Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 8, 2013

Vehicle accident, salt build-up, blamed on pair of power outages in Mercer, Tazewell counties

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD —  More than a thousand Appalachian Power customers in Mercer and Tazewell counties lost electricity this morning due to two separate outages.

Power remains out for approximately 580 customers in Tazewell County while service was restored around 12:15 p.m. to several customers in Mercer County, including the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

The original outage was reported at approximately 10:15 a.m.

Jeri Matheney, a spokeswoman with American Electric Power, said the more than 1,000 customers who lost power were being impacted by two separate outages.

“There was a vehicle accident that impacted one area and impacted about 300 customers,” Matheney said. “The second was caused by a salt build-up on power lines which then caused a fire. About 1,000 customers were impacted by that.”

Matheney said when road salt hardens, it can become airborne and then collect on surfaces including power lines and vehicles.