Princeton Times

February 20, 2012

Appalachian Power: some residents maybe in the dark until Thursday

By Matt Christian
Princeton Times

PRINCETON — A February snowstorm dropped up to nine inches of snow on Mercer County Sunday, leaving nearly 50 percent of Mercer County residents without electricity.

As of 12:15 p.m. on Monday, Appalachian Power listed 14,144 residences in Mercer County as being without power, meaning there were many more actual residents without electricity. The total was the highest number of residences without power in a county that Appalachian Power serves.

Phil Moye, a Appalachian Power media relations official in West Virginia, said, “A lot of the outages are because of the wetness and heaviness of the snow. It’s a very heavy, wet snow, and it weighed on the lines.”

Another issue facing the workers as they tried to restore power Monday was the quick change in weather.

“Today, there have been a lot of new outages. In some areas that are still shaded, the weight is not melting away, and this is putting a lot of stress on the lines. Where the lines are melting, the evergreens are springing back into place and knocking out some of those lines,” Moye added.

He continued, “We’ve got over 650 people working in West Virginia and Virginia right now. I don’t know exactly how many are in Mercer County, but the majority of the 300 that are in West Virginia are in Mercer County because it is the most affected area.”

In the 12:15 p.m. news release, Appalachian Power indicated that some in Mercer County may be without electrical service until Thursday.

The release said, “Until assessors can provide a clearer picture of the amount of damage caused by the storm, we are unable to provide specific restoration estimates with any degree of accuracy. However, restoration is expected to take several days, with some areas not seeing power restored until late Thursday.”

— Contact Matt Christian at mchristian@ptonline.net.