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School chief: 20% to 25% of Western Reserve school district lost power

Cary Ashby • Updated Nov 6, 2017 at 7:07 PM

COLLINS — Western Reserve didn’t have school Monday due to the damage from Sunday’s storm.

“None of our buildings has any electricity. … That makes it hard to run (a) business,” Superintendent Rodge Wilson said Monday morning. “We have partial road closures on Zenobia, Chenango, part of Auster and Fitchville River.”

Those road closures were due to downed electrical wires and trees.

“All the township trustees, first-responders and community volunteers were out all night cutting up trees and limbs,” Wilson said.

As of Monday mid-morning, Wilson estimated 20 to 25 percent of the Western school district was without power. While being interviewed, the superintendent said he learned some Chenango Road residents had their power returned.

“They are making progress,” he added, referring to Ohio Edison crews.

Western school buildings were “running under generator power” as of late Monday morning, Wilson said. The generator ran part of the heating and air-conditioning systems plus the freezers, coolers and security lights.

Wilson and Western maintenance workers checked the main power-control panel once an hour. 

“As soon as that goes green, we know can turn the generator off,” Wilson said.

Ohio Edison didn’t give Western a definitive team when the power would be back. 

As of about 2:30 p.m. Monday, FirstEnergy had slightly less than 1,000 Huron County customers without power, spokesman Chris Eck said. FirstEnergy covers Norwalk, Fitchville, Stueben, Monroeville, Collins and Wakeman.

Specifically near Western, Eck said there were 70 power outages in the Wakeman area and 51 in Wakeman Township.

FirstEnergy’s best estimate for full power restoration was as early as 8 p.m. today or as late as 11.

“We hope to have everybody back up by 11:30,” Eck said.

When Wilson drove around the school district for about 2 1/2 hours Monday morning he saw five or six Ohio Edison trucks. 

“They are getting on it,” the superintendent added.

On the Western school property, “we lost a couple tree branches,” Wilson said.

Maintenance workers checked two of the three roofs. Wilson said there was no damage and they were waiting to inspect the third, much steeper roof since it was still wet as of mid-morning Monday.

More than 1,600 Firelands Electric Cooperative customers in Ashland and Huron counties lost power after the storm Sunday afternoon.

“Line crews worked throughout the night and into the early morning hours removing tree debris and assessing line damage in efforts to restore power,” spokeswoman Andrea Gravenhorst said in a prepared statement. 

“As of 9 a.m. Monday … less than 100 consumers located in Fitchville and New London townships (in) Huron County and Vermillion Township (in) Ashland County (were) still without power. Line crews are still working to repair damage and restore power; several areas experienced serious tree and line destruction.”

By Monday evening, only three local Firelands Electric customers were without power.

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