Answering the call for help from Kentucky, two crews from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) were sent to hard-hit cities in Southwestern Kentucky to assist with clean-up efforts related to January’s devastating ice storm.
The call for assistance came from the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management. ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris ordered crews from ODOT’s District 8 and District 9 — eight employees and two supervisors — to assemble and leave Feb. 5 from the department’s Milford outpost in Clermont County.
“We are extremely pleased to help our neighbors to the south in their efforts to recover from this ice storm that impacted hundreds of thousands of Kentucky residents,” said District 8 Deputy Director Hans Jindal, welcoming the opportunity to assist in this humanitarian effort. “In times of natural disasters, it is incumbent that various government agencies and local communities assist each other.”
When not assisting with clean-up efforts, the ODOT crews will reside at local fire halls and be fed by local American Red Cross chapters. Equipment for the operation was provided by the training divisions from several ODOT districts around the state.
The first mission — a backhoe mission based in Hickman, Ky. — included District 9’s Tim Dobbins of Jackson, Ricky Brown of West Union, Brent Davis of Ripley, Anthony Gulley of Hillsboro and Brent Bowles of Peebles. This mission lasted a week.
The second mission — a front end loader mission sent to Benton, Ky. — included ODOT Central Office lead Al Phillips of Lexington and District 8 employees Ted Dietrich of Goshen, Wayne Henson of Hamilton, Jeff Estep of Wilmington and John Walsh of Morrow. This crew were in Kentucky two weeks.
ODOT will be reimbursed for expenses during the missions by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.