CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – High winds caused major damage throughout the Tri-State on Saturday, with multiple downed trees and power lines across the region.
The winds left many people without power, and in Alum Creek, crews had to turn off power to one area to reach a brush fire on the other side of downed power lines. Fallen power lines and a wildfire also closed part of I-64 near the West Virginia-Kentucky state line in the Kenova area.
On Saturday night, Appalachian Power said the company approximately 57,000 customers without power throughout their service areas – approximately 45,000 in West Virginia and roughly 12,000 in Virginia. The company says as of Sunday morning, more than half of those customers have now had power restored, and approximately 23,000 West Virginia customers remain without power and 2,200 Virginia customers are still waiting to have their power restored.
Appalachian Power says between the two states, West Virginia saw the heaviest damage, with the counties hit hardest including parts of Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Marshall, Mason, Ohio, Putnam and Wayne counties. Of those, the company’s current power outage map shows Wayne County has the highest total of customers still without power as of Sunday afternoon with approximately 3,817 customers still without power.
According to Appalachian Power, more than 1,000 workers are responding to the effort to restore power in the two states, including 600 line workers, 250 tree removal workers and 150 damage assessors.
Company officials say they are estimating power should be restored to most customers in southern West Virginia and in Virginia late Sunday night. The counties in West Virginia that were hit by the high winds the hardest should have power restored by Tuesday night, according to Appalachian Power. Officials say favorable weather conditions today and in the coming days will make restoring service go more smoothly.
Officials with Appalachian Power are reminding all residents to avoid getting too close to downed power lines. The lines carry an electric current that can cause serious or fatal injuries to anyone who touches it. Appalachian Power officials say if you come across a downed power line, contact the company at 1-800-956-4237 or call 911 immediately and keep yourself and others away from it.
The company has several more safety tips on their website. To check for updates as to when service is expected to be restored in your area, visit the company’s Power Outage Map.