By Melody Vallieu
Editor, Miami Valley Today
MIAMI COUNTY — Following four confirmed tornadoes that touched down in Miami County on Monday, many community members are reaching out to county entities to offer help to those affected.
Because of the large response, a process to register volunteers has been established by the Miami County Emergency Management Agency.
Art Blackmore of the Miami County Local Emergency Planning Committee said the process is a pre-registration plan for volunteers that may be needed in the near future for storm recovery.
“We are in the very early stages of recovery,” Blackmore said.
Blackmore said those interested in volunteering, 18 years and older, can reach out in two ways:
• Online registration can be made at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JYQJ85P
• In person registration for volunteers can be made from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 1 and 2-5 p.m. Sunday, June 2 at the Concord Township Trustees Building, 1150 Horizon West Court, Troy.
He said volunteers will give their name, address and what they believe they could help with, such as debris removal.
“We are not seeking anything specific and this point, but there are a lot of people calling various departments in the county seeing how they can help,” Blackmore said. “Whatever their specialty is, it might be needed.”
According to a press release from the Miami County EMA, while this process puts your name on the call list, it is not a guarantee that you will be called for an assignment. Volunteers that register may be contacted later for assistance if and when a need arises.
Blackmore said EMA teams will be back out in the Union Township and Merrimont area of Troy on Saturday and Sunday doing more damage assessment.
To assist residents with making sure their properties are being assessed, a data collection tool has been created at https://wwww.surveymonkey.com/SGPGBQG.
“We’ll be going back to some of the areas that we didn’t have access to because of the roads being covered in debris,” Blackmore said.
With roads remaining closed, Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak reminded residents they must obey all road closed signs and not drive around the barricades. Vehicle traffic in storm damaged areas has increased dramatically with sightseers ignoring the road closed signs, Duchak said in a statement.
“This has placed utility workers, clean-up crews and affected residents at risk as some of the roads are still only one lane. Utility crew vehicles are also utilizing parts of the roadways to get utilities restored,” Duchak said. “All motorists should stay away from the storm affected areas. Beginning this weekend, deputies will begin citing for driving on a closed roadway for those motorists who choose not to obey the road closed signs.”
Blackmore said the Resource Assistance Center, set up in the West Milton Municipal Building at 701 S. Miami St., will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 1-7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. Representatives from the Red Cross, Miami County EMA, Miami County Public Health, Miami County Job and Family Services, and Miami County Auditor will be available to assist residents with storm recovery issues.
Blackmore said several people visited the center Friday — some who just needed to talk.
“Some people just need to voice their experiences,” Blackmore said.
The Miami County Transfer Station, 2200 N. County Road 25-A, Troy, will offer extended hours from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 2 for residents to dispose of debris from inclement weather.
For the latest updates and information in Miami County, go to the Storm Response page at https://miamicountyohio.gov/753/EMA.
© 2019 Miami Valley Sunday News