Storms spark outages

THE RAINS came – and along with the downpours Wednesday and early today came hail and wind accompanied by electrical power outages as well as downed trees and flooding in some areas.

On the plus side, there were two rainbows, which gave colorful appearances in the sky Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. and this morning around 6. One observer described them as beautiful.

Belmont County was hardest hit in regard to power outages, according to American Electric Power and the South Central Power Co.

An AEP spokeswoman said 1,400 customers in Belmont County still were without power this morning with restoration expected this afternoon. She added there had been some pole damage, and it was a transmission issue.

Shadyside, Bellaire and the Bridgeport-Lansing areas were affected by outages more than the rest of the county.

The most outages in Belmont County totaled around 8,000 Wednesday night, according to AEP. Many of them began around 7:47 p.m.

As of early today, 114 customers of the South Central Power Co. in Belmont County were without electrical power. The company’s customers in Belmont County total 5,452.

Trees were down on several roads in Belmont County, and minor flooding and roadside damage was reported on Crescent Road, according to Dayle Conaway, road supervisor with the Belmont County Engineer’s Department at the Roscoe Road Garage.

Road department crews were out in full force clearing trees and branches from the Blaine-Barton Road, Hawthorne Hill, Pipe Creek, Winding Hill and Crescent. A blocked culvert may have been responsible for the flooding on Crescent Road.

According to a spokeswoman at the Ohio Department of Transportation, Morristown, trees were down on Ohio 147. He said they have been cleared from the roadway.

Dispatchers at the Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville Police Departments said no major damages were reported due to the storm.

Dave Ivan, director of the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency, said that in addition to minor flooding in Crescent, there was some minor flooding on Majors Road in the Colerain area. He said no major damages were reported to the Emergency Operations Center other than power outages and downed trees.

Quarter-sized hail was reported in some areas although the icy balls were reported as somewhat smaller in the northern part of Belmont County.

AEP this morning reported five outages had occurred in the Steubenville area around 6 with restoration expected by 9 a.m. Additional outages had occurred prior to that time in the Jefferson County area, but these had been cleared up, according to the spokeswoman.

One outage in Harrison County was reported early today by the South Central Power Co. It has 2,083 customers in Harrison.

Overall, in Ohio, 2,187 customers of South Central were without electricity early this morning.

There appears to be no let-up in the rainy weather. As this is being written, rain was falling in Belmont County.

The National Weather Services’ forecast reports showers with thunderstorms possible after 2 p.m., and the chance of precipitation is 100 percent. The forecast also listed a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch of rain expected.