A significant portion of downtown Elkins as well as other parts of Randolph County and sections of Barbour, Upshur and Tucker counties all experienced a power outage beginning Thursday afternoon.
Randolph County Office of Emergency Management Director Jim Wise said parts of Elkins, Mill Creek, Valley Head and Mingo experienced a power outage lasting most of Thursday afternoon.
Greg Hefner, a representative for First Energy, said Norton and homes along Rt. 219 North experienced a power outage Thursday afternoon as well.
Wise reported 10 percent of Upshur County and sections of Barbour County were without power Thursday as well. Hefner said all of the power outages experienced throughout Randolph, Barbour, Upshur and Tucker counties were due to weather-related causes.
At 7 p.m. Thursday Hefner reported 975 customers without power in Tucker County, 776 customers without power in Randolph County, 408 customers lacking power in Barbour County and 242 customers without power in Upshur County.
A number of trees were reported to have fallen across distribution lines for MonPower of First Energy, Wise said.
Hefner named powerful wind gusts and weakened tree branches falling on lines as the primary cause for Thursday's outages. "We view the wind as the biggest threat," Hefner said. "We're ready to go if the bad weather hits."
Elkins Operations Manager Bob Pingley reported that at least one transformer exploded in the alleyway behind Elkins City Hall, located on Davis Avenue.
Hefner said, "It is very likely we did have one transformer failure."
At 6 p.m. power was restored to downtown Elkins. Hefner ensured MonPower employees are "making significant progress since the outages began this afternoon."