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Power outage affects nearly 2,500 customers

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 9:08 PM EDT
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UPDATE 9/17/21 @ 6 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Appalachian Power customers in the Marmet area were in the dark for nearly seven hours on Thursday night.

Appalachian Power spokesperson Phil Moye said the outage was caused by a failed transmission line that crews worked through the day on Friday to figure out exactly what went wrong and repair the problem.

Marmet Mayor David Fontalbert said the issue put people at risk because the town’s phone system relies on electricity to function. Some elderly residents might not have been able to call 911 while others need power for oxygen.

Fontalbert said power outages have become more common and are even upsetting some community members, so the town is spending around $20,000 to install generators at the recreation center due to all of the random and storm-related outages.

“It is a grave concern,” Fontalbert said. “We take this extremely seriously, and this is not an one off deal with us.”

Resident Josephine Moreland said it was so hot in her house she was not able to even work on making quilts. Moreland even took a cold shower before going to bed because of how steamy it got in her house.

“I live by myself and sometimes I am unstable,” Moreland said. “They’ve got to do something to keep it on because there are a lot of elderly people out here that are on oxygen and need cool air.”

Moye said power was restored around 2:15 a.m. and Appalachian Power crews working in Marmet on Friday told WSAZ they had to use a helicopter and ATVs to reach the issue due to the trees and brush that was in the way. That’s despite Appalachian Power president Chris Beam saying the company is doing enough to trim around lines as part of our “Power Struggle” investigation.

“I do wish that they were more transparent with us so we had the full picture,” Fontalbert said. “I think they owe that to us to let us know exactly what the causes are, and maybe we would have a better understanding and be more patient. Even though it is difficult when there are monetary losses, and risk to health and loss of life.”

ORIGINAL STORY 9/16/21 @ 9:06 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- According to Appalachian Power, 2,586 customers are without power in Kanawha County.

That’s according to the company’s outage map as of 9 p.m. Thursday.

Marmet Mayor David Fontalbert says people who do not have an internet-based telephone provider like Suddenlink should not have a problem getting in contact with 911 should an emergency arise.

Fontalbert says residents who need anything can head down to Town Hall where police and fire department staff are available to help.

As of 9 p.m. Thursday, Appalachian Power’s outage map indicates power should be restored by 4 a.m. Friday.

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