CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said Thursday she was still waiting for assessments from power companies before her office can finalize contingency plans for polling places that may still be without power on Election Day.
"We're still in a wait-and-see mode, surprisingly," Tennant said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon.
Nearly 137,000 utility customers statewide were still without power as of Thursday afternoon.
Appalachian Power officials estimated it would have service restored to more than 90 percent of its customers by Sunday.
However, First Energy subsidiary Mon Power, which covers northern and central parts of the state, said power might not be restored in some areas until the middle of next week.
Power companies were unable to use helicopters to assess damages earlier in the week, and that slowed restoration efforts.
Transportation officials also said Thursday that about 40 percent of state roads were blocked due to downed trees or power lines.
All of these factors could throw a wrench into Election Day in some areas on Tuesday.
Tennant said her office has been in constant contact with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, county clerks and power company representatives to determine how the storm may affect polling places.
Tennant said state officials and the power companies have a full list of precinct locations, schools and courthouses that have been designated as priorities for power restoration or installation of generators.
She expects power companies to have their assessments for those sites completed by today. Then they can say which locations will have power restored by the time polls are supposed to open Tuesday.
Once they know what locations still will be without power, she said her office would begin contacting county clerks to figure out how to work around the problem.
Some precincts may have to be moved.
Tennant said all counties have at least one emergency shelter location with power, and those locations could serve as polling places.