ANDOVER – The community of Andover were overjoyed to have life back to normal around 11 a.m. on Friday, March 10 following major power outages in the area that had carried throughout the state on Wednesday, March 8 and Thursday, March 9.
According to Alicen Limestoll, who works for Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency, around 300 residences were out of power on Wednesday, March 8 and Thursday, March 9 in Andover Village and Township, making up about 150,000 without power in Northeast Ohio this past week.
“We’ve been following storms and outages,” said Limestoll regarding Ohio Edison First Energy’s diligent service and communication available online.
Limestoll said besides being a responder, she is also a lay leader at Andover United Methodist Church and was also available to assist in making the church a temporary shelter on Thursday, March 9 for those that needed a warm place to stay.
Assistant Pastor Jason Hockran said that in the past the church has also supported the community during a huge windstorm and was glad to provide temporary shelter to those who needed it during the power outage.
“It was just a matter of we have power so it’s a no brainer,” said Hockran regarding Andover UMC. “The church is here to support the community and reach out, to be the hands and feet of Christ, and not just be a pretty building. Hopefully we never have a reason to have an emergency shelter.”
Limestoll said that there were a total of four power lines down in the Andover area on Thursday, March 9, including one on North Main Street, two on Route 85, as well as one down on Gibbs and Lake Road, but all were restored by the following day.
That was good news for area residents who had already gone without water or heat for about 24 hours, including Andover resident Katie Dillworth, who had to stay at her grandparents’ house.
Aside from the power being restored, a lot of work was also done in clearing trees and in making the roads safe for anyone traveling, while spreading awareness on preparing for emergencies.
For future reference Limestoll wants people to know that they should always stay at least 25 feet away from powerlines that are down, should avoid arching lines because they can cause fires and advises to never touch anything that the lines are touching.
She also feels that it’s important to prepare ahead for emergencies like power outages.
“We’ve urged people in the past to have an emergency kit,” said Limestoll. “[That way] when you have power outages you can take care at home,” said Limestoll.
Items in the kit that Limestoll recommends include water and non-perishable food for at least three days, a battery powered or hand crank radio with extra batteries, a flashlight with extra batteries, a sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person, a first aid kit, a whistle to signal for help, a dust mask, moist towelettes and garbage bags, a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, a can opener for food, local maps, as well as a cell phone with an extra battery or solar charger.
You can also include additional items like prescription medications and glasses, baby and or pet supplies, important family documents, money, emergency reference material, household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper to use as a disinfectant, a fire extinguisher, matches in a waterproof container, personal hygiene items, mess kits, kitchenware, a paper and pencil, along with activities for children.
For more information about preparing for an emergency, receiving assistance, or inquiring about power outages please visit: https://www.ready.gov/, https://www.facebook.com/AshtabulaEMA/, or https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/help/safety/downed-power-lines.html.
Pictured: A crew from Area Wide Protective ensuring that people were safe as they drove past Ohio Edison First Energy, who were working hard on fixing the power on North Main Street in Andover on Thursday, March 9.