Winds cause downed trees, power outages

THE WAYWARD winds roaring through the immediate area Thursday night and early today resulted in a several downed trees as well as 2,400 power outages in the immediate Ohio Valley.

Carmen Prati-Miller, spokesperson for American Electric Power, said the outages had been reduced to 2,000 around 8 a.m. today. Electric power was expected to be restored this afternoon to the majority of customers affected by the outages in Belmont County, and the majority of those without power in Jefferson, Harrison and Columbiana counties were expected to have electricity by early evening.

Prati-Miller indicated most of the customers affected by outages in Ohio and Marshall counties of West Virginia were expected to have electricity restored by midnight tonight.

She said at the peak of the storm, 35,600 outages occurred through the state of Ohio and the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Those outages reported by AEP Ohio had been reduced to 17,800 by 8 a.m. today.

The high winds caused some trees to be down on Kilgore Road and Colerain Pike in Belmont County. Dayle Conaway, road supervisor with the Belmont County Engineering Department, said crews were out clearing the roads.

Conaway early today said it was still dark when the crews got to the scenes of the fallen trees. “When it gets daylight, we may find downed trees, limbs and debris on roads in other parts of the county,” he said.

A spokesperson at the Ohio Department of Transportation garage in Morristown said there were tree limbs and debris on U.S. 40 near Undo’s outside St. Clairsville. He said there was a crew doing clean-up work.

In Monroe County, the sheriff’s office had received calls about a couple of trees down in the Clarington and Laings areas.