Sub-zero temperatures and strong winds caused over 1,000 residences in Marshall and Ohio Counties to lose power during a deep freeze that gripped the Ohio Valley on Tuesday.
About 741 houses in Moundsville and 169 homes on Fork Ridge Road lost power Monday night, according to Marshall County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart. Tuesday morning saw more customers left to fight the freezing temperatures when about 150 houses on Cameron Ridge and Roberts Ridge Roads lost power.
Additionally, American Electric Power Ohio reported about 200 people in the Warwood Area lost electricity for several hours after a line on North 16th Street went down.
Photo by Sarah Harmon
Michelle Allman, right, and Nenet Gunion stack bales of straw at the Marshall County Animal Shelter Tuesday to give to pet owners to put in dog houses for protection from frigid temperatures.
According to officials from AEP, the outages were all weather-related with freezing temperatures and wind damaging equipment and lines being overloaded from people using more electricity to heat their homes.
"Furnaces are running longer and the use of space heaters can cause damage," Carmen Prati-Miller, manager of external affairs for AEP Ohio, said. "Freezing temperatures also have a tendency to affect our equipment and causes it to crack."
Although several warming centers were available for people to escape the weather, Hart said all customers had their power restored within a few hours.
"We appreciate AEP since they have been on top of things and getting power restored as quickly as possible," Hart said. "Now, we are continuing to monitor the weather and outages in the area."
In Belmont County, the courthouse reopens for public business today after being closed Tuesday due to the temperatures. County commissioners are also set to convene their regular meeting at 10 a.m. today
The County Engineer's Office remained open Tuesday, and some sanitary sewer district employees also were on duty. Workers at the Department of Job and Family Services, meanwhile, were called out at the discretion of interim director Lisa Fijalkowski.
The county animal shelter also had to continue operating, though all dogs were inside due to the extremely cold temperatures.