A rather large portion of downtown New Martinsville will experience a power outage for most of the day Thursday as electric crews from Mon Power and New Martinsville complete a mandated pole change out.
The area along state Route 2 from approximately Barr to Leap streets, or approximately Gumby's to the five-way traffic light, and all customers east of that area of Route 2 will be affected. Electric Department Manager David White made the announcement at Monday's department head meeting prior to the regular city council meeting.
This will be the first of three electric poles to be changed by Mon Power in the city that involve the New Martinsville Electric Department as well. White said the pole to be replaced Thursday is near Country Roads Ford. It will also require the closure of one lane of state Route 2 while the job is completed.
"That is going to be hectic all day," said White. "It's a very tedious, dangerous job." Motorists should also be advised of the disruption and possibly avoid the area.
There are four different strands of primary electric cabling on that pole. The two utilities will be sharing the work.
The second and third poles to be changed out will cause minimal disturbances, said White. One across state Route 2 from Bob Evans will be changed on Friday, but should only affect one, private, customer. The third pole is just north of the pole to be changed Thursday. White doesn't know when it will be changed out, but says it should cause "pretty isolated" outages.
Further, White said contrary to the rumor that went around the city, there wasn't a major outage planned for Monday.
It only affected Walmart, but evidently signs alerting their customers to the possible disruption caused a stir with electric customers. White noted the outage at Walmart on Monday lasted about 26 minutes.
Finally, the city's electric committee tentatively has a meeting set for Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. to discuss some budget and ordinance issues.