Wind knocks out power, creates problems in area

PARKERSBURG — Power was knocked out in sections of Wood County Tuesday night as a cold front moved in from the west bringing gusty conditions to West Virginia at about 6:30 p.m.

Wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour caused the outages, primarily with trees and branches contacting power lines, said Todd Meyers, spokesman for Mon Power. As of 8 p.m., roughly 4,700 Mon Power customers were without electricity in Wood County, with about 3,800 in Parkersburg and 700 in Mineral Wells impacted, said Meyers.

One of the lines impacted was in the downtown Parkersburg area, he said. A cause was not known.

Electricity was out along Seventh Street in Parkersburg, affecting businesses, homes and traffic lights.

The Parkersburg Catholic High School girls junior varsity basketball team was playing Tyler Consolidated at the high school when the lights in the gym went out with a little more than a minute remaining in the first quarter. The rest of that game and the varsity contest were canceled.

A portion of the lights in Parkersburg City Council chambers shut off during a meeting of the Urban Renewal Authority. The remainder of the lights stayed on thanks to the Municipal Building’s generator, and that meeting and the council session later in the evening continued as scheduled.

“I confirmed with (Finance Director Eric) Jiles before that the city did pay its electric bill,” Mayor Tom Joyce joked during the council meeting.

Mon Power crews will continue to work throughout the evening to restore power to customers, Meyers said.

As of 9:55 p.m., 3,815 Mon Power customers in Wood County remained without power, along with 480 in Wirt, 270 in Tyler, 201 in Jackson, 196 in Gilmer, 190 in Wetzel, 120 in Roane, 102 in Ritchie, 37 in Pleasants and 20 in Doddridge.

High wind gusts are expected to continue through 10 a.m. or so today, so new outages may occur throughout the night and early morning hours, Meyers said Tuesday.

“The potential for this widespread wind event has been on our radar for several days; we will continue to work as quickly as our safety practices allow to restore power to our customers,” he said.

“In the meantime, everyone needs to avoid any downed wires. Consider them to be energized conductors and stay away,” Meyers said.

Outages and downed power lines can be reported by phoning 1-888-LIGHTSS.