Violent Storm rips through Rhea, hits Dayton hardest

MainStreet Dayton pole uprooted by gale force winds during Tuesday's flash storm. (RheaReview/GaryBolden)

Some Dayton residents are still without power after one of the worst storms in years swept through the county delivering the brunt of it’s force in Dayton.  For hours, the storm’s gale force winds uprooted trees and brought limbs crashing down on property and power lines.

Reports suggest 15-20 residential and three commercial properties received significant damage – none of the least is Jacob Meyers one of Dayton’s most beloved restaurants.   The storm stranded patrons inside after it lifted a roof from a neighboring building onto the top of restaurant.

“The damage was severe, but thankfully no one was injured,” reported Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen adding “trees and power lines can be replaced”.

Crews continue working around the clock to restore power to the entire city.  For most, power was restored before dawn with roads passable at around 4 AM.

Coordinating through the Dayton Fire Department, City Manager Tom Solomon says Dayton’s Electric and Street Departments have worked relentlessly to clear trees and restore power, but not without help from other agencies around the county and beyond.

“They are going around the clock to get everything back to normal,” said Tom Solomon.  “I’d say they’ve done a fantastic job, and they’re still at it.”

Help poured in from the Rhea County Highway Department, volunteer firefighters, Graysville, Service Electric and even Meigs County.

“This was the worst storm we’ve seen in years,” stated County Executive George Thacker who oversaw crews clearing trees into the wee hours of the morning.  Thacker says an emergency preparedness plan to equip firefighters with chainsaws paid dividends in getting roads cleared before daylight.

Mayor Louallen said the dedication these guys have shown is incredible.

“When a crisis comes, these guys go to work and never complain.”

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