Huntington, West Virginia
The power outage that hit Huntington just before noon Friday was caused by a barge boom crane that wasn’t as low as it needed to be.
Larry Hall, a transmission supervisor with American Electric Power Ashland, said the crane operator told him the charts said to stay below 103 feet. But the crane was too high, slicing a 138 kilovolt cable, knocking out power to more than 3,600 customers in Huntington.
AEP crews from Ashland, Chillicothe and Columbus, Ohio, and Charleston came in Friday evening to repair the line. Crews had to use two barges to find and retrieve both ends of the sliced line.
Then they sleeved the two together and replaced whatever portions were damaged with new cable.
The crews worked from the Ohio side of the river into the night to complete the work.
The outage was to blame for at least two afternoon accidents in Huntington, as traffic lights throughout Eastern Huntington from 12th Street to 29th Street between 3rd and 5th avenues were out. The first took place around 12:30 p.m. at 20th Street and 3rd Ave. A representative from Cabell County 911 said that at least one victim was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital.
Another accident took place around 2 p.m. at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Hal Greer Boulevard. At least two victims were transported to St. Mary’s Hospital.
Weather compounded traffic issues last night, with at least four other accidents that Cabell County 911 said may have been related to rainfall. Cabell County 911 Dispatch also said that traffic lights were restored about 8 p.m.
The outage also closed the Cabell Huntington Hospital Family Medical Center and Urgent Care located at 2240 5th Ave. in Huntington. The location was expected to reopen today at 10 a.m.
Appalachian Power crews worked throughout the day to reroute power to as many customers as possible, reaching about 1,900 by Friday evening. Spokesperson Phil Moye said that crews were able to reroute the power to restore power to each customer except Steel of West Virginia by Friday night. As of press time, AEP is reporting that fewer than 100 customers are still without power.
Category: Accident Report