MEIGS COUNTY — While few in the county came through Friday evening’s storm relatively untouched, many areas will be dealing with the damages throughout the days and weeks to come.
Many customers in the area remain without power and some with out water, phone and other services.
Trees, downed lines, and debris were still scattered throughout the region on Monday with residents and villages beginning the difficult task of cleaning up as crew continue to work to restore power to the region.
As of mid-afternoon on Monday, American Electric Power was reporting 8,316 customers (73.1 percent) without power in Meigs County.
Reports from AEP state that power will be restored by Friday, July 6.
Racine Village Hall — the former Racine Elementary School — suffered extensive damage from Friday evening’s storm, with the chimney falling through onto the first floor staircase.
Mayor Scott Hill said that tarps have been placed on the roof to cover the hole left from the storm, with insurance looking into the damages.
Village Hall remained closed until further notice due to the damage.
The majority of the village has had power restored, while trees and some lines remain down throughout the village. In addition to village hall, several other homes and structures in the village received damage.
Despite the damage, Hill said that the Fourth of July activities will take place as scheduled.
The village of Middleport came through the heavy storm of Friday night with fewer problems than most communities in Meigs County.
Middleport Mayor Michael Gerlach said electric power went out in about half of the residences and a few businesses during the storm but that by 7 p.m. on Saturday power was restored to almost everyone. However, Monday morning a few residents reported they were still without power.
“Half of the town never lost power. We were fortunate,” said Gerlach. He noted that both the Dairy Queen and McClures were “flooded with customers” since most eating places in Pomeroy and Mason were closed. To accommodate customers, both restaurants stayed open until after midnight on both Friday and Saturday nights.
As for damage, the mayor reported it was minimal compared to other places in the county. He said the roof on one business building was peeled back, there was major tree damage to a couple of houses, that a trailer on Ash Street was blown off its foundation, and that fencing around the ball field was damaged. He said several big trees fell , but mostly away from buildings. Middleport Hill was closed to traffic for a period of time while a power line incident was handled by American Electric Power.
After the Friday night’s storm passed, village workers and members of the Middleport Fire Department worked to get the streets open to traffic.
In anticipation of need for shelter given the velocity of the storm, the auditorium at Middleport Village Hall was opened as a shelter and arrangements were made for food if needed. Gerlach said that two men from Minersville, one on oxygen, were still at the shelter Monday morning. He said they brought along an inflatable mattress, therefore not requiring ones available from the village, and were taking care of their own food needs.
While the actual need for shelter was minor, “it seemed everyone who came in just wanted to plug in their cell phones,” commented the mayor.
While village hall did not have a power outage as a result of the storm, in the event it had experienced one, then the building is equipped with a backup generator system. The mayor reported that Gallia County which was hard hit by the storm was left without power at the jail and transported six prisoners to Middleport for temporary confinement.
Mid-afternoon Monday, Mayor Gerlach described the village as being “pretty well back to normal” and added that the July Fourth celebration will be held Wednesday as planned.
In addition to downed power lines and trees in Rutland, damage occurred to the Rutland Department Store. A fire during Friday’s storm caused damage to the building which remained closed on Monday.
Syracuse Mayor Eric Cunningham reported that their are several trees down, damage to roofs and buildings blown into neighboring yards.
Cleanup efforts are under way in the village, with the pool open for business on Monday afternoon.
Many of the residents in the village have power restored, while some areas in the village remain without electric.
A shelter remains in place at the Syracuse Community Center and will remain open throughout the week.
In Pomeroy, some areas remain without power, while the downtown area had power restored over the weekend. Many local businesses were open for business on Monday.