Ohioans remember wind storm

CINCINNATI – It has been one year since Hurricane Ike, the costliest natural disaster in recent Ohio history. A year ago that Elaine Leung-Wolf of Cincinnati had a huge tree trunk across her front yard, and the landscape of her street changed.

“Well, there’s more sunlight and I think our neighbors are trying to grow another tree to replace the one that fell down,” said Wolf.

She can laugh at what was a stressful and trying time for many of her neighbors. The serene tree lined neighborhood got a rude awakening last year thanks to Hurricane Ike.

“It was completely devastated with trees in the streets. We lost trees in the back,” she said.

Elaine’s family hired workers to clean up all the mess. Piles and piles of trees and branches blocked roads in a sight neighbors will never forget.

“I saw my neighbor’s tree come down on front of her home. It was scary,” said Sue Aley.

Roofing companies won’t soon forget that day either. At Molloy Roofing, the owner said they were swamped with calls from residents needing help. Most of the damage were blown shingles off the roof.

“It was overwhelming, way more to be done than we had time to do. Fortunately it didn’t rain for 3 weeks did triage hit the worst areas first,” said David Molloy.

Remnants of the storm blasted through the state, damaging businesses and homes and cutting power to about 2.6 million Ohio utility customers. Some still had no electricity a week later.

On the anniversary, it’s possible to find homes that have blue tarp on their roofs, still awaiting repairs.

The Ohio Insurance Institute said insured losses from the storm have hit an estimated $1.14 billion, while the cleanup and extra police patrols cost local government an additional $38.6 million.