Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 7, 2014

Appalachian Power hoping to restore electricity to most impacted customers by day’s end

BLUEFIELD — Thousands across the region are without power this morning with temperatures still in the single digits.

 A low of 4 below zero was reported at 10 a.m. this morning in Bluefield. A low of 7 below zero was reported earlier in the morning. A high of only 6 degrees is expected today for the Bluefield area.

Appalachian Power is reporting 863 power outages in Tazewell County, 586 power outages in Mercer County and 3,126 customers in Giles County without electricity. An estimated power restoration time is not immediately known at this point. Appalachian Power is hoping to have electricity restored to most customers by the day’s end.

Phil Moye, a spokesman for Appalachian Power, said the outages were scattered, and mostly associated with stress on the electrical grid caused by the extreme cold.

“Anytime it is so cold, or as cold as it is today, it stresses our equipment,” Moye said. “And you will have equipment failures. We’ve had some of those today. It has been scattered.”

Moye said the company also is hoping to get electricity restored to a majority of customers in Tazewell impacted by the transformer failure by 4:30 p.m. today.

A wind chill warning for the region remains in effect through 3 p.m. today. Temperatures will fall tonight to about 5 degrees with wind chill readings once again below zero.

Temperatures will climb above freezing Wednesday, and a slow warming trend will continue through the weekend.

The Tazewell County Sheriffs’ Office reported on its Facebook page this morning that a large portion of the town of Tazewell has been without power since 10  p.m. Monday night due to a transformer fire. The sheriff’s office says warming stations have been set up at Tazewell County Fire and Rescue, 945 Rescue, Abbs Valley Fire Department, Richlands Police Department, and Bluefield Va. Rescue Squad.

A shelter and warming station also is still open at the Princeton Rescue Squad and Bluefield Union Mission, according to Princeton Rescue Squad Captain Stacy Hicks.

Hicks said the shelters will remain open as long as there is a need. He said the squad has made several transports to the hospital, and that officials are doing “door-to-door” checks in the Matoaka community.

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