Tazewell, VA looked like a ghost town on Wednesday. Traffic lights failed to blink red yellow, and green, while surrounding banks, restaurants, and stores, like Bargain Mart, could not open for business.
Bargain Mart Manager, Lisa Clifton, said she struggled to do as much work as she could in the dark.
“We have no internet so therefore we can’t work on inventory. It slowed down getting our merchandise out on our shelves,” Clifton explained. “It’s so dark in the back where shipments come in, that our flashlights on our phone don’t give us enough light to look in our boxes.”
Clifton was one of more than 6,000 people reported to lose power in Tazewell County during Wednesday’s storm, where wind and falling trees took down power lines.
Crews with Appalachian Power, Elliot Electric, Verizon, and Asplundh Tree Experts said their shifts started early Wednesday morning, so they could lift downed trees off the lines and restore power for local communities as quickly as possible.
It is a hefty job for trimmers like Thomas Stump, with massive tree trunks needing to be lifted off lines in certain areas around town.
“The pressure on the lines could come up and hit us in the lines with the wood and all that,” Stump said.
But it is a risk they’re willing to take in order to restore power in local communities. They are hoping to have all of their customers’ power restored by midnight and insist they will work until the morning if they have to.