Lights out: Storm rolls through

By John Conley - [email protected]

A severe storm blew through Wyoming County last Wednesday, leaving thousands without power in the aftermath.

Hundreds in Hanover were in the dark for four days before power was restored on Sunday night.

The storm struck at about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, bringing high winds, hail and rain.

Rain continued through the day, but there were no more severe storms.

Homes, schools and businesses began to go dark in a matter of minutes.

Emergency Services Director Dean Meadows said the number of outages in the county peaked at 7,000.

In Pineville, the outage began in East Pineville at 11 a.m., and other parts of town lost power at 12:45 p.m. Most of Pineville had power restored by 9 p.m.

Power was restored to more than half of those affected by Wednesday night.

Meadows said on Thursday there were 2,300 without electricity, mostly in the Brenton and Hanover areas.

Herndon Heights, Wagon Wheel and a small stretch of Pineville were also still without power.

AEP crews continued to work through the weekend.

Meadows said power was restored to 500 AEP customers in Hanover at 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The strong winds caused some damage.

Meadows said roofs were blown off two unoccupied buildings at Huff Creek and campers were damaged at Wagon Wheel.

At Glover, a carport was blown into the Guyandotte River (see photo on Page 2), and other damage was reported.

“We were lucky,” Meadows said. “We did not have the damage that some counties got.”

The long outages were attributed to damage sustained by distribution circuits, distribution stations and transmission lines.

Meadows said he had not received reports of any injuries caused by the storm.

Temperatures dropped later in the week, peaking in the low 40s on Thursday and falling into the 30s on Friday.

“It’s tough for the people who have to sit in the dark and the cold, but it’s tough also for the Appalachian Power workers who have to work outside in it,” Meadows commented.

AEP, he said, “did a great job and they had some very difficult challenges. It was a very difficult time for them.”

Meadows said county residents handled the situation well.

“The people of Wyoming County always make me proud,” he remarked. “They show resiliency and take care of themselves and help others.

“It’s a special bunch of people,” Meadows added.

John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.

By John Conley

[email protected]

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