Frigid anguish at an end

GLENMOOR – A power outage that affected thousands of area residents ended Tuesday.

Officials said temperatures in the single digits put extra stress on the system.

“There’s an extremely high demand because of all the furnaces and heating equipment. … We’re in the process of making repairs,” American Electric Power spokeswoman Carmen Prati-Miller said late Tuesday afternoon.

She said power was expected to be restored to 3,800 customers by 5 p.m. Tuesday. At about 4:30 p.m., the AEP Ohio Web site showed no power outages in Columbiana County.

“We’re bringing them on section by section, little by little, so as not to create a high surge to the system,” Prati-Miller said.

The power outage was first reported about 7 p.m. Monday, and power was restored to all those customers by 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, Prati-Miller said.

Power went out again at 9 a.m. and was restored by 1 p.m. Tuesday, only to go out again.

Prati-Miller attributed the outages to an equipment failure at the Glenmoor substation. She said the reason for the equipment failure had “not been explained” to her but that part of the problem was heavy usage because of extremely cold temperatures.

“With the cold weather and the issues going against us from the (high) demand, it’s been difficult to keep the substation operational,” she said.

The area reportedly affected included Glenmoor, LaCroft, Pleasant Heights, Y&O Road and Bell School Road.

A wind chill advisory from the National Weather Service is in effect until 11 a.m. today, causing some area school districts, including Hancock County Schools, to institute a two-hour delay.

Temperatures will be in the single digits to near zero this morning, but it will feel like 10 to 20 below zero because of wind chills.

Edie Dillard, deputy director of the Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency, said they were prepared to have the American Red Cross open a shelter at Beaver Local High School, but it never came to that.

Dillard said they were considering opening the shelter when the power came back on, and when the power went out a second time, the Red Cross was placed on standby while the EMA monitored the situation.

“We had all the bases covered and we were just waiting,” she said.

The only potential significant problem was with a nursing home, but the facility had a backup generator. Dillard said most of the residents without power found temporary shelter with friends and relatives, and electricity to those households was restored in stages throughout the day.

(Staff writer Tom Giambroni contributed to this story.)