Friday, July 23, 2004

Overnight rainstorm cuts power to 25,000

Some areas got up to 3 inches

By Steve Kemme
Enquirer staff writer

Fierce thunderstorms that struck the region early Thursday deluged some areas with as much as 3 inches of rain and caused thousands of homes and businesses to lose power for hours.

There were countless lightning strikes and minor flooding, but the storms caused no serious damage, according to county law enforcement agencies. A flood watch, issued Thursday for much Greater Cincinnati, was expected to be lifted this morning.

The power failures affected almost 25,000 Cinergy customers, with Hamilton County being the hardest hit, said Kathy Meinke, company spokeswoman. Southern Butler County and a portion of western Clermont County also reported a lot of power failures, she said.

By 10:30 a.m., power had been restored to all but about 5,100 customers. By 6 p.m., no customers were without power, Meinke said.

In Northern Kentucky, Florence, Cold Spring and Alexandria had a high concentration of power failures, she said.

Most areas received one to 11/2 inches of rain, but some areas got as much as 3 inches, said Myron Padgett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

The storms resulted from the warm, humid air and a disturbance in the atmosphere that developed across the Midwest, he said.

"These kind of storms are typical for the summer," Padgett said.

The first round of storms rolled into the Tristate about 3 a.m. The second round, which caused the power failures, swept in around 4:30 a.m.

"In one hour alone, there were 5,000 lightning strikes," Padgett said.

David Eck and Chris Mayhew contributed to this report. E-mail,,

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