Just over 300 customers in the county were out of service at presstime yesterday, but AEP Ohio had adjusted its restoration schedule and projected those households would have electric service restored by midnight last night.
The warmer temperatures of Sunday afternoon melted ice, which fell from trees and electrical facilities, creating additional outages in the process of restoring service, AEP said yesterday. Crews have also encountered several cases of fallen but energized power lines because the lines had accumulated ice and fallen.
At one point on Wednesday, 8,000 Meigs County customers — and 150,000 across Ohio — were without electricity after snow, followed by ice, coated tree limbs and electric lines, causing downed lines in some very remote areas. AEP crews have been working to restore power, but have encountered dangerous working conditions and icy roads in their efforts.
“Tree limbs below power lines that have been weighted with ice can spring up through the lines. Customers who experience new outages should report them to AEP Ohio. Customers who remain without power after their neighborhood has been restored should report that they still are without power,” AEP said.
Customers are also asked to report any downed power lines they see, and are reminded not to touch them. Many of these downed, live lines were covered with ice and snow last week, and are just now becoming visible.
“Customers are reminded that during emergency power outage restoration, AEP Ohio crews clear trees from electric facilities and move on to the next location. AEP does not return to clean up debris resulting from clearing trees and limbs from lines.”
Bob Byer, Director of the Meigs County Emergency Management Agency, said Monday things are “back to normal,” after coordinating emergency shelters last week for those without electricity, heat and the means to prepare meals. The shelters remained open over the weekend on a stand-by basis.
Byer is now coordinating efforts with township and village officials to estimate any damage to public infrastructure. County commissioners signed a state of emergency proclamation last week, but no state declaration followed. He said he is doubtful that Meigs County will qualify for any state or federal assistance as the result of damage from last week’s storm.
Private property damage was minimal, he said.