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Lights Out

July 5, 2008 - Heather Ziegler
You never know when Mother Nature will strike and bring about a power outage. These past few weeks of every-day rain or even those fast-moving strong storms have placed our valley in a super-saturated state. Hillsides are becoming very vulnerable to slides as witnessed Friday night on Boggs Run Road in Benwood. Enough of the hillside came down to take out about five electric poles and wires, and telephone lines to put most all of the Run and Benwood Hill in the dark. Boggs Run is a tricky place to maneuver even in dry weather, but getting to those poles and repairing the damage was a monumental task for AEP. Hats off to those guys who worked all night to restore power around 4 a.m. Saturday. It was much appreciated by residents left without fans or air conditioning to cool off. Some of the people affected simply went to bed early as there was nothing to do unless you ran a generator all night. A power outage last week affected Wheeling Hospital for a time, but they immediately went to back-up generators and no one's health was compromised. In a time when everything is "automatic" and speed is of the essence, it's easy to become short-tempered when the electric goes out. Yet, I think we are fortunate to have the power company crews that live here and care about their communities. Only in catastrophic situations like that terrible Hurricane Ivan did some neighborhoods have a longer wait to have their power back on. It's a good time to think about stocking up on flashlights, batteries, lanterns or other things to ease the tension of a blackout, especially with kids in the house. And when all else fails, why not pile the kids in sleeping bags on the living room floor and pretend you are camping out. Just remember to bring along enough flashlights...


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