CINCINNATI -- Ohio National Guard troops headed out Sunday to check on people who might need help as nearly 700,000 Ohio homes and businesses remained without power from severe storms two days earlier.
Federal help also was on the way after President Barack Obama declared that the state was in an emergency.
Obama's federal action late Saturday followed a request by Gov. John Kasich, who had declared a state emergency and called out the National Guard. Federal Emergency Management Agency officials worked Sunday with state officials, the American Red Cross and other relief workers to determine the biggest needs and where to take water, generators and other kinds of aid.
Severe storms that swept the state Friday evening knocked out power to 1 million customers. Kasich called the situation "extremely serious" because of a continued heat wave.
State spokesman Joe Andrews said some 200 Guard troops were launching door-to-door checks in the Columbus area and the Dayton area in southwest Ohio. They were initially focusing on retirement communities and other neighborhoods with large numbers of older people to make sure they have access to water and medications and know that air-conditioned cooling centers were available.
Several cities and local governments opened cooling centers, as did churches, libraries and schools. The American Red Cross opened cooling centers and 24-hour shelters across Ohio, from Lima in the northwest to Portsmouth along the Ohio River to Cambridge in eastern Ohio.seems like they are out to condition the folks more than check on them. There has been many who reported that the electricity went before the storm hit. which it can happen. However I think its unlikely.