SPANISHBURG, W.Va. — A significant clean-up was taking place in parts of Raleigh and Mercer counties after a Sunday night ice storm left at least a half-inch of ice in higher-elevation communities.
Appalachian Power Company reported more than 14,000 customers without service in those two counties and surrounding counties Monday morning with crews reporting to various areas.
“Most of the problem in Raleigh County were more toward the southern end of the county: Shady Spring, Flat Top, Cool Ridge, around Winterplace. And then in Mercer County it just continues on down: Spanishburg, Matoaka, Princeton, Athens,” said Phil Moye, Appalachian Power Company spokesman. “(The ice) uprooted trees broke limbs and in the process brought down power lines and broke some power poles.”
The state Division of Highways had five crews working in Mercer County on Monday to clear trees that had blocked 26 secondary roads. Mercer County Emergency Services Director Tim Farley said the higher elevations endured ice damage.
“Areas that are 2,400 feet or higher,” he said. “Everything lower than that took some icing but the blocking of the roads and trees falling over weren’t as severe as the higher elevations.”
Farley said the areas picked up about one-quarter of an inch of ice earlier Sunday before rain fell. He said temperatures dropped Sunday evening creating the half-inch of ice.
“That’s just too much weight for a lot of these trees and limbs to bear,” he said.
Moye said the ice was predicted to hit a little further south. Appalachian Power sent crews to Wytheville, Va., Sunday in preparation. Those crews headed back into West Virginia Monday morning and began branching out into impacted areas in places like Summers, Greenbrier, McDowell and Wyoming counties on top of Raleigh and Mercer.
“For the most part it’s our employees, our contractors. Those are the people who are moving in,” he said.
Appalachian Power and the DOH said they hoped to make significant progress Monday before another round a winter weather was scheduled to hit Tuesday morning.