High winds have already left thousands of West Virginia customers without electric service.
And even more folks might be without power before the storm subsides Saturday.
That high demand, coupled with some new outages, means some people may wait days before service is restored, according to First Energy spokesman Todd Myers
It’s anticipated that all service will be restored by midnight Sunday, he said.
Company meteorologists studied the monster Nor’easter’s footprint in advance of the storm’s arrival Friday night.
While it wasn’t unexpected, it has impacted lots of people, homes and businesses.
Jefferson County courts were closed today because Charles Town didn’t have electric this morning.
Ironically some the highest wind gusts have been recorded in eastern West Virginia and neighboring states.
As a result, the massive storm left downed trees, limbs and power lines in its path.
Rural areas served by the utility (which includes Mon Power and Potomac Edition) were hardest hit, according to corporate data.
But outage numbers are gradually coming down.
Mon Power still has 7,300 customers without electricity but power has already been restored to more than 14,000 customers.
Potomac Edison had about 30,247 customers without power earlier today, but only about 8,804 remain now.
“The numbers have fluctuated because in addition to the trees and lines already down, continuing winds have meant new problems. And we can’t have employees up in buckets when the wind is so strong, so we have to make sure it is safe for them,” Myers said.
A National Weather Service meteorologist said wind gusts at 58 miles per hour had been reported this morning from both Berkeley and Jefferson counties. A 76-mile-per-hour gust was reported from west of Winchester, Virginia.
Eastern Panhandle communities still lead the list of the hardest hit with 19,520 affected customers as of this afternoon.
Hardy County was the hardest hit with 3,044 (now 762), followed by Morgan County still with 2,335, Berkeley had 2,143 (now 488), Hampshire at 2,092 (now 1,578) and Jefferson with 941 (now 813).
Webster County was listed earlier as having 2,255 affected customers but has risen to 3,944.
Website PowerOutgage.US put the state outage at 26,250, and that includes 7,736 Appalachian Power Company customers.
Many areas of the state won’t seen any wind relief until tomorrow.
A high wind warning issued by the National Weather Service remains in effect until 6 a.m.
Winds are expected to be 25-40 miles per hour with 55-60 miles per hour in the valleys, and 60-70 miles per hour along ridges.
That squares with what First Energy is also expecting, Myers said.
“We are expecting some pretty heavy winds until 10 p.m., and there is still probably some damage yet to come.”