CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It could be well into the weekend before power is fully restored in parts of West Virginia following the storms that crossed the state late Halloween night to close out October.
“Some folks were woken up by the wind and others slept right through it,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Ken Batty. “The sign of what was coming was actually that mild Halloween evening.”
According to the NWS, temperatures were in the 60s for trick or treating in some areas.
At airport locations, Batty said wind gusts were clocked, late Thursday into early Friday, at 66 mph in Clarksburg, 62 mph in Huntington, 61 mph in Parkersburg, 50 mph in Charleston, 47 mph in Morgantown and 49 mph in Wheeling.
Those high winds took down trees and power lines throughout the state.
On Friday morning, Phil Moye, Appalachian Power spokesperson, said crews were working to restore power to more than 27,000 homes and businesses. The majority of those outages were in Cabell, Wayne and Lincoln counties
“It’s wind damage. We didn’t have a tremendous amount of rain with it, but we did have the wind damage and tree contact, trees falling over onto lines. That’s the type of damage that we’re seeing,” said Moye. “It’s a lot of wire down, that sort of thing, so it’s work that we can get done and get our customers back on pretty quickly.”
Moye said most of Appalachian Power’s outages would likely be fixed by the end of the day on Friday, but some restoration work would continue into the weekend.
In northern West Virginia, 25,000 outages for customers of Mon Power and Potomac Edison, at the height of the storm, had been cut down to 12,000 as of midday Friday. Todd Meyers, the spokesperson for First Energy which is the parent company of the two subsidiaries, estimated it would be Sunday before repair work was completely finished.
“We’re trying to pull that back in a little bit,” said Meyers. “As more First Energy crews from sister utilities in Ohio are available to come across, from the west, they should be streaming in and able to help.”
For First Energy, the power outages were heaviest in Monongalia, Preston, Barbour and Wetzel counties.
Those outages forced delays and closures for some schools in West Virginia.
Moye said it could be worse. “I don’t imagine this is going to be anything near what we were facing last year on this day,” he said, referring to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 that left parts of the Mountain State under feet of snow.
As of 10 p.m. Friday, Appalachian Power was reporting 3,707 total customers without power. Cabell County had 1,571 of those outages and Wayne County had 2,136. Mon Power had their numbers down to 2,795.
After cooler temperatures this weekend, Batty said warmer temperatures were expected to return next week. “We might have another spell of Indian summer,” he said on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”