Powerful Tornadoes Rip Through Ohio Causing Damage, Power Outages

May 29, 2019

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

More than 70,000 residents in Ohio’s Miami Valley region suffered power loss when a string of tornadoes swept through the area Monday evening.  As many as seven twisters touched down, at least one rated EF-3.  It was a record-tying 11th straight day with eight or more tornadoes in the U.S., a record that would be broken the following day, as a very active tornado season continued.

The storms also caused Toledo’s pumping stations to fail, forcing the city to put a boil advisory into effect until drinking water results from the EPA determined drinking water safety.  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency across Montgomery, Greene, and Mercer counties, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said residents in need could pick up free bottled water and ice at various locations.


The National Weather Service labeled the series of storms that included more than three dozen tornado warnings a “high impact event,” which lifted so much debris into the air it could be seen on radar.  Crews used snow plows to clear roadways once the storms had passed, and repair assistance has been brought in from Virginia, Tennessee, and Indiana, as well as other in-state utilities, to help repair damage.  Even so, full restoration could still take days.

One fatality was reported, when a car was thrown into a home by one of the tornadoes, and schools and businesses remained closed beyond the Memorial Day holiday due to the continued outages and extensive damage to homes and businesses.

Even businesses that did not suffer direct storm damage, however, may not have been left unscathed.  Power surges that come with outages can damage sensitive circuits inside electronic equipment, including servers, switches, and other technology that keep businesses functioning.  Damage to those systems can require extended and costly repairs, keeping businesses offline for days or even weeks after power is restored. 

Power protection systems, however, are designed to protect equipment from electrical damage by regulating line voltage before it is distributed to connected equipment.  UPS capabilities also provide backup runtime so IT teams can manually shit down systems to prevent data corruption or loss – which can even be done remotely with power management systems.  Extended runtime systems can keep business operational for longer periods.

There isn’t much business owners can do about storms and outages – they impact nearly every corner of the country at different times of the year.  But, they can protect their technology investments so that, when the power incidents are over, business can return to normal quickly.

Edited by Erik Linask