Cell Calls Routed to Dispatch

The Franklin County Communications Center at the sheriff’s office was down for about an hour Wednesday evening during the height of the severe thunderstorms that swept through the county.

Sheriff Gary Toelke said officials suspect that the outage possibly was because of a lightning strike at the law enforcement center on Highway V in Union.

Examination of the system Thursday morning indicated the outage resulted from a blown generator circuit feeding the command center, Toelke said. That resulted in a loss of power to the 911 system and radio equipment.

During the outage, 911 calls were routed through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Toelke said.

The sheriff said the most major damage from the storm occurred in the Sullivan area. In the Juergens Trailer Court off Springfield Road, east of Sullivan, the storm destroyed one mobile home and damaged several others, according to reports.

No injuries were reported at the trailer park. A large billboard near the trailer court was destroyed, the sheriff said, and a Sullivan Fire District transmitting tower was damaged.

Hangars at the Sullivan airport also were damaged, according to reports.

There also were numerous electrical power outages throughout the county caused by falling trees that broke power lines and blocked roads.

In the Villa Ridge area along Old Highway 100, the storm knocked down utility poles cutting off power to homes and businesses. There was a report of a large tree falling on a home along Old Highway 100 east of Route T.