KNOX COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – Many in central Ohio have been without power for about 24 hours, and in some places, it’s not expected to be back for days.
The region is also seeing the hottest weather of the year so far.
AEP’s outage map shows almost 60 percent of AEP’s customers in the county (11,000+ as of 10 p.m.) are without power Tuesday night.
Toppled trees across Knox County, some snapped, others uprooted and leaning on houses.
In the middle of the mess caused by late Monday and early Tuesday storms is Judy Ebersole.
“I just got to picking up sticks that was laying around, especially in the driveway, and making little piles,” she said while visiting Forest Cemetery in Fredericktown.
Ebersole was there to check on her husband and other family members’ headstones. Some in the cemetery had been damaged by trees.
“Somebody said the cemetery was a mess and I thought, ‘Well I’m going to come out and look at the family stones,’ and, of course, the tree just missed them,” she said.
While walking around, the 83-year-old decided she needed to help with the cleanup efforts.
“I just always jump in and help,” Ebersole said. “My father always said if you see something that needs to be done, do it.”
Giant trees are down all around the property, with cleanup likely taking several days.
“Really, it’s quite a shock, if you want to know the truth, to have this big of a mess all at once and then the way the weather is, it’s going to be so hot,” said Jeff Robinson, superintendent of Forest Cemetery.
Power restoration is also expected to be a multi-day effort. AEP’s outage map shows 60 percent of customers in Knox County without power Tuesday evening as the area also deals with extreme heat.
The county’s Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director James Dechant is reminding residents to take breaks while cleaning up, check on neighbors, and visit county cooling centers if needed.
“Just about everybody is going to need something,” Dechant said. “A lot of the time, we talk about our special needs community needing something or our elderly needing something. This is a situation where everybody needs something.”
Whether it’s at the cemetery or other areas of town, Ebersole will keep doing her part.
“I just feel like I’m helping a little bit, picking up something that needs to be done,” she said.
The Frederick Township Police Department, located at 182 South Main Street, will be open as a cooling center, with three others opening again Wednesday.