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1,500 Allegheny customers lose power in county

October 16, 2003|by TAMELA BAKER and BRIAN SHAPPELL

Wind gusts played havoc with power lines Wednesday, interrupting power to about 1,500 Allegheny Energy customers in Washington County and thousands more in the Tri-State area.

An Allegheny spokesman said service likely will be restored to Washington County customers by late this morning, and Pennsylvania and West Virginia customers by mid-to-late afternoon.

Allegheny spokesman Guy Fletcher said the largest concentration of outages was in the Paramount area north of Hagerstown, with about 600 customers losing power at about 11 a.m. Fletcher said that a tree was down on a power line in the area and that a crew from Allegheny was on site Wednesday afternoon, but was unsure when power would be restored.

About 200 more customers in the Clear Spring area lost power at about the same time, Fletcher said. Most were located in the area of St. Paul Road. Fletcher said he didn't have a clear indication of a cause for the outage there.

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The rest of the outages, he said, were scattered outages throughout the county, "most of which, I'm certain, are wind-related."

By 10 p.m. Wednesday, there were a total of 132 customers still without power in the areas of Hagerstown, Williamsport and Clear Spring, spokesman Jay Johnson said. Johnson said that as of 10 p.m. there were 300 outages still reported in Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia; 1,700 outages in Berkeley Springs, W.Va.; one outage in Waynesboro, Pa.; 29 outages in Frederick County, Md.; and 700 outages in Cumberland, Md.

Between 5 and 10 p.m., Allegheny workers restored power to more than 4,500 customers in the Tri-State area, Johnson said.

Johnson said services in the Hagerstown area likely will be restored by 10 a.m. He said other areas likely will be fully repaired by 3:30 p.m.

Power was out Wednesday at Sharpsburg Elementary School, according to Washington County Public Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen. Most of the power had been restored at the school by 2 p.m., Mowen said, adding that no other schools appeared to be affected.

In Hagerstown, City Light Department Manager Mike Spiker reported three outages. One was on Belview Avenue and the other two were in the city's north end, he said. Power was restored to all three by 2:30 p.m., he said.

Wind gusts reached 59 mph Wednesday afternoon, according to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site, www.i4weather.net.

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