Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in four counties Tuesday after an overnight winter storm coated trees with ice and brought down power lines.
Sixty percent of homes in Cabell, Wayne, Putnam and Lincoln counties are without power Tuesday following the latest winter storm to batter the region.
As of midday Tuesday, Appalachian Power reports 91,000 customers without power with a third of them in Cabell County. The company also reported outages in Wayne, Putnam, Lincoln, Jackson, Mason, Kanawha, and Marshall counties.
Some residents are going on a week without power after an initial ice storm last Wednesday and it’s unclear when power will be restored.
“We recognize some customers remain without service from the Feb. 11 ice storm, and are doing our best to prioritize service restoration to those customers,” the company wrote in a statement.
Appalachian Power has nearly 1,500 workers on the ground and has temporarily suspended estimated restoration times due to the large number of outages, according to the statement.
Several emergency warming shelters have been opened in the Cabell county area. Masks and social distancing are required at all.
- The Salvation Army at 1227 3rd Ave. in Huntington will be open until at least 8 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17. Hot meals will be provided
- The A.D. Lewis Community Center at 1450 A.D. Lewis Ave. in Huntington is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
- The Barboursville Community Center at 721 Central Ave. opened at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
Appalachian Power serves a half-million customers across southern and central West Virginia.
Mon Power provides power to the northern part of the state and reports around 4,000 outages in areas south of Parkersburg as of midday Tuesday.
Motorists are encouraged to stay home if possible as downed power lines and trees have blocked roadways. The Public Works Department of the City of Huntington cleared a couple of dozen roads since Monday night with about a dozen more to go.
Cabell, Putnam, Jackson, Wirt, Roane and Kanawha county schools closed Tuesday as well as Marshall University.
This is the second winter storm in the region over the last week to coat trees with ice and snap power lines.
Another winter storm is predicted later this week and the National Weather Service has placed much of eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and western Virginia under a Winter Storm Watch from Wednesday evening to Friday morning.
Significant snow and ice accumulations are possible and could lead to more outages, according to the weather service.