Storms Again Bring Down Area Power Lines and Poles, Resulting in Power Outages for Hundreds

By Julie Perine on May 16, 2018 via

Once again, Bridgeport “dodged the bullet,” escaping incidents related to a storm which swept through the area Tuesday evening. Bridgeport Fire Chief Phil Hart said his department received no storm-related calls, but 172 Mon Power/FirstEnergy customers in Bridgeport were left without power. That’s a relatively small number compared to Lumberport and Shinnston communities where there were several hundred power outages.
Included were Lincoln High School, Lincoln Middle School and Lumberport Elementary School, where classes were cancelled today.
Already in 24/7 mode following Monday's storms, Mon Power crews are hustling, trying to restore power.
“We are in the two steps forward, one step back mode following Tuesday night’s second round of powerful thunderstorms in the Marion County/Harrison County areas and out west In Tyler County,” said Todd Meyer, Mon Power spokesperson. “Subsequently, some of the Mon Power customers we restored yesterday in the Shinnston area (as well as others) found themselves without power again.”
It’s difficult to pinpoint precise outage numbers resulting from Tuesday's storms as some customers had not yet been restored following Monday’s outages, but Meyers said as of 11 a.m. today, there were 1,760 Harrison County customers without power.
“Of those, 172 are in Bridgeport (compared to about 10 Monday); 175 in Gypsy, 725 in Lumberport and 615 in Shinnston,” he said. “We expect to have the majority of those customers back in service (Wednesday), but there will be some folks in remote or heavily-damaged areas who may not get their power back until Thursday evening.”
More than 600 individuals are engaged in power restoration efforts, including more than 300 linemen, many from out of state,” Meyers said.
“That’s almost double our normal contingency,” he said.
In performing restoration and clean-up efforts, workers have encountered more than 30 broken poles, 120 spans of wire on the ground due to high winds and uprooted trees, attributed to 70 mile-per-hour winds and saturated ground, which brought them toppling onto lines.
There might still be a repeat of Monday and Tuesday’s weather, which could not only hamper restoration efforts, but also result in additional outages, Meyers said.
“Heavy bands of rain could drop three to seven inches of rain throughout much of central and eastern West Virginia through Friday,” he said. “Some areas plagued by stagnant, slow-moving thunderstorms could see up to 10 inches.  All in all, there’s a real potential for dangerous flash flooding.”
Editor's Note: Photo, taken in Clarksburg Tuesday evening, is courtesy of Terri Payez of Bridgeport. 

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