On its latest power-outage update map, AEP Ohio sets new estimated times for the resumption of service to the thousands of households still without power in Athens and other southeast Ohio counties.
An ice and snowstorm struck the region Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, coating trees and power lines with a thick layer of ice. Many of them collapsed from the added weight, throwing the power grid into disarray.
According to a "pushpin" map at AEP Ohio's Web site, the estimated restoration time for most of the outages in Athens County isn't until midnight on Sunday, Feb. 1. The site stated that 9,707 "customers" remained without power in Athens County as of 9 a.m. today (Friday). (Each customer represents an account with AEP Ohio, many of them families, so the number of people without power is a good deal larger than the customer number.)
The Feb. 1 restoration day is nearly a day later than the estimated day as of Thursday morning at 8. On the other hand, many residents around Athens had their power restored on Thursday, in spite of the pessimistic predictions. The 9,707 still without power Friday morning showed a marked decline from the 12,497 customers reported powerless Thursday morning.
On its site, AEP Ohio said that as many as 150,000 AEP Ohio customers (again, the actual number of people without power was significantly higher than the "customer" figure) lost power in the ice storm Tuesday night and Wednesday. As of 8 a.m. Friday, AEP said, 57,000 customers remained without power. "Roughly, 50 percent of the customers in southern Ohio have been restored since Wednesday when the storm hit," the utility stated on its Web site Friday morning.
To see these reports and the pushpin maps, go to:
The AEP site gave the following locations for shelters available for displaced people in southern nd eastern Ohio. Below are the shelters for this area:
McArthur, Ohio (Vinton County)
Call Sheriff´s Office 740-596-2225
Athens Community Center
E. State St.
Pt. Pleasant (WV) armory
Mason (WV) Fire station
304-675-9911-can handle special needs
Red Cross Shelter (full shelter)
Racine Fire House (full shelter) run by Racine Community Association Corner of Pearl & Fifth Street
According to AEP Ohio, "In the event of a major power interruption, life-support customers are encouraged to contact AEP Ohio's toll-free customer service number to advise the company's representatives of their situation. Due to the nature of restoration activity, AEP Ohio cannot assure priority restoration for life-support customers. Life-support customers are advised to take precautionary measures to protect themselves in the event of a power loss. Contact relatives or friends for assistance or temporary accommodations in the event of a prolonged outage. Keep emergency phone numbers (physicians, hospitals, safety services, utilities) posted near your telephone."
Other information on the AEP Web site:
"Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don't touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. Call AEP Ohio to report any downed lines or equipment.
"If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators ‘backfeed' electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator. See additional information about use of backup generators."