By MARK TODD - firstname.lastname@example.org
The punishing storm never materialized, but rain that lashed Ashtabula County on Thursday morning did cause isolated power outages across the area, according to reports.
As of late afternoon, about two dozen customers were without power, primarily in the area of Ashtabula and Pierpont Township, according to FirstEnergy’s website. Earl-ier in the day, service had been interrupted in North Kingsville and the Monroe and Orwell township areas.
“There’s not a huge amount in Ashtabula County,” said Mark Durbin, FirstEnergy spokesman.
Service was expected to be fully restored by Thursday evening, he said.
Across the FirstEnergy territory, about 5,000 customers were in the dark thanks to storms that raced through northern Ohio, starting late Wednesday night. Tornado warnings were in some initial forecasts, but the truly bad weather stayed many miles south of the Lake Erie shore.
“(The storms) were not as strong as they could have been,” Durbin said.
Repair crews were ready to roll if needed, Durbin said. “We hope for the best but plan for the worst,” he said.
Tim Howson, Ashtabula County’s interim Emergency Management Agency director, said predictions he received during a conference call with other agencies Wednesday were grim. “We were told this could be a good one,” he said Thursday.
Rain did arrive, but not in an especially forceful way.
“We have reports of localized high water in different areas of the county, but no reports of damage of any consequence,” Howson said. “The storm seemed to fade away as it got closer.”
Nearly one inch of rain fell on Ashtabula since 7 p.m. Wednesday, said Ron Coursen, a National Weather Service observer. This month has been particularly soggy, with over four inches of the wet stuff so far, he said. Only 2.35 inches fell in June 2012, Coursen said.
A decent weekend is on the horizon, according to the NWS. High temperatures won’t exceed the mid-70s and rain doesn’t pop up in the forecast until late Sunday, experts said.