Shelter-in-place lifted for some AEP customers

Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 11:10 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - At least 45 homes in Cross Lanes remain without power after high winds sent power lines and parts of poles scattered the Bradley Drive subdivision forcing first responders to issue a shelter-in-place order until American Electric Power could cut power just after 7:00 pm.

Firefighter Jaden Long with the Tyler Mountain Volunteer Fire Department said it is rare to issue a shelter-in-place for a small area.

“When we arrived we had four telephone poles, power poles really...broken in half, bringing down all the power lines with them,” he recalled.

The shelter-in-place order had been issued around 5:00 pm Saturday.

“Particularly there were high-tension power lines, all of the lines had landed on every single residence along Bradley Drive,” Long said.

“They landed on top of vehicles, they went out on top of the houses, they blocked the porches, doors, and some of the telephone poles and transformers actually lands in people’s driveways.”

Long said issuing the order had not been an easy one to make.

“That was the safest thing to do, we had the high-tension power lines on top of the houses, blocking the doors, blocking porches, it was safer for the residents to stay inside rather than trying to get them to come outside due to them lines, possibly still being energized,” he said.

“Me personally, I’ve never seen four poles come down like that so close together and power on land on that many houses on than a straight line.”

Long said if you do need to inspect the damage, leave the power-related cleanup to professionals.

“If you have large trees surrounding your house, you know just be cautious,” he said.

“Pay close attention if one does fall down, see if it got into any lines if you got any lines, please report them and do not get close to me the lines that are brought down and it’s safer to stay inside if they brought down the lines up to your house. If you ever encounter a downed power line or any type of downline that’s off of a pole, treat it as if it’s an energized power line, do not get near. Avoid it, do not run on top of it. And please, you know, call 911 report.”

Long said no injuries had been reported during the shelter-in-place.

He estimates with the amount of debris in the neighborhood, power restoration could take until Monday.