severe weather

Ohio Task Force One mobilizes for search and rescue effort after overnight tornadoes

Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 @ 5:18 AM

Ohio Task Force One has been deployed for search and rescue missions in Montogmery County. 
Lisa Powell
Ohio Task Force One has been deployed for search and rescue missions in Montogmery County. (Lisa Powell)

Ohio Task Force One has mobilized a search  and rescue team in Montgomery County.

The team is typically deployed to send manpower and equipment to disasters in other states, but will be working in the Miami Valley Tuesday after severe storms and tornadoes left widespread damage. 

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Reports of damaged structures have come in from Montgomery County communities after tornadoes ripped through a swath of area from Brookville to Trotwood, Butler and Harrison townships, Riverside and parts of Dayton. 

Local hospitals said they are treating injuries but exact numbers were not available early Tuesday morning. 

“(The county) wants to be prepared at daybreak,” said Phil Finewe with the task force. “We’re just bringing in some additional resources... Somebody has to go search all these homes.”

The team has specialized training, equipment and search dogs. 

Finewe said its important that people call 911 if they have an emergency but not tie up that resource with non-emergency questions. 

Montgomery County has opened its emergency operations center and is coordinating with the Red Cross and Foodbank to make sure displaced residents have food, water and shelter, according to spokeswoman Brianna Wooten. 

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Finewe also asked that individuals not attempt to do search and rescue themselves. 

“You need to stay out of damaged areas,” he said. “Self-deploying yourself to the scene is no help.”