GALLIPOLIS — Many of Gallia County’s residents were without power on Monday morning and a portion of Ohio 7 was closed following a reported transformer fire on an electric pole south of the intersection of Ohio 141 on Ohio 7 South.
According to the Gallia County 911 Center, a fire was reported on an electric pole between 5:30-6 a.m. on Monday as a result of the heavy snowfall. Crews with AEP Ohio later responded to the scene, and, at approximately 7:40 a.m., they requested the assistance of the Ohio State Highway Patrol who responded to the area to control traffic after AEP determined that the road was unsafe. The highway patrol subsequently closed the roadway to traffic.
Reportedly, the electric pole snapped, and, as a result, there were low hanging lines across the roadway, making the roadway unsafe for motorists.
The portion of roadway between the intersections of Ohio 141 and Ohio 218 on Ohio 7 South was closed until approximately 12:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
A spokesperson with AEP Ohio reported that power was restored to all customers affected by the outage at approximately 12:15 p.m. after the damaged pole was replaced by crews. Currently, there are no reported power outages in the area.
Gallia County still remains under a level 2 snow advisory following heavy snowfall that dumped several inches of snow across the area overnight on Sunday.
The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office upgraded the advisory from a level 1 advisory to a level 2 advisory during the early morning hours on Monday due to the condition of the roadways. As a result, motorists are advised to only venture out if they feel it is absolutely necessary as roadways remain dangerous. Those who do have to venture out are asked to give space to state, county and township road crews who are working to clear the roadways.
Sheriff Joe Browning reported on Monday afternoon that, as more winter weather reportedly makes its way toward the area, he, working closely with Ohio Department of Transportation and Gallia County Engineer Brett Boothe, would only issue a level 3 advisory if road crews were unable to sufficiently clear the roads due to the dangerous weather conditions. Thus far, that has not happened this winter season. A level 3 advisory would mean that all roads would be closed to all non-emergency personnel.
Emergency dispatchers further reported on Monday that only three crashes had been reported to the county 911 center since the onslaught of snow Sunday evening. All three crashes were reported between 10-10:30 p.m. on Sunday night, and, no further crashes have been reported due to weather conditions.
According to the National Weather Service, a flood watch is currently in effect for Gallia County until 12 p.m. on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain after 3 p.m. and a 100 percent chance of rain after 9 p.m. New precipitation is expected to amount to 1-2 inches as lows reach approximately 35 degrees on Tuesday night.
Wednesday will produce the area’s next chance of snow showers as highs reach around 37 degrees, with lows around 18 on Wednesday night.
More precipitation is also expected as the weekend approaches. There is a 30 percent chance of snow on Friday night and it is likely to rain and snow Saturday and Sunday.