County slowly recovering from storm
Van Wert independent
Employees of AEP and other area electric utilities are working as fast as possible to restore power in the area. With main transmission lines north of Van Wert damaged in Friday’s storm, crews are working to reroute electricity, wth priority on restoring power to health care facilities. The process is expected to take some time, though, with AEP giving a timeframe of 48-72 hours for power restoration locally, but also noting that it may be 5-7 days before power can be fully restored.
There was good news from two local industrial plants, though, with both Eaton and Federal-Mogul apparently now with electric power. Federal-Mogul employees are asked to report for normal operations starting with third shift on Sunday. Eaton Corporation reportedly will also begin operations again on Sunday, but that has not yet been confirmed.
Others haven’t fared quite as well. Kennedy Manufacturing Company announced Sunday that all employees, hourly and salary, are not to report to work this Monday, July 2, due to the power outage. Employees should watch for more information on Tuesday. The YWCA, including its Summer Food Program and all aquatic classes, will also be closed on Monday because of the power outage.
Law enforcement agencies are asking that local residents stay put and only travel when necessary. Law enforcement is asking that residents not attempt to move utility lines and to remove debris to the curb area and not on to streets.
Also, there is a shelter for people to use who have health or other conditions or who have lost the use of their homes.
The shelter is at Van Wert Middle School on Ohio 118. People need to take blankets, pillows, clothes and medication to the shelter, which was set up by the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Showers are also available, but people need to bring their own soap, towels and other hygiene items. Pets will not be permitted at the shelter. Those without transportation to the shelter can call the Emergency Management Agency at 419.238.1300.
Despite the conditions, Old Fashioned Farmers Days, with its variety of events and activities, remained open Saturday at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. The Gaylord E. Leslie Wellness Center is now open again.
Gasoline is a problem for local residents, since the local service stations can’t pump gas without electricity. The local Shell service station is now with power, thanks to efforts to restore Van Wert County Hospital (which is now running on regular power, as of 5:15 p.m. Saturday), but there are lines at the pumps. Otherwise, the closest place to get gasoline without a wait is Decatur, Ind. Hometown Market in Van Wert and Rural King also are on generator power and are open, as is Walmart.
Generators are available at the Rural King in Decatur, Ind. Store officials said they have a good supply of generators for sale.
Pastor Will Haggis of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church wants his congregation to know that the church will have regular services on Sunday, at 8 and 10:30 a.m., while a special Vacation Bible School celebratory party will also be held at 12:30 p.m. at Camp Clay.
Meanwhile, AEP’s website is saying it could be 5-7 days before total restoration is complete, although many customers could be up before then. Those who have Midwest Electric can get updates on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MidwestElectric. AEP customers who want to know how restoration efforts are faring can go to www.aepohio.com/outages and then click on the ”View Outage Map” link under the map section on the page. To get more specific county information, click on a specific county on the map.
Currently, of Van Wert County’s 11,562 AEP customers, 9,875 (85.4 percent) are still without power, as of 11 a.m. Saturday. In Allen County, 60.2 percent (27,320) of AEP customers are without power; in Auglaize County, 99.5 percent of 1,963 AEP customers; 92.7 percent of Paulding County’s 5,986 customers; and 81.4 percent of Putnam County’s 8,607 AEP customers have outages.