UPDATE: Notable progress made since Tuesday storms, but more tha - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Notable progress made since Tuesday storms, but more than 5,000 still without power

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Update: July 11, 11:30 a.m.

Since damaging thunderstorms ripped through the tri-state region on July 8, thousands of FirstEnergy customers have been gradually regaining power to their homes.

Of the 167,000 FE customers in West Virginia and Maryland who initially lost power, 4,479 Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers in West Virginia are still stuck in the dark. 764 PE customers in Maryland are also still without power.

The day following the incident, FE spokesman Todd Meyers said it could take “several days” for those who live in more remote areas, which received more damage, to be able to turn the lights on again.

All West Virginia counties now have less than 1,000 residents without power, although 719 in Lewis County and 631 in Harrison County have been in the dark for several days now. Fortunately, 14 counties throughout the state are currently reporting less than five outages.

Update: July 10, 9:45 a.m.

Of the 167,000 FirstEnergy customers in West Virginia and Maryland who lost power July 8 due to heavy thunderstorms, more than 22,000 are still stuck in the dark.

In West Virginia alone, 15,091 are still left without power.

The number of outages has dropped significantly since the FE crews began to clean up the mess the storms left behind, but there are still five counties with more than 1,000 residents without power. Harrison County is suffering the most, with 2,036 residents still reporting outages.

Update: July 9, 3:30 p.m.

About 24 hours after the Tri-State area experienced heavy storms that knocked out power for approximately 167,000 FirstEnergy customers in West Virginia and Maryland, 32,513 West Virginia residents and 22,226 Maryland residents are still reporting power outages.

Although FE crews have already restored power to thousands, spokesman Todd Meyers said it could take "several days" to restore power to those who live in more remote areas, such as Doddridge County, where 586 residents are currently without electricity.

Original story: 

FirstEnergy crews are still working hard to restore power to thousands of people after strong thunderstorms and high winds on July 8 caused power outages for approximately 167,000 customers in West Virginia and Maryland.

As of 11:30 a.m. July 9, 40,702 FirstEnergy customers in West Virginia, who are served by Potomac Edison or Mon Power, and 24,515 Potomac Edison customers in Maryland were still reporting outages.

Wood County was still reporting the most outages in West Virginia, with 4,985 people still without power, followed by Harrison, Hampshire, Lewis, Barbour, Preston and Taylor counties, respectively, of which each has more than 2,000 residents still without power.

FirstEnergy has done about 15 percent of their damage assessment, said spokesman Todd Meyers, but Mon Power alone has already found about 70 broken power poles.

“There’s considerable damage, all wind and tree related,” Meyers said. “We’re picking up the pieces from the storm.”

Meyers said that some customers will have power restored to them throughout the day, but it could take “several days” for others to regain electricity.

“Although we’re making great strides, there’s just so much damage,” Meyers said. Those who live in the more heavily damaged areas and the more remote areas will see longer outages, he added.

Customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com. Customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity.