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Power gradually being restored in Eastern Panhandle

July 03, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Tom Marchese gets bags of ice from Jennifer Carpenter of the American Red Cross in the parking lot of Lowes in Martnsburg,W.Va., on Monday. People without power were given water and ice.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — For thousands of Eastern Panhandle residents still without electricity following last Friday's severe storms, the wait may be nearing an end.

It's estimated that power will be fully restored in Berkeley County by late Thursday and by midday Wednesday in Morgan County, according to an alert Tuesday afternoon on FirstEnergy's storm center website.

No restoration time was posted for Jefferson County, which as of 2:54 p.m. Tuesday had the most customers without power in the Eastern Panhandle - about 3,500 - according to the company's website.

About 2,940 Berkeley County customers and approximately 830 in Morgan County were still without electricity, according to the website.

Water and ice are available at Martin's grocery store locations in Charles Town, W.Va., and Martinsburg, W.Va. as well as three Hagerstown locations, the company announced.

The Jefferson County Health Department was to distribute water at T.A. Lowery Elementary School, 103 Shenandoah Junction Boulevard, Shenandoah Junction, beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday and all day at the health department office at 1948 Wiltshire Road, Charles Town. For information, call 304-728-8416 or 304=279-4858.

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A helping hand

Enduring yet another hot day in Martinsburg without power Monday afternoon, Mabel Humes, 94, remembered a time when air conditioning wasn’t available to stifle the summer heat.

“We just roasted,” Humes said, smiling.

While Humes and her daughter, Linda Humes, were among thousands still without power in the wake of Friday’s massive storm, they didn’t have to roast this time.

Thank to the generosity of her Greenbriar Road neighbors, Mabel Humes was able to keep her refrigerator running with a small generator, which also powered a fan to keep the humid air moving in her living room.

Her “guardian angels” also brought over ice, sandwiches and milkshakes.

“They’ve been great, wonderful,” said Mabel Humes before power was restored at her home just before 2 p.m.

Linda Humes, who is her mother’s caretaker, said she has been “making the best of it” since the fast-moving storm downed trees, snapped utility poles, ripped down power lines and left them in the dark.

FirstEnergy spokesman Scott Surgeoner said the storm knocked more than 70 transmission lines out of service in the utility’s West Virginia service area.

Barbara Humes, who was visiting her mother and sister Monday from Harpers Ferry, W.Va., said her home was among a small group that have also been without power since Friday. Neighbors helped save her frozen food, she said.

“We haven’t seen any power people,” Humes said of utility crews.

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