WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – A fierce summer storm hit the Tug Valley area on Thursday afternoon, causing nuisance flooding, power outages and road closures.
Torrential downpours with heart stopping lightening and ear deafening thunder invaded the area in the late afternoon and continued into the overnight hours.
Residents in West Virginia and Kentucky have experienced power outages. According to Appalachian Electric Power (AEP) website, over 3,500 households are without power in Mingo, Logan and Wayne counties in West Virginia and more than 1,700 in Pike County, Kentucky.
Allison Barker with AEP issued a Kentucky storm update Friday morning with the following information:
Multiple bands of strong thunderstorms with flooding rains moved through Kentucky Power’s service territory on Thursday, leaving nearly 19,000 without service. Although some progress was made in restoration efforts, each new band created additional outages. Continuous heavy rains also led to flooding, which prevented restoration crews from accessing some locations. The storms have damaged and knocked down multiple poles and spans of wire.
Storm Response Efforts
Nearly 170 contractors are aiding about 160 Kentucky Power employees as they respond to hazards, outages and other emergencies. Crews from less affected Kentucky Power areas will be moved to harder hit areas as service is restored.
As of 11:15 a.m., power had been restored to nearly 10,500 of Kentucky Power’s customers. About 8,500 customers remain without service, mainly in Breathitt, Floyd, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Martin, Perry and Pike counties. Whitesburg area customers should see service restored by 4 p.m. Friday. Paintsville area customers and Ashland District customers, including those in Lawrence County, should see power restored by midnight Friday. South Williamson area customers should have service by 4 p.m. Saturday. Power to customers served by the Pikeville District, including those in Floyd, Martin and Pike counties, as well as the Hazard District, including Breathitt, Knott, Leslie and Perry counties, could take until midnight Saturday to restore.
As of press time the Williamson Daily News had not received any updates from a West Virginia AEP spokesperson. You can check for outage updates at www.aep.com.
Several area roads such as Marrowbone Creek in the Kermit area, route 49 in Mingo County reported roadways were blocked overnight.
According to Doug Goolsby, Interim Director Mingo County Emergency Management, locally we escaped the worse of the storm, so far we haven’t had any reports of any major flooding or damages.
Kendra Mahon is a reporter with the Williamson Daily News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 304-235-4242 ext.2278.