Windy weather wreaks havoc on county utilities

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 3, 2004

More than a thousand electricity customers are sitting in the dark this morning, thanks to wind that wreaked havoc with power lines.

Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative spokesman Steve Oden said 1,386 BREC customers were without power as of 8:45 a.m. this morning. he said he was not sure how soon all customers would have electricity restored because the outages are scattered.

"We have two things going on. First, the ground is soaked with water and some trees are just giving up by the roots and some are falling into the lines," Oden said. "Then, the straight winds have so much force behind it that a lot of things are breaking off and blowing sideways into the lines."

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Oden urged people not to try and pull downed tree limbs and other items off power lines. He said some people have called the BREC office, saying that they see what the problem is and can they simply remove the problem.

"Under no circumstances should anyone even approach a line. Just because you don't have power in your house doesn't mean that line isn't live," Oden said. "The power going into your house may be coming from a tap off that line. Don't even approach or try to get things off a line. We always have to assume every line is live."

Oden said the situation would be much worse than it is if BREC had not started a reconductoring project earlier this year. Numerous utility facilities are being replaced and in some cases moved to allow for better service.

American Electric Power spokesman Vikki Michalski said 209 Ironton area customers were without power this morning, an improvement over the roughly 1,500 that had been without power overnight.

Michalski said the outages were scattered throughout the county and she did not have an estimated time of repair.