WPAFB, DP&L ready to help those in Hurricane Irma path


Support from local companies and military have sprung into action to provide as much assistance as possible as Hurricane Irma, already on deadly path, approaches Florida.

Eight F-15 Eagle Florida Air National Guard fighter jets arrived at Wright Patterson Air Force Base Thursday, in order to evade the landfall of the powerful storm, according to base officials.

Arrivals were expected Friday of six more F-15s, eight P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine hunter jets from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., and three C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.

RELATED: Wright-Patt aircrews bring food, troops to devastated Texas

Other units from the southeast United States could send aircraft to Wright-Patt to act as a refuge from the fierce storm that reportedly had sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts up to 225 mph as it churned through the Atlantic.

Last week, Wright-Patt crews delivered troops, food and equipment to flooded areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

While the Wright-Patt takes in military aircraft from Florida, another local military operation is providing assistance to first responders in Puerto Rico.

Six airmen from the 269th Combat Communications Squadron in Springfield are preparing to deploy to Puerto Rico to provide communications support for first responders and other government agencies in response to Irma, according to information from the Ohio Air National Guard.

RELATED: Wright-Patt air crews deliver 35 tons to Hurricane-ravaged Texas

The 269th Combat Communications Squadron has provided tactical communications support for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and more recently, the 2016 Republican National Convention. The squadron is capable of providing communications capabilities with mobile satellite, electricity, telephone and other services.

With several local military operations doing what they can to lend a hand, DP&L sent linemen to Georgia.

The linemen left Thursday morning and will stage in Georgia outside of the hurricane’s path, Mark Gonet, Operations Manager, said.

Gonet said 16 crew members will await instructions from Duke energy in Florida, as part of a national network of utility companies that assist during natural disasters.

As for what DP&L crews can expect, much like the path of the storm, that’s up in the air.

RELATED: DP&L linemen ready to help with Hurricane Irma power outages

“We don’t know exactly, but it will be to restore power in whatever capacity.” For now, DP&L will continue to monitor the storm and adjust to the unexpected.

While emergency crews head to the south for Irma, the city of Houston is still reeling from damages caused by Harvey. Roadside assistance crews from AAA traveled to Houston on Thursday with to help with the recovery and removal of flood-damaged vehicles.

A convoy of six drivers and three trucks from Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo will join fleets from several other states in recovery efforts according to AAA Fleet Operations Manager Chris Overpeck.

“We’re sending crews not only from Ohio, but from Kansas, Oklahoma, Maryland and Pennsylvania as well. If Florida gets hit and they request help, we’ll offer it up as well,” Overpeck said.

Ohio Task Force 1, the FEMA-regulated response team, has their deployment information “up in the air” according to Public Information Officer Phil Senewe.

“Right now, we’re just on standby,” Senewe said. “We could go in the next 24 hours, depending on the storm’s track, or they could send us after if there’s enough damage.”

Sinewe said FEMA has already deployed eight Type 1 deployments for relief efforts. If OH-FT1 sends a Type 1 unit like they’re anticipating, they would deploy 80 to 85 first responders to affected areas.

Staff Writers Barrie Barber and Matt Sanctis contributed to this report.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Elwell: Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘blood moon’
Elwell: Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘blood moon’

A super blue blood moon? Yes! It is happening on the last day of this month. A blue moon typically gets its name when it occurs as the second of two full moons in one calendar month. But something very special will happen to the moon on this date. The full moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow during the early morning of Jan. 31 to give us...
Power outages reported in Montgomery County 
Power outages reported in Montgomery County 

Nearly 120 Dayton Power & Light customers are without power in Montgomery County. Power is expected to be restored around 11 a.m., according to DP&L. Power went out around 5:48 a.m. The day is starting frigid with temperatures in the single digits.  The outage is southwest of the Dayton Mall, close to Interstate 75, according to DP&L. It&rsquo...
JUST IN: New bakery specializing in pies — yes, pies — to open near UD
JUST IN: New bakery specializing in pies — yes, pies — to open near UD

A new bakery specializing in pies is in the works near the campus of the University of Dayton. If all goes well, the bakery to be named “Partial to Pie” could open as early as this spring, founder and owner Marie Clark told this news outlet. The bakery will be located at 200 Shroyer Road, at the Wilmington Pike/Shroyer Road intersection...
West Liberty still healing 1 year after school shooting
West Liberty still healing 1 year after school shooting

Saturday will mark one year since a gunman opened fire inside West Liberty-Salem High School, rocking the small community where many thought something so violent could never happen. “I was in disbelief,” said Jacob King, whose wife owns a store on Detroit Street — the main road through the village of less than 2,000 people. &ldquo...
Miami County overdoses up in 2017
Miami County overdoses up in 2017

Miami County ended 2017 with 31 confirmed overdose deaths and two suspected deaths, pending rulings, according to county Coroner William Ginn's annual report. The overdose deaths are up from 2016, when the county recorded 20 overdose deaths. Miami County saw a record of 25 overdose deaths in the first six months of 2017 before a decline the second...
More Stories