Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | All Access E-Edition | Home RSS

MonPower: Lights out until later this week

July 3, 2012
By Melissa Toothman - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

As thousands of area residents remained without power Monday following Friday's massive storm system, crews from MonPower were doing their best to bring the lights - and air conditioning - back on.

"My best deadline, which isn't very specific, is later this week. That's where we are right now," said Todd Meyers, a state and utility media contact for Mon Power, which is a First Energy company.

Meyers said the severity of damages determines where power is restored first, among other things.

"The first thing we have to do is we get the transmission network back up and running. Those are the larger lines that serve the distribution network," he said.

"The wind took out a lot of our transmission network, and that has to be energized before we can even get the distribution network moving," Meyers said, adding that it's "the first priority."

The second priority of Mon Power is getting water treatment plants, hospitals, police departments, fire departments and other emergency facilities powered up.

"We do our best to figure out a way to get power to those. Then, we get out on all the different circuits. We try to make the repair that will bring on the largest number of customers, then we work our way out," Meyers said.

He added that some of the areas where only one or two customers are out of power often are very difficult repairs, "because you might have to do a lot of cleaning up of trees."

As of 6:45 p.m. Monday, 24 percent of 1,700 Mon Power customers in Randolph County were still out of power, along with 83 percent of 8,700 customers in Lewis County, 65 percent of 1,400 customers in Upshur County, 15 percent of 9,100 customers in Hardy County, 50 percent of 3,100 customers in Barbour County, 18 percent of 7,000 customers in Grant County, 33 percent of 9,100 customers in Pocahontas County, 49 percent of 6,100 customers in Pendleton County and 9 percent of 6,000 customers in Tucker County.

About 400 or more line workers for Mon Power were out working on the transmission and distribution systems, traveling from as far away as Florida or Michigan. More than 2,200 workers are on the ground in West Virginia trying to get power restored to the state.

"Ohio and Pennsylvania were hit hard also. They weren't hit as hard as West Virginia," Meyers said. "Instead of going home, workers drive across the border and start working here."

In addition to the line workers out physically trying to remove branches from fallen lines and otherwise working to restore power, Meyers said there are other employees behind the scenes, trying to help fix the situation.

"(There are) people who spend the entire day booking rooms for crews. ... There's all kinds of support work necessary," he said.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web