CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Severe cold weather and high winds are being blamed for utility disruptions throughout West Virginia.
Power companies were working to restore power Tuesday to several thousand West Virginia homes following record low temperatures and gusty winds Monday night into Tuesday morning.
About 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Appalachian Power still had 1,986 customers without electricity in the West Virginia counties it serves. Putnam County had the most outages remaining, with 642.
In the northern half of the state, which is mostly served by First Energy subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison, just fewer than 4,100 customers were still without power, including 2,692 in Pocahontas County and 532 in Mineral County.
"I can attribute most of these to the wind and cold," First Energy spokesman Todd Meyers said.
Most of First Energy's outages occurred along the Allegheny Front and the state's higher elevations, which are windier. Pocahontas County took the brunt of the outages.
Meyers said about midnight Tuesday, a 10-mile-long sub-transmission line was severed between two transmission stations near Marlinton, in an area Meyers described as "very rugged."
"In that 10-mile radius, something happened to that line," he said. "This just has been hard to access."
Meyers said First Energy crews were unable to find the break on foot, so a helicopter was dispatched to survey the line about noon.
The other main issue First Energy faced was a larger power line in Mineral County near Keyser, though that problem has since been resolved.
In the Mineral County case, Meyers said a fallen tree was the culprit and said similar scenarios likely caused other outages.
At the same time, Meyers said some power crews were working a bit slower than usual because of the very cold temperatures.