Number Of Power Outages Cut In Half From Last Night
By: Associated Press, Bethany Venable
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UPDATE 9:26 A.M. American Electric Power is now reporting 90 percent of customers without electricity can expect to have the lights back on by midnight Friday.
Complete restoration is expected by midnight Saturday.
AEP reports during Thursday night's storm, more than 2,000 lightning strikes took place in or around Franklin County.
More than 53,000 customers lost power following severe storms and damaging winds from a storm system that stretched from the Northeast to the Central Southern United States.
American Electric Power is bringing in additional support Friday morning to help restore power to customers who lost electricity following severe storms and damaging winds Thursday night.
The power company reports this morning approximately 14,000 customers are experiencing outages.
That's down from 33,500 late Thursday night.
At the peak of outages following the severe weather, close to 53,000 customers were in the dark.
AEP reports New Philadelphia, Newark and Zanesville were the hardest hit areas.
Around the region, Tuscarawas County has more than 2,700 outages and Jackson County has 1,400.
Muskingum County accounts for a little more than 700 outages and Athens County is reporting more than 600 customers without power.
One day after the strong storms downed trees, knocked out power and temporarily shut down the state fair, Ohio could be in store for more severe weather.
Forecasters say there is a risk of storms, possibly with high winds, again Friday afternoon.
Thursday's storm temporarily shut down operations at the annual Ohio State Fair in Columbus, where visitors were asked to take shelter. Activities resumed after it blew through.
Officials blamed lightning strikes for two fires in central Ohio.