Butler County responds to needs of the Miami Valley following tornadoes

Butler County really stepped up to help its northern neighbors after devastating tornadoes Monday night ripped through the Dayton region.

The county sent its emergency management agency, bottled water from Hamilton, and food and non-perishable items from a Middletown seminary Wednesday to aid after numerous tornadoes reportedly touched down in several cities.

On Wednesday, six first responders from the Butler County Emergency Management Agency were helping relief efforts in Montgomery County.

RELATED: Hamilton sends one of its best resources to Dayton tornado relief effort: water

EMA Director Matt Haverkos said they were working the “logistics staging area” where equipment from Dayton Power & Light, out-of-state power companies and other relief vehicles were waiting to be deployed where needed in the county.

“We are shifting out of the search and rescue phase and starting to move to the recovery element,” Haverkos said. “That’s where the operations center and the EMA is crucially trying to put together plans like debris management, plans like donations management, plans like federal and state assistance for individuals and for the municipalities.”

The Butler County EMA team also helped the American Red Cross build two of the five shelters and he said one was at capacity Tuesday night.

“We’re seeing the populations at the shelters steady, not increasing, which is usually a good sign,” Haverkos said.

In response to the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, Hamilton quickly answered with one of its most well-known resources: Water.

On Tuesday, 100 cases — all the city had in storage — of bottled water were delivered to Dayton, which remained under a boil advisory. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley tweeted the Hamilton water was distributed at a Stanley Avenue fire station.

Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith said Mayor Pat Moeller and City Council requested any relief that could be provided “expeditiously.” He said the city’s bottled water was an “easy item to assist.”

The water in bright blue bottles has been named some of the best-tasting in the world. A modest amount is bottled annually, usually for celebrations and donations, according to Jim Logan, Hamilton’s executive director of infrastructure.

The city donated its entire on-hand supply to Dayton and now is working to make more, Logan said.

In Middletown, Kingswell Seminary delivered three vans full of food, water and non-perishable items Wednesday to residents and volunteers in “one of the hardest hit areas” in Trotwood.

Jeri Lewis, community relations director at Kingswell, said 200 sandwiches were purchased by Kingswell at the Subway on Breiel Boulevard at a reduced price, and those sandwiches fed 137 volunteers and residents. She said other items that were dropped off at Kingswell were distributed to residents on Shiloh Springs Road.

When the Subway sandwiches were gone, Lewis said McDonald’s hamburgers were purchased and handed out to children in the neighborhood.

Lewis described the destruction as “unreal” because there were homes destroyed and others untouched on the same street.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.



Here is a list of local locations accepting donations for tornado victims in the Dayton region:

Assured Automotive Repair and Discount Tire, 215 Charles St., Middletown.

Barks n Bubbles, 420 Ohio 122, Madison Twp.

Community Pregnancy Center, 3717 Roosevelt Blvd., Middletown, noon to 2 p.m. today. 513-424-2229.

Madison Fire Department, Ohio 122 and Mosiman Road. Now until 8 a.m. Saturday.

Middletown Division of Police, One Donham Plaza, lower level. Now through Sunday night.

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