ASHLAND — A split tree damaged powerlines near the intersection of I-71 and U.S. Route 250 in Ashland Thursday afternoon, taking more than 100 residents’ power with it.
According to FirstEnergy, 113 customers lost power when the tree struck the power lines. The estimated restoration time is 6 p.m. Initially, the restoration time was estimated to be 3:30 p.m.
After assessing the damage, power crews got to work repairing damaged lines and equipment. It takes around two hours for crews to restore a span of power lines, said Lauren Siburkis, Senior Communications Representative at First Energy.
“We have to clean up the hazard, address the hazards, and then re-string the new equipment. So, that’s a little bit time consuming,” Siburkis said.
FirstEnergy trucks and crew members lined the shoulder of U.S. 250 at around 3:15 p.m. as they worked to assess the damage and secure a worksite.
For jobs along major high-speed routes like U.S. 250, FirstEnergy usually employs safety squads or flaggers to keep workers safe, Siburkis said.
The weather on Thursday was sunny with 11-mile per hour wind speeds, a far cry from the withering winds of mid-June that left thousands in the area without power after trees and limbs damaged power lines across the region.
For relatively calm-weather days, there are a number of reasons why a tree might fall on power lines, Siburkis said.
“It could’ve just been, you know, with all the rain we’ve gotten in the spring, it could’ve just been that it was a tree that was old,” Siburkis said.
“It could’ve been rotting and maybe its roots were weakened by all the rain we got in the spring and earlier months. There’s a lot of factors that go into what could cause a tree to fall.”