Ice Storm Recovery Slow in Ohio’s Hocking Hills

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About 56,000 utility customers in Ohio remain without power in the wake of this week’s winter storm. Residents of the Hocking Hills are among the hardest hit by the outages.

Some people in Hocking County have generators. They’re the lucky ones. But thousands of customers are still in the dark, waiting for their electricity to be restored. That includes an eight block section of downtown Logan where the traffic lights don’t work and the Wendy’s is closed. The hardware store is open but it’s dark.

“This is Saving Hardware at 95 East Main Street in Logan Ohio.”

Mike Brierley says that even with several extra shipments of kerosene heaters, he can’t keep them in stock.

“The past several days due to the bad weather we’ve been slammed as far as kerosene heaters, ventless heaters for natural gas and propane and anything else that people can stay warm with,” Brierley says.

Heat is not a problem for Trent Hogsett who has a wood-burning stove at home but no generator.

“I have heat over there, I have wood, but no electric, no hot water,” Hogsett says. They’re over there working on it. I’ve seen the electric company go up and down the road a few times a day trying to get the electric. Other than that I think they’re trying to do their best.”

Electric crews are working all over the Hocking Hills. William Welsh and his crew work for Virginia Dominion power company. They came all the way from Virginia Beach to assist AEP.

“Long hours, working as hard as we can, 14, 16 hours a day, since we arrived two or three days ago,”Welsh says. And we’ve come a long way to do the best we can.”

The dominion power crew is working several hundred yards up a snow covered hill. Lineman Jermain Johnson is at the top of a pole, grounding power lines so that the crew can make repairs.

A Red Cross shelter has been set up at the local middle school near Logan. Here Connie Ball is playing Monopoly with her 14-year-old grandson Zachary.

“See, he takes my money. Hey, I was glad there was some place to go. I was cold,” Ball says.

Ball says she’s thankful for the Red Cross’s help. But she says she’s anxious to go home.

“I come here because I was cold and I’m a diabetic anyway and taking shots and stuff, I need something in my stomach. I got food at home, don’t get me wrong, but you gotta cook it,” Ball says.

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