Storm causes some outages

A windstorm knocked out power to more than a dozen businesses along Grand Central Avenue in Vienna Friday, along with Newport Elementary School in Washington County, which closed for the day.

Ken Batty, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said an autumn cold front whipped through the Mid-Ohio Valley with winds reaching 61 miles an hour. The gusting winds snapped at least four utility poles along Grand Central Avenue, resulting in the loss of power to a number of businesses.

Trucks from Mon Power, CAS cable, Suddenlink and Frontier were parked along the road working on the lines.

Jody Purkey, with the Wood County 911 Center, said Grand Central Avenue between 16th and 19th streets had lines down that temporarily closed the road and bogged down morning traffic. Early-morning motorists were detoured around the area. Traffic on the five-lane stretch of road was slowly opened to two lanes (one in each direction) as crews worked to replace the damaged poles, lines and transformers.

Batty said the storm lasted for approximately two hours with winds ranging from 40 to 70 mph. Winds in our region peaked at 61 mph at the Wood County Airport at 2:43 a.m.

American Electric Power of Ohio reported power outages for 2,000 customers in the Marietta area following the storm.

“That number was down to 252 by early afternoon, and we expect the majority of those to be restored by Friday evening,” said AEP Ohio spokeswoman Fay White.

Washington Electric Cooperative spokeswoman Jennifer Greene said around 1,000 of that company’s customers lost power during the storm.

“The outages were scattered throughout the county, but a large number was in the Bartlett area,” she said. “The vast majority of the outages were restored by noon, and the rest were expected to be completed by late afternoon Friday.”

Both Greene and White said the power interruptions were related to high winds knocking limbs onto lines or into utility poles.

Frontier Local Schools were placed on a two-hour delay due to concerns that trees or limbs could have fallen over area roadways, according to Alice Hurte, secretary at the superintendent’s office.

“We wanted to be sure that bus drivers would not run into a downed tree on their routes,” she said.

Hurte added that Newport Elementary School was closed all day Friday due to a power outage, although electricity had been restored later in the day.

There was apparently no major damage within Marietta, according to city officials.

“A Marietta Wine Cellars sign blew into the street, and we had one report of a tree down in the roadway at Colegate Drive and Glendale Road around 5:40 a.m.. But it was moved to the side of the road pretty quickly,” said Sgt. Rod Hupp with the Marietta Police Department.

Marietta Safety-Service Director Jonathan Hupp said crews were dispatched to comb city streets and cemeteries Friday morning, but no major damage was found.