Warming centers offered refuge for people without power on New Year’s Day


It was a rough start to the year for about 6,000 households in Belmont and Jefferson counties.

Power went off at about 7 a.m. 

AEP Ohio officials say it was due to frozen transmission lines.

Warming centers were set up at two sites in Jefferson County and six in Belmont County.

One of those was the Colerain Fire Company, where they had some concerns about particularly vulnerable segments of the population.

“We’re a little bit worried about the elderly residents in the community today,” said Assistant Chief Ty Wilson. “We do have some extra tables and chairs here set up at the station. If somebody needs to stop by to warm up, we’ll have some people here during the day.  They can stop in and get warm.”

Their fire station was actually one of the places without power.

But their back-up generator kicked on, providing heat and light.

The Belmont County EMA has a list of churches, social halls and fire departments they can call upon in times of crisis to open their doors as emergency warming shelters.

The others are in Martins Ferry, Barton, St. Clairsville and Sunset Heights.

Fortunately power was restored by early afternoon.

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