EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSUPERSTORM UPDATE
from Eyewitness News Online
Some Kanawha County Areas Could Be Without Power Through Sunday
Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Doug Harlow
Reported: Oct. 30, 2012 8:27 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 31, 2012 6:09 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Some areas of Kanawha County could be without power through Sunday, officials said.
County Manager Jennifer Sayre said she was advised by Appalachian Power that this is a long duration event, and not all customers in Kanawha County would be back on until the weekend. Sayre said AEP is still assessing all outages.
AEP said on its website that 90 percent of customers should be restored by the following times and areas listed below, but stressed that these are estimates that could change depending on the assessment of electrical facilities and ongoing inclement weather.
Estimated restoration is midnight Sunday for Charleston, Glasgow, Madison, Milton and Walgrove. Estimated restoration is Friday night for Beckley, Bluefield, Hamlin, Hico, Huntington, Logan, Pineville, Point Pleasant, Ripley, Wayne, Welch and Williamson. All areas not listed are in the process of being assessed.
Overall, utility crews are working to restore service to at least 224,000 customers in West Virginia.
Appalachian Power's website said it had 93,391 customers without electricity in West Virginia Wednesday, down from 154,000 on Tuesday.
Kanawha County had 23,000 customers out, compared with 50,000 on Tuesday. Sayre, the Kanawha County manager, said the largest outage areas are in Charleston city limits, South Hills and Kanawha City, as well as the Sissonville and the St. Albans areas.
Other outages included 11,440 in Fayette County, 10,669 in Raleigh County, 8,247 in Boone County, 1,425 in Roane County, 3,955 in Putnam County and 1,771 in Cabell County.
FirstEnergy subsidiaries said 98,000 customers of Mon Power and Potomac Edison were without service, compared with 117,000 on Tuesday. At least 80 percent of customers without power were in Barbour, Nicholas, Pendleton, Randolph, Tucker and Webster counties.
Appalachian Power and First Energy said transmission lines were damaged, making repairs more difficult.
Meanwhile, at least 36 roads in West Virginia remain closed by high water, downed trees and snow from Superstorm Sandy.
The state Department of Transportation said the closures Wednesday included U.S. Route 50 in Preston County, U.S. Route 250 in Barbour and Randolph counties, U.S. Route 219 in Tucker County and U.S. Route 119 in Taylor County.
Students in at least 19 West Virginia counties got another day off from school Wednesday, while an additional 14 counties are delaying the start of school. For a complete list of school closings check out the banner at the top of wchstv.com.
Officials also are keeping watch on swollen waterways in the eastern part of the state.
The Cacapon River near Great Cacapon crested 6 feet above flood stage Tuesday, and Opequon Creek in Martinsburg crested 3 feet above flood stage Tuesday night. Flood warnings for both are set to expire Wednesday night.
The Potomac River at Harpers Ferry is expected to crest a foot above flood stage Wednesday night.
Storm Team Meteorologist Doug Harlow said most of our viewing area will not see any additional accumulations of snow Wednesday. Route 19 East, however, (east of Beckley) may see a couple of inches.
The temperature early Wednesday morning was about 38 degrees with chilly rain showers expected during the day across much of the region. Wednesday's high was expected to top out at 43 degrees, which means snow will begin to melt.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort will likely see 4 to 8 additional inches of snow on Wednesday, bringing totals to nearly 30 inches from the superstorm.
You can get your exclusive Eyewitness News forecast on our weather page at www.wchstv.com.
Mother Nature dumped a storm on the Eyewitness News viewing area, closing schools, leaving thousands of residents without power, blanketing the area with snow and creating icy conditions on area roadways.
In Kanawha County, 46,392 Appalachian Power Co. customers were without power. AEP reported a total of 149,867 customers in West Virginia without power. Across the Mountain State, a total of 268,000 customers were without power. Schools were closed in a number of area counties including Cabell, Kanawha and Putnam. The Associated Press reported schools in 39 counties across the state were closed Tuesday because of the storm.
Eyewitness News Meteorologist Doug Harlow said snow totals as of Tuesday morning varied. Downtown Huntington and Charleston had 1 to 2 inches of snow, while the outlying areas of Huntington and Charleston had 4 to 8 inches of snow, with 4 inches in the lower areas and 8 inches in the higher elevations.
Meanwhile, some parts of Southern West Virginia were dealt a much heavier blow with Beckley and the Route 119 corridor with more than 12 inches of snow and likely to reach 2 feet before the snow stops falling. Above 3,500 feet in elevation in some of the mountainous counties in the state, some areas could even see more. Snowshoe in Pocahontas County could receive 30-plus inches of snow.
Temperatures Tuesday morning hovered near 32 to 33 degrees. The forecast in the valley areas called for some improvement by noon with the temperature rising to about 37 degrees, and precipitation should turn to a rain-snow mix, allowing the melting of snow off some roadways. Snowfall should continue in the mountains, however, and traveling on Route 119 East will continue to be treacherous.
Eyewitness News Meteorologist Jim Barach said snow was expected to taper off Tuesday evening with no significant accumulation in the valleys, just a rain-snow mix. Area roadways could continue to be slick in spots. Snow in the mountains, however, was expected to continue piling up.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency in the Mountain State. Many communities and counties have moved scheduled trick or treat hours to later in the week because of adverse conditions. The weather caused a number of closings and cancellations. Kanawha County closed all libraries Tuesday.
The fallout from the hurricane was causing issues on area roadways throughout the state. Highways officials say at least 33 roads are closed in West Virginia due to Superstorm Sandy, including Interstate 68 from Morgantown to the Maryland line.
State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Leslie Fitzwater says snow, ice, high water, and downed trees and power lines have kept crews extra busy Tuesday morning.
Fitzwater said residents should stay off roads to allow highway and other crews to clear the roads and get to people who need the most assistance.
Other road closures include U.S. 250 in Barbour and Randolph county, U.S. 219 and state Route 38 in Tucker County, and state Route 39 in Nicholas County.
Throughout counties across the state, members of the West Virginia National Guard are deployed to assess storm damage and provide assistance.
In Nicholas County, the roofs of three homes collapsed under the weight of the snow. No injuries were reported. The National Guard assisted affected residents who needed to go to shelters.
Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for further updates.
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