FAIRMONT —Thousands of customers in Marion County were still without power Friday afternoon as a result of Thursday’s destructive storm, according to a Mon Power spokesperson.
“There are about 3,200 customers still without power in Marion County,” spokesperson Jeffrey Straight said in an email at 3:18 p.m. Friday.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, the First Energy Corp. power outage website showed 1,078 power customers in Fairmont still without power. The website said the estimated time for power to be restored is 11 p.m. tonight. The utility has 29,821 power customers in Marion County.
Straight described the storm as a “microburst.”
“The microburst that came through yesterday produced high winds, rain, and lightning causing downed trees, wires, and broken poles,” he said. “The total of customers without power across our Mon Power territory was approximately 16,000 and we have since restored power to more than 10,000.”
According to Marion County 911, there were approximately 90 downed trees in Marion County after the storm.
Many of the trees retained the storm water and did not fall until after the storm had blown over. Many times when the trees fell, they fell on power lines and caused power outages.
On Friday morning, Mon Power and West Virginia Division of Highway workers were busy on East Grafton Road, where a utility pole had been sheared off. Lines lay in yards and a large tree had fallen onto a building. In a yard along the road, a front end loader was cleaning up a large pile of tree branches.
Straight said many people are involved in the restoration efforts in the county.
“For the Marion County area we have a total of 69 line workers, 10 hazard responders, 12 damage assessors and 24 forestry contractors working to restore power,” Straight said. “We pulled Mon Power resources from non-impacted areas to assist in the restoration efforts. The damage was extensive and included around 20 poles and numerous crossarms, hardware replacements and spans of wire.”
He said the microburst “caused a significant amount of damage in a very isolated area.”
“We have not seen too many weather events resulting in this type of damage in the Fairmont area,” he said.
Straight said Mon Power crews will continue working around the clock to restore all customers’ power as quickly and safely as possible. He said customers can visit www.firstenergycorp.com/outages for up-to-date information.
“We expect to have all power restored by tomorrow evening,” he said. “Please remember to treat all downed lines as live and stay away. If customers see downed lines, they should notify us at 1-888-LIGHTSS. If it’s an emergency, call 911.”