CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Crews with Mon Power and Potomac Edison were continuing damage assessments Wednesday in parts of West Virginia — a day after strong thunderstorms took down trees and power lines in areas that stretched from Wood County through central West Virginia and into the Eastern Panhandle counties.
“We still have a quite a bit of work to do and it’s going to be several days until everyone is back in power,” said Todd Meyers, spokesperson for First Energy — the parent company of both Mon Power and Potomac Edison, on Wednesday morning.
At one point following Tuesday’s storms, 90,000 homes and businesses in West Virginia did not power. That number continued to fall throughout the day on Wednesday as crews made restoration progress and additional help arrived from Toledo Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Ohio Edison.
Meyers said Parkersburg took an especially hard hit. “For whatever reason, that area is a magnet for storms. I don’t know exactly why,” Meyers said. “But Parkersburg, sort of the Wood and Wirt County area, at one point, we had more than 15,000 customers out there.”
A teenage girl was injured at Parkersburg’s City Park when a tree limb fell on her during the storm.
Other areas that saw extensive damage, according to Meyers, included parts of Preston, Taylor, Harrison and Doddridge counties. At one point on Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Monongalia County. There were no confirmed reports of tornado touchdowns in the Mountain State, though, as of Wednesday morning.
Crews were using helicopters to survey the storm damage in some rural areas. “It’s much easier to get over this rugged terrain with the choppers than to have to drive everything or walk it,” Meyers said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
The updated outage list for Mon Power and Potomac Edison is available here.
As of Wednesday morning, Appalachian Power was reporting a few thousand outages in West Virginia’s southern counties — largely in Jackson County.
Outside of West Virginia, the Tuesday storms claimed five lives. In upstate New York, four people were killed when several homes collapsed in high winds. In Carroll County, Maryland, a young girl was killed at a summer camp when a tree fell on her. Six other campers were injured at River Valley Ranch Camp.