PARKERSBURG - Electricity has been restored to 99 percent of Wood County residents, but thousands in Jackson County are still in the dark.
Appalachian Power reported that 2,755 Jackson County customers were still without power, in addition to 475 Mon Power customers. Walter Smittle, Jackson County Emergency Services Director, said residents were being patient and utility crews were still working hard.
"The problem is, this is such a rural area that crews will work eight hours to replace one utility pole, and all that work restores power to only a handful of people," said Smittle. "It's hard work, and unfortunately, it just takes longer here because of the power grids."
The shelter set up on Thursday at Ripley High School was demobilized Tuesday because no one was taking advantage of it, he said.
"People are just toughing it out. We still have plenty of ice and water at all our fire stations and the Jackson County Health Department, and we have some American Red Cross volunteers doing wellness checks on people and reporting damages in the upper quadrant of Jackson County," said Smittle. "There are still a lot of trees down, and probably a lot of damage that hasn't even been reported yet."
Smittle said a number of agencies and individuals have been reaching out and helping those in need.
"We have a lady who has been cooking meals for people in her neighborhood," said Smittle. "We have never really been faced with a catastrophic event of this size, that has affected our electrical system so enormously. During difficult times like this, there are those who really step up and become of those those shining stars."
Monongahela Power reported the following outages Tuesday: 1,181 (27 percent) in Calhoun County; 249 (7 percent) in Pleasants County; 1,085 (17 percent) in Ritchie County; 687 (15 percent) in Wirt County; and 580 (1 percent) in Wood County.
Roane County still has 1,100 Appalachian Power customers waiting for electricity to be restored.
Around 200 Parkersburg customers were still without power Tuesday, according to Patti Michel, spokesperson for Mon Power. Only a handful of customers in Vienna and Williamstown were still waiting for electricity.
Statewide, a total of 12,600 Mon Power customers are still waiting for power.
"More than 1,700 linemen continue working on outage orders, especially the harder hit areas near Fairlea, Gassaway and the outlying areas of Parkersburg," said Michel. "However, the remaining work is especially labor-intensive, with smaller numbers of customers being restored with each repair."
The majority of affected Mon Power customers should be restored by this evening, but a few customers in the hardest-hit areas may not be fully restored until later this week, she said.
"Customers without power are reminded to turn off and unplug major appliances to prevent damage and possible overloads to the system once lines are energized," said Michel.
AEP Ohio reported power has been restored to all Washington County customers.