HURRICANE, W.Va. — Appalachian Power officials said a widespread outage in Putnam County Wednesday was caused by the failure of a transformer at a major substation in the region.
“This was a station transformer so it’s one of the bigger ones serving a bigger area of customers,” said Appalachian Power Communications Director Jeri Matheney. “This one serves about 3,500 who are now out of power, so it’s a lot of people.”
The outage impacted customers between Hurricane and Teays Valley.
Matheney said transformers do fail from time to time. She added however, the excessive stress placed on the equipment over the past two days, with sub zero temperatures and peak demands for power probably, likely played a role in its failure.
Although identifying the problem was simple when the outage occurred around 4:00 a.m. Wednesday, fixing it will not be as easy. A mobile transformer is being brought on site. Matheney said it’s possible some customers could have power restored gradually throughout the day.
“We do hope to switch out and serving them from another direction and power source,” Matheney said. “But we have to be very careful with that because of the cold temperatures so we don’t cause additional outages.”
Matheney said the target for now is to have service fully restored by 9 p.m. Wednesday night.