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Published: Tuesday, 6/8/2010

Strickland gets first look at Ottawa County damage


Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland toured storm damage in Ottawa County Tuesday afternoon, choking up when he met with an 11-year-old boy whose family home had been severely damaged by Saturday night's tornado.

During his stop, the governor also said he's not sure if the area will get federal assistance to rebuild but said it was important that he requested it from President Obama to show that northwest Ohio residents need help.

Mr. Strickland made his comments at a stop in Allen Township before continuing on to thank volunteers in Millbury in Wood County, the area that was hardest hit by Saturday's tornado.

The tornado that touched down in northeast Wood County and western Ottawa County about 11:20 p.m. had winds of 170 to 175 miles per hour and cut a path of destruction from 8 to 10 miles wide. It has been categorized as an F4 — the second most intense tornado — by the National Weather Service.

The governor was joined on his tour of Ottawa County by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), as well as county commissioners and other officials. Mr. Strickland said Miss Kaptur plans on meeting with the president and his wife when she returns from northwest Ohio to emphasize the need for federal aid.

Ottawa County officials said they do need help from volunteers cleaning up areas and have established a lost and found center at Genoa High School where residents can bring items they have salvaged during cleanup efforts.

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