesday by 4:00 pm. Over 1,300 properties are still without power at this time. Due to the magnitude of the damage a lot of work is involved to restore small groups of customers at a time. First Energy will continue their 16 hour shifts with local and visiting crews until all power is restored. Per our First Energy rep, in some cases a single customer outage may involve damage to the customer’s house pipe or meter base which will need to be repaired before power can be restored. House pipes and meter bases are the responsibility of the property owner who will be instructed by First Energy to hire a private contractor to make the repair. It is not known at this time how many properties are in this situation. Informational door hangers explaining this process are being left at affected properties as First Energy crews encounter this issue.We will continue to provide daily updates throughout the week as new information becomes available.
Update as of 7:30pm 9/15/19. First Energy is reporting the estimated time of power restoration for some Cleveland Heights residents is now Tuesday, September 17th at 4pm.
Posted at 6:44 pm on 9/15/2019.The National Weather Service has confirmed what residents in our western neighborhoods already suspected. It was reported today that we experienced a microburst, our City’s second in 3 years. During a microburst, wind speeds can reach or exceed 100 mph which is roughly equivalent to an EF-1 tornado. Friday’s microburst uprooted trees and downed more than 120 power lines in the county causing major property damage and creating a prolonged power outage for Cleveland Heights and surrounding communities. There are now just over 1,500 Cleveland Heights residents waiting to have powered restored, down from a high of almost 8,000 Friday evening.Through the tireless efforts of the City’s Public Works crews in partnership with First Energy, most roads have been cleared of trees and debris and are now passable with the exception of Fairfax Road. That work is still in progress. First Energy called in support from surrounding states to assist with the recovery effort. These crews along with the local team have been working 16 hour shifts since Friday and will continue this pace in order to restore customers as quickly and safely as possible. Power restoration efforts have been complicated by the number of power lines and utility poles that were damaged or destroyed during the storm that must be repaired before power can be restored. The intersection of Coventry and Scarborough will remain closed while First Energy reconstructs the severely damaged power lines and poles in that area. First Energy and City crews worked at this intersection most of Sunday and the work is expected to take at least another day to complete. Motorists should be advised that Monday commutes will likely be impacted. The estimated time for power to be restored remains Monday by 4pm. If you have not reported your outage you can do so by calling 1-888-544-4877 (1-888-LIGHTSS). You will receive updates directly from First Energy regarding power restoration if your outage is reported. This also gives First Energy a more complete picture of the outages in our community.Hazardous conditions still remain an issue, especially falling branches and debris and ground debris. Please continue to be careful when walking through affected neighborhoods and practice caution driving on impacted roads, especially those streets where work crews are present.
Posted at 9:07 am on 9:15/2019. Recovery efforts continued on Saturday through the late afternoon. Large trees and downed power lines were cleared from several roads restoring access to most streets. The following roads still have partial closures:
Fairfax (Fairmount to N Park)Coventry (South of Scarborough)Lamberton (Scarborough to Fairfax)Clarkson (Stillman to Lamberton)Maplewood (Meadowbrook to Kensington)Woodmere (W. St. James to Fairmount)Arlington (N Park to Fairmount)Work to clear all blocked roads will continue on Sunday in coordination with First Energy’s work on power lines. First Energy is also working to restore power to the area. There are now 13,000 customers without power in Cuyahoga County with just over 3,000 reported outages in Cleveland Heights. First Energy estimates power restoration to our area by Monday at 4pm. If you have not reported your outage you can do so by calling 1-888-544-4877 (1-888-LIGHTSS). Please continue to exercise extreme caution around downed trees and power lines.
Posted at 11:55 am on 9/14/2019.Last evening the west end of our community was hit hard by a severe storm. The damage to homes and cars by fallen trees is devastating and we are thankful that no one was seriously injured given the extent of the destruction. Many of our roads west of Lee and south of Cedar and along Northpark were impassable with downed trees and power lines. The City responded immediately last evening with crews working vigorously through the night to clear roads that could be safely cleared while Police and Fire secured unsafe areas. That work continues today along with First Energy’s work on power lines and the power outage.
Safety continues to be our priority and we ask that you treat ALL DOWNED LINES AS LIVE AND DANGEROUS. Residents should also be aware that wires could be hidden by debris and extreme caution should be practiced. Most hazardous areas have been blocked off with yellow caution tape but there may be others that have yet been identified. Please be careful, keep children away from hazard sites, and call 9-1-1 if you encounter a hazard that has not been reported.
Currently there are over 29,000 customers without power throughout the county, down from 61,000 last night. The majority of the outages are in east side suburbs including Cleveland Heights, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, and Shaker Heights. We do not yet have an estimate on when power will be restored and will provide frequent updates when new information becomes available.