On Sunday, Nov. 5, a severe storm wreaked havoc across Ohio, and Aurora suffered extensive damage from many downed and severed trees, power lines and electric poles. Roads were impassable, neighborhoods were isolated and without electricity, and major routes through our community were closed for several days. We were fortunate that there were no injuries and structural damage was fairly limited. 

I have many "thank yous" to express. First I would like to personally thank our residents and businesses for their patience in this emergency and for banding together and aiding those in need. Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska and the Streetsboro Service Department rendered extraordinary assistance for two days, coming to our community with manpower and equipment.

I would also like to express gratitude to Portage County Emergency Management Director Ryan Shackelford for supporting our cleanup efforts and addressing residents’ special needs. Portage County Board of Elections Director Faith Lyon worked with us to quickly find alternate voting locations and School Board President Jerry Kohanski and Superintendent Pat Ciccantelli provided locations for voting and shelter.

FirstEnergy exhibited dedicated customer service with round-the- clock crews, including some from out-of- state, to restore power as quickly as possible, and I want to particularly thank Ohio Edison President Randy Frame and FirstEnergy Area Manager Dana Heffner who kept me informed and provided updates throughout the period.

In closing, I must thank Aurora’s city employees who worked tirelessly to keep residents safe, clean up debris, and manage the community as we faced this challenge together.

Ann Womer Benjamin, Mayor of Aurora