Thursday, July 20, 2000

More bad weather, same problems

Storms take out lights, lanes

By Reid Forgrave and Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Claire Butler and Katie Hess bundle up at the Blue Ash Pool. Wednesday's high was 77.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
        An early morning storm that cooled the Tristate on Wednesday also caused scattered power outages and a major traffic headache in Northern Kentucky.

        Traffic was backed up for 3 miles on southbound Interstate 75 for much of Wednesday, after temporary lane markers washed away where the Donaldson Road/I-75 interchange is being reconstructed.

        Highway workers funneled southbound I-75 traffic to one lane at the Donaldson Road interchange Wednesday morning, and had corrected the situation by about 2:30 p.m., highway officials and police said.

        The early morning storms also caused scattered power outages at 5,000 Tristate homes and businesses for up to two hours, and knocked out traffic signals, causing traffic jams for commuters heading to work Wednesday.

        “We are not incurring any power supply problems,” Cinergy spokeswoman Kathy Meinke said. “These have all been mechanical or storm-related.”

        In other storm-related problems, about 3,500 Cinergy customers in parts of Mount Healthy, Forest Park, Bevis and Deer Park were without power on Wednesday, Ms. Meinke said. Also affected were 1,500 Northern Kentucky customers, mostly in the cities of Fort Wright, Fort Mitchell and Covington.

        Post-storm, area temperatures rose only to 77, highlighting a summer that has seemed mild to most resi dents. But actually, temperatures are normal, experts say — they just appear tame when compared to last year's heat wave.

        “Most people remember back to last year when they are comparing winters and summers,” said John Franks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

        The summer of 2000 is about average, compared to temperatures recorded for the past 30 years. Last year, Greater Cincinnati had 17 days of 90-plus temperatures in July alone, hitting a high of 101 degrees on July 30.

        This summer, there has been only one 90-plus day, Mr. Franks said.

        So far this July, the average temperature for the month is one degree below the average July temperature of 77. Last year, the average July temperature was four degrees higher than normal.


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