Published Sat, Jun 30, 2012 7:46 am Dateline
Updated Sat, Jun 30, 2012 9:59 pm
Update 10 p.m. American Electric Power is now reporting 9,000 "wires down and other hazards" and still says "restoration is expected to continue for at least 5-7 days for the majority of the customers affected."
An outage map on the company's website shows 63.5 percent of Athens County is without power.
About 90 percent of Jackson, Meigs, Vinton and Washington counties don't have electricity.
AEP's website breaks down by city when power is expected to be restored. For the Athens area, the earliest the company expects to reach 90-percent restoration is midnight Friday.
Update 5:30 p.m. American Electric Power now says 7,000 power lines that came down as a result of last night's storms mean 90-percent restoration won't happen until after Independence Day in many southeast Ohio counties.
Most electricity will be restored in Gallipolis, Marietta and Pomeroy by midnight July 6. The lights will be back on for 90 percent of Lancaster a day after that. Folks in Wellston will have to wait until midnight July 10. The estimated restoration times for your area are listed on AEP's website.
The majority of Athens County, 64.6 percent, is still in the dark.
About 90 percent of Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, Noble, Vinton and Washington counties don't have electricity.
That's according to an outage map on AEP's website.
The company says about 1,300 employees are working to restore power to 573,000 Ohioans.
Update 11:30 a.m. American Electric Power's latest news release says it may take longer than initially expected to restore power. "At this point, it is anticipated restoration will continue for at least 5-7 days, with the majority of customers to be restored in that time frame. This estimate could change if additional damaging weather crosses the area."
AEP's outage map now shows 90.8 percent of Athens County is without power.
"At this time, there are more than 4,700 reports of wires down and other hazards across the AEP Ohio service territory," according to AEP. "This number is expected to increase as assessment proceeds."
Initial restoration estimates are expected late this afternoon.
Thousands of southeast Ohioans are in the dark, and restoration efforts are expected to take up to five to seven days, according to American Electric Power.
A press release says "This is the worst storm we've had since we were hit by Hurricane Ike in 2008... Wind speeds for this storm have been reported in the 80 to 85 mph range. Ike wind speeds were recorded in the 75 mph range."
An outage map on the company's website shows 87.4 percent of Athens County, or 23,934 AEP customers, are without power.
Nearly 90 percent of folks in Gallia, Jackson, Licking, Perry and Washington counties don't have electricity.
About 1,700 line crews, assessment teams and other employees with AEP Ohio are working to restore power. The company is asking for an additional 1,500 to 1,900 "outside resources" to help with restoration efforts.
In all, AEP says half a million Ohioans are without electricity.