Ohio’s official unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in 13 years after employers added naerly 18,000 jobs in November.
Aftermath of Hurricane Ike: No Power, No Ice
Listen to the Story
The remnants of Hurricane Ike lashed out on Columbus leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power. Many people are picking up tree limbs, leaves and other debris out of their yards. Others are looking for ice to help prevent their food from spoiling.
“No perishable items. No ice. Hmmm OK. Thanks. Cash only. No perishable items and no ice. Cash only. No perishable items. No ice,” a Kroger employee repeated.
A Kroger grocery store worker sits out in front of the store on Olentangy River Road letting potential customers know they will not be able to use their debit or credit cards and they can expect to only get dry goods. And ice, well, that’s out of the question – just about everywhere.
Cindy Zollar who lives in Clintonville pulls her car next to a pump at the Sunoco gas station just across from the Kroger. She’s been out trying to find ice – and like many others, without much luck.
“We’ve been down Indianola, through campus. Around campus, back down by Battelle. And on our way back to Clintonville and no ice anywhere. So we’re out of luck. What’s your freezer situation like at home? Everything is thawing. So when we get back we’re going to start grilling what we can. And probably have to throw out a lot. Luckily I hadn’t gone grocery shopping like a lot of people had,” Zollar said.
Several miles north on Shore Drive just off Sinclair Road Norma Sission walks over to check out her neighbor’s yard that has large limbs still lying on top of power lines.
She says trying to find ice is a chore.
“I stopped at seven different places to try and get ice today. And I finally ended up at a gas station where I saw someone giving ice out. And I’m going, that’s where I want to go,” Sisson said.
In times of need neighbors often want to lend a helping hand. And on Sisson’s street it’s no different.
“My neighbor has a generator that we’re going to share to keep my deep freeze and refrigerator/freezer in the garage going. So we’re going to be on like an hour or two. Off,” she said.
The buzzing of chainsaws echoed through neighborhoods as people cleaned up after large trees were blown over by winds as high as 75 miles per hour.
On Sinclair Road three men load a few more limbs onto a trailer hooked to a large truck. Steve Prince of Tyrific Lansdscape and Tree Work says they just finished cutting up an 80 foot pine tree that fell down on the lawn of Hesed Christian Fellowship. It took out the power lines.
“Got the whole day filled up with jobs. You know, one right after the other,” Prince said.
Raymond Peterson, a maintenance worker, was called to an apartment building on Clinton Avenue in the Ohio State campus area. Tenants reported a tree had fallen on two cars. Peterson said when he got to the building he discovered the tree belonged to the city – and he pointed to where he says the city tagged it to be cut down.
“That’s what the blue paint is on it. The blue paint is when the city marks it when the tree’s half dead anyway. So it would’ve been taken out. They should’ve been out here a little sooner because I’m sure someone’s not going to be happy when they see their car,” Peterson said.
The owners of the two cars could not be located.
And they’re not alone. A tree smashed in the roof of a car on West 2nd Avenue in Victorian Village. The car’s windshield and rear window crushed.
Down the street, people sit out on their porches watching as Columbus firefighters cut a tree into pieces that ripped off part of a neighbor’s roof.
Justin Attlee stood outside watching. He said he was fortunate that the only damage he received was to a patio tent – it was destroyed.
“This situation when it comes down to this is just too bad. You can’t control Mother Nature. This is very unfortunate for him. But at the same time this is the aftermath of (Hurricane) Ike, and you can’t but help feel so bad for those people down there who got hit so much worse than we did,” Attlee said.