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Residents relieved after Abingdon power restored

By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
Published On: Jan 24 2014 04:59:18 PM CST
Power restored in abingdon
ABINGDON, Va. -

Abingdon residents are warming up Friday after many spent the night in the cold, thanks to a massive power outage.

More than 3,000 people were left in the dark Thursday after a problem at an Appalachian Power substation.

It was back to normal Friday for Brian Scott and his family, but on Thursday things didn't look so bright. The power abruptly shut off around 1:00 p.m. "I called once and reported it, and they said it would hopefully be by 5:00. But then its 5:00 and it’s still not on," he said.

Scott tells us with two young daughters, it became a safety risk to stay in their home. "I checked the thermometer once and it had got down to 50 degrees in the house," he explained.

When the power wasn't back by 9:00, they decided to go to his mother's house. "We didn't want to keep waiting all day. It may come on the next day, or the next day, and it was getting colder and colder," says Scott.

Appalachian Power tells us Scott's family was one of 400 others, including businesses, who didn't have heat until 2 or 3 a.m. Friday. Most of the 3,000 people who lost power got it back around 6:40 p.m.

We're told one side of an intersection was in the dark Thursday night while businesses on the other side of stop lights had power.

AEP says a mechanical failure inside of a transformer caused the outage. They tell us a problem like this could happen at any time, even during the summer, but that's little consolation for business owners whose days were cut short. "It did put us behind. It pushed projects back that were scaled to be out this week or the beginning of next," adds Jason Adkins.

Jason Adkins works at Jerry's Signs and Awnings on Porterfield Highway. He tells us they started losing power around the same time as the Scott family. "It started fluctuating. It seemed like the machinery wasn't able to keep up. It was bogging down a little bit, lights started flickering," he said.

Then it was gone completely. "The places that did not have windows were solid black, completely pitch dark," says Adkins.

Everyone tells us they're glad the lights are back on now.