PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – A spokesman for Mon Power and Potomac Edison said Tuesday evening it would likely take several days to restore service to more than 90,000 customers in West Virginia following severe thunderstorms that moved through the state Tuesday afternoon and evening.
“We’re looking at a multiple day restoration,” spokesman Todd Meyers said as crews began assessing the damage.
Meyers stopped short of comparing the force of the storms to the derecho of two years ago but said there were some similarities.
“It’s that same type of wall wind that comes through, very severe, it’s not there very long, but it doesn’t take long to create a lot of damage,” he said.
The American Red Cross said Parkersburg was hit hard with the storms and the agency set up a shelter for residents at South Parkersburg Baptist Church Tuesday evening. The storm also did damage in Harrison, Barbour, Upshur and Taylor counties. Martinsburg and areas of Berkeley County also were knocked around by the storms.
The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh at one point issued a tornado warning for Monongalia County after a spotting some rotation in the Everettville area but there were no initial reports of significant damage.
Residents along Smithtown Road in Monongalia County were clearing downed trees a few minutes after the storm passed through.
A line of storms also moved through central and southern counties. Areas in and around Ripley in Jackson County took the brunt of a severe thunderstorm.
Appalachian Power reported 11,000 of its customers in southern West Virginia without service Tuesday evening.
But it’s the FirstEnergy companies, Mon Power and Potomac Edison, that have the most work to do in the coming days.
“There are 10 electric companies that FirstEnergy owns and we’ll be reaching out to get crews in from other areas across the company. There’s even the potential that we may reach out to other companies completely,” Meyers said.