UPDATE: Precincts battle severe weather Election Day morning

Published: Nov. 5, 2018 at 10:21 PM EST
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UPDATED 11/6/18 @ 12:30 p.m.

Just hours before the polls opened in West Virginia, heavy wind and rain swept through Kanawha County. The storm knocked down power lines and trees throughout the area.

At 3:30 a.m., Appalachian Power's website showed 2,200 power outages in Kanawha County. Four polling places also lost power in the early morning hours.

The county was prepared with generators, but power was restored to the precincts an hour before the polls opened at 6:30 a.m.

Kanawha County Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman said, "We were prepared for this. We had our generators in place. We had our plan in place, but who knows when your power is going to go out or some other disaster befall you."

Voters at Horace Mann middle school said they were not going to let weather get in the way of casting their vote. "It's only once a year. If you don't take the time to early vote, you need to get out to the polls regardless of the weather. It's your civic duty to vote," voter Robert Moore said.

"I applaud those people that come out in the bad weather to vote," said Sigman.

Appalachian Power has also been working to restore power to customers near the polling places. At 12:30 p.m., 800 customers were left without power.


With the threat of severe weather on Election Day, some precincts are preparing for possible power outages.

The Kanawha County clerk says they’re gathering generators to keep the power on at the polls – just in case of an outage.

While electronic voting machines can last up to five hours on a battery, officials still have the old paper ballots on hand.

The West Virginia Secretary of State's office is working to make sure your polling place is open.

“The county clerks have been at this for years as they've been through these scenarios before so they have their back-up plans in place,” West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said. “But now that we've had this prediction it just gives them a little extra incentive today to be going through those motions and figuring out where are the generators, if we have to move a place and set up new electrical or power source, it's why we work with the National Guard.”

Also Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says he has requested power crews be ready should power go out, so they can get it back on quickly.