Powerless Floyd Countians may have to wait until weekend for electricity

A little more than a thousand Floyd County homes and businesss customers remained without power this morning as Appalachian Power workers struggled to restore electricity knocked out by last Friday’s massive wind storm and followup thunderstorms Sunday night.

The power utility said it hopes to have all county homes back on the electrical grid by Thursday or Friday but said it could be Saturday before all power is finally restored.

Across the region, 141,478 customers remained in the dark at 3 a.m. today.  in hard-hit Roanoke, the power outages totaled 18,007 while 9,361 customers are still waiting in Montgomery County.

Appalachian officials, already facing a public relations disaster from the long delays in restoring power, showed their frustration Tuesday morning when they ordered security officers to eject a news crew from WDBJ Channel 7 from the a mobile command center in Roanoke where the TV cameramen and reporter were filming repair crews as they prepared to head out for another day repairing downed lines and blown transformers.  Cooler heads prevailed and the crew was eventually allowed to film and interview officials.

At a rest stop on Interstate 81 near Radford Monday afternoon, weary travelers found the restrooms closed and the vending machines out power.  Virginia Department of Transportation officials set up portable toilets on the sidewalks to serve road warriors.

One traveler told us they almost ran out of gas in Northern Virginia over the weekend while trying to find a gas station that had power.

“It’s unreal,” he said.

Powerless residents, unable to cook food at home, packed restaurants, convenience stores and fast-food outlets.

The sign at Floyd’s Pizza Inn proudly announced that the establishment had power and was open for business.

Anticipated thunderstorm did not appear Monday but the possibility of more storms remains in the forecast for most days this week, especially in the late afternoon or evening hours.

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