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Ohio Task Force 1 is home again, ending Hurricane Matthew deployment

Published: Thursday, October 06, 2016 @ 11:38 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2016 @ 12:44 AM

Ohio Task Force 1 back in Ohio

UPDATE @ 10:30 p.m. (Oct. 12): Ohio Task Force 1, its six-day deployment prompted by Hurricane Matthew now a completed mission, returned Wednesday afternoon to home base on Wilmington Pike in Kettering with a sense of accomplishment and the ever-present sense of a call to duty.

“This is the most rewarding experience I have had personally since the World Trade Center and I know it’s impacted a lot of the other guys the same way,” task force leader Doug Cope told News Center 7’s Natalie Jovonovich.

“Most of the hurricanes have been wide area searches on land because until just recently, we didn’t have watercraft in our system,” Cope said when asked what set this mission to the southeastern United States apart from others. “So they put a mechanism in place for us to get the watercraft to train on it and we proved that it worked.”

News Center 7 reporter/anchor Gabrielle Enright and photographer Chuck Hamlin were embedded with the team to record Cope and the 83 members of the task force, in a 15-vehicle convoy rescue 100 people and more than two-dozen animals in the areas of Fayetteville and Lumberton, N.C.

In Lumberton, the team that included six search dogs, three semitrailers, three box trucks, the team bus, four rescue boats and several other support vehicles was deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to a levee break where an estimated 1,500 people were reported stranded.

The team worked nonstop in the area of Fayetteville, rescuing at least 24 people, family pets and a dozen head of cattle.

There, task force members Mike Lutz and Andrew Herbert, who are Cincinnati firefighters, were part of the rescue of a family of four trapped in their flooded home for several hours.

“We swung around, trying to get through the current, and we see someone beating on the window of a house … We couldn’t go to where they were at because we would have been pinned against the house,” Lutz said.

Lutz and Herbert maneuvered the boat toward the rear of the house, where the water was moving slower. Herbert broke a window to get in. He found three people in their 20s and a woman in her 60s. They were cold and had been in the house for about seven hours. The older woman could not walk and the rescuers had to lift her through the window to get her in the boat.

“Those people were in a very bad situation that we helped them get away from,” Herbert said.

Lutz said it was a complicated rescue, his first swift-water rescue in a flooded environment.

“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “At least we were able to come down here and do what we’re supposed to do so it was nice,” he said.

FEMA initially assigned the task force and 10 other rescue groups to Lakeland, Fla. Reassignment orders sent the team to Columbia, S.C., to Savannah, Ga., then to Charlotte, N.C., and finally to Fayetteville and Lumberton.

Wednesday evening, Jeff Turner, a hazmat specialist with the task force, said, “It was a wonderful experience to be able to help these people and see the smile on their faces when we were helping them.”

FIRST REPORT (Oct. 6): News Center 7’s Gabrielle Enright and photographer Chuck Hamlin are embedded with the team and will be the news team in the Miami Valley bringing you exclusive reports from the devastation.

The team of 80 members from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana left around midnight Friday from the Dayton-Kettering area. 

The 14-vehicle caravan of trucks and equipment — complete with an Ohio Highway Patrol escort at least through Tennessee — is to arrive in Florida by 5 p.m.

As the caravan pulled out, Ohio Task Force 1 posted the following to its Facebook page:

“The state of Florida has made a request for federal US&R [Urban Search & Rescue] assistance beyond the initial assignment of the two Virginias and Maryland. Accordingly, the US&R branch activated the following at the request of Region IV:

Tennessee TF1, Ohio TF1, Pennsylvania TF1, Indiana TF1, New Jersey TF1, New York TF1, and Missouri TF1. Task Forces have been directed to preliminary staging locations in Georgia or Florida pending potential assignment to SC, GA or FL.

OH-TF1 is deploying as a Type I US&R task force, and will travel by ground to their assigned staging area to await the hurricane’s movement through and out of the region.”

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Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 1:21 AM

WHIO Weather Camera Network caught a possible meteor Wednesday night in Miamisburg.

Another meteor may have lit up the sky late Wednesday night.

Several reports have come into our newsroom of a bright flash that shot across the sky just before midnight. People from Englewood, Marysville and Randolph County, Ind. have said they saw the bright flash, with some saying it was bright blue or blue/green.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

The American Meteor Society received several reports of a meteor in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Kentucky.

A meteor was spotted in Ohio, Michigan and Canada late Tuesday. 

>> VIDEOS: Meteor spotted in Ohio, Michigan, Canada

Pursuit through Piqua, Troy ends in crash, 2 arrests

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:06 AM

MUST SEE: Police chase in Troy caught on video

A pursuit that started in Piqua late Wednesday night reached speeds of over 100 mph, according to police.

The pursuit started just after 11 p.m. after an officer attempted a traffic stop on a suspected OVI driver, police said. 

>> News from the WHIO northern bureau

The suspect vehicle fled from police, reaching speeds of just over 100 mph. The vehicle hit stop sticks and crashed in Troy  at 11:24 p.m., 17 minutes after the pursuit started.

The driver, identified as Mark Lee Yount, 33, of Dayton, was arrested for OVI, tampering with evidence, trafficking in drugs, fleeing and eluding, and possession of a firearm under disability.

>> Another meteor? Reports come in of bright flash across Ohio, Ind. night sky

The passenger, identified as Austin Lee Stahl, 21, of Piqua, is facing charges of tampering with evidence and fleeing and eluding.

Mark Yount

Austin Lee Stahl
No one was injured.

Driver backs into Dayton police cruiser 

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 2:51 AM

SCENE: Driver backs car into Dayton police cruiser

A driver was ticketed after backing their car into a Dayton police cruiser early Thursday morning.

The crash happened around 2:15 a.m. on Watervliet Avenue near Smithville Road. 

>> Good Samaritan Hospital closing: What we know now

A witness told our crew that a passenger got out of a black car and started walking away. The driver put the car in reverse and backed up in an attempt to get his passenger back in the car, but instead, backed up into the police cruiser.

>> Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

The officer was checked by medics on the scene. No injuries were reported.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:47 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:31 AM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On southbound I-75 in the area of Stanley Avenue and Wagner Ford Road, two crashes were reported just before 6:30 a.m. The first crash reportedly involved three vehicles, and the second involves four vehicles. Traffic is backed up in the area. No injuries have been reported.

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.