BY LEANN DILBECK –
Electric crews worked throughout the night to restore power to approximately 3,000 Rich Mountain Electric members after a severe storm moved through the area Monday evening. Leon Philpot told The Pulse, damage sustained in the Grannis/Wickes areas had impacted the main AEP transmission lines that supply power to the Rich Mountain Mena and Cove substations. As of this morning, power has been restored to all communities serviced by Rich Mountain except for Sulphur Springs and Umpire.
While last night’s storm did not spawn any confirmed tornadoes in Polk County, the sirens were sounded across the county as the treacherous storm packed all the ingredients and was responsible for downed trees across the area, including Hwy 71 and Hwy 8 East. Officials even received a report of a vehicle blown off Hwy 71 on Iron Mountain as the storm came through.
Storm spotters and law enforcement officials combed the listening area watching the ominous storm that had rotation and sent many seeking safety in local tornado shelters. The county dispatch received a lightening strike and all 911 calls were forced to be re-routed through Montgomery County. Local fire departments and first responders were out immediately following the storm clearing roadways and checking on residents and no known storm related injuries have been reported.