OHIO VALLEY — Round three of winter weather in slightly more than a week’s time span brought a blanket of snow in the early morning hours on Thursday, prompting school closures and the delays across the tri-county area.
In Meigs and Gallia Counties, Sheriff Keith Wood and Sheriff Matt Champlin declared Level 2 Snow Emergencies, urging residents to stay home if possible. Those snow levels remained in place as of Thursday afternoon.
As of Thursday afternoon, AEP Ohio was reporting one outage case in Meigs County impacting 114 customers in the Sutton Township area.
In Gallia County, AEP Ohio reported five outage cases impacting 248 customers primarily in the Crown City area. Buckeye Rural reported 949 customers affected by outages in Gallia County on Thursday afternoon, most of them in the southern end of the county.
In Mason County, Appalachian Power reported 2,838 customers were still without power as of Thursday afternoon. Power outages were spread throughout the county. Some (but not all) areas reporting outages were customers in Southside including along Cornstalk Road, Crab Creek Road in the Gallipolis Ferry area, Apple Grove, Ashton, New Haven, Flatrock, Leon and more. All total, 65,818 outages were still being reported throughout the entire state Thursday evening.
State of Emergency
On Thursday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice expanded his ongoing State of Emergency proclamation for severe winter weather to include Jackson and Mason counties.
The State of Emergency, originally announced on Tuesday for Cabell, Lincoln, Putnam, and Wayne counties due to severe winter storms causing numerous power outages and road blockages, remains in effect for these counties as well. The previously declared State of Preparedness is still in effect for the remaining 49 counties in West Virginia.
On Wednesday evening, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Lawrence County (which neighbors Gallia County to the southwest) due to dangerous and damaging conditions caused by this week’s severe winter ice storms that brought down trees and caused widespread power outages.
“The impacts of these weather events are affecting the life, health, safety, and welfare of citizens in Lawrence County where ice, snow, and debris on the roadways are impeding the ability to restore utilities and access emergency services,” said Governor DeWine. “With the oncoming snowfall that is expected to complicate the local response, this state of emergency will activate state agencies to assist in clearing debris from roads and with ongoing measures to restore power.”
Agencies that have been called on to assist are the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.
Beth Sergent contributed to this story.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.