High winds causes multiple power outages

HIGH WINDS resulted in power outages in several area counties and caused problems for road crews, especially in Belmont County.

American Electric Power reported 878 outages throughout the Ohio Valley area, including 490 in Belmont County and 348 in the Wheeling area. Restoration was expected in Belmont County today by noon and in the Wheeling area by the end of the business day.

There also were about 39 scattered outages in the Steubenville area.

An AEP spokeswoman said shortly after 8 a.m. today, there were around 7,300 customers without electricity, mostly in the western Ohio area where the strongest winds occurred.

At the height of the storm – Sunday from 10 p.m. to midnight – AEP had 33,000 outages throughout the state.

South Central Power, as of 8 a.m. today, reported 45 outages in Monroe County and two in Belmont County. A spokeswoman said crews are continuing to work on restorations.

Throughout South Central Power’s territory including 24 counties, 145 outages were reported.

The Ohio Department of Transportation received a report of a tree being down on Ohio 149 on Sunday afternoon. Crews responded and it was removed. A spokesperson said no other calls were received of trees down on any of the state roads.

However, the Belmont County Engineer’s Department was not as fortunate. Tha department had its road crews out at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, and they worked to midnight. Dayle Conaway, road superintendent at the Roscoe Road Garage, said the trees were cleared off the roads and crews will return today for clean- up operations.

Conaway said trees were down on roads from Neffs to St. Clairsville. They were down on Sandy Ridge, South 26, Hospital Road in the Bellaire area, Crabapple and the Blaine-Barton Road.

No major problems on roads because of falling trees were reported in Monroe County, according to Terrill Wickham, clerk at the ODOT garage.

Chris Wood, manager of the ODOT garage in Harrison County, said no calls have been received about tree problems on roads in that county. Noting how he was prepared for the calls, Wood said he was surprised at the lack of tree problems because of the wind.

One tree had to be removed from a roadway in the Ohio 646 area, and some small branches were among the other tree problems, according to Hugh Suterin, manager of the ODOT garage in Jefferson Count.