Governor DeWine Activates Ohio National Guard to Assist with Debris Removal Following Ice Storms

State of Emergency Now in Effect for Both Lawrence and Gallia Counties

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – February 19, 2021 — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today activated the Ohio National Guard to help ensure the safety of southern Ohio residents impacted by recent ice storms.

Members of the 1191st Engineer Company in Portsmouth were placed on state active duty this afternoon to assist local authorities in Lawrence and Gallia counties with the removal of downed trees that are interfering with work to restore power and are obstructing area ditches, creeks, and streams.

Governor DeWine visited Lawrence County this morning where he toured areas damaged by trees that snapped under the weight of thick ice.

“Thousands of people in the area are still without power because downed trees are getting in the way of utility crews that are trying to fix the power lines,” said Governor DeWine. “By calling in the Ohio National Guard, we can help restore power faster and also prevent future flooding by removing debris from the water before the weather warms up.”

Governor DeWine declared a state of emergency in Lawrence County on Wednesday and amended that proclamation to include Gallia County today. Both counties were heavily impacted by snow and ice storms that hit southern Ohio both this week and last week.

Other state agencies that have been providing assistance include the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, and Ohio Emergency Management Agency.