Day Nine: Some Still in the Dark

Reporter: Parker Slaybaugh

Lynchburg, VA - Power is coming back on for many but a large number are still in the dark.

It's been more than a week since a wind storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands in the state, and nine days later some still are waiting.

Appalachian Power had originally said they hoped to have their entire service area restored by midnight Saturday night. That deadline has now come and gone, and people are just hoping relief comes soon.

It's blistering hot in Lynchburg, and those without power to their homes are sweltering.

"Air conditioning is about the only thing we really miss," said Steve Schilthelm, who is still without power.

"I lost track of days," said Schilthelm.

When crews repaired a power line outside his house on Willow Lawn Drive, it gave him hope.

"It was a great relief, we had worried the tree people had gone elsewhere, but they showed up this morning and then a power crew from out of state, I'm not sure where they were from, came and that was quite a relief," said Schilthelm.

After that line was repaired, crews moved just down the same street, to another downed line.

"To see them on the street, yes exciting but maybe more of a relief, we knew it was coming sooner or later, a little sooner wouldn't have been bad," said John Comninaki, who is also without power.

"We're working hard and were trying to get power restored to everyone," said Roy Slaughter, a Line Mechanic for Appalachian Power.

Slaughter was a part of that crew on Willow Lawn Drive. He says this week has been one of the busiest in his more than 30-year career.

"Sixteen hours a day, just a little time for rest, just constantly 24/7, nonstop," said Slaughter.

Slaughter says he hopes power on Willow Lawn Drive will be restored before the end of the day Sunday, and that is music to Schilthelm's ears.

"A hot shower is going to be the highlight of the week, it will be a while before the house cools down, but I'm really looking forward to a hot shower," said Schilthelm.

Jeri Matheney, a Spokesperson for Appalachian Power said that with a few exceptions all power in our area should be restored by midnight Monday.

She also said they have had more than 5,000 workers from more than 22 different states come to our area to assist in relief efforts.

If you have damage to your residence or business, it may delay you from regaining power to your property.

Matheney also says as crews from other areas finish their work, you can expect to see more crews in areas with the most outages.

"What we're starting to do now is those areas that are complete, we're not letting those people go, were sending them to other areas to help out. For example, some crews from Kingsport have been sent to the Lynchburg area to help out," said Matheney.

She says that if your neighbors get their power back and you don't, re-report your outage by visiting their web site.

Crews also are still reminding everyone that if there are downed power lines treat them as if they are hot.