PIQUA — The first measurable snowfall of the season arrived on Sunday morning, along with high winds and plummeting temperatures. The combination led to power outages around Miami County, including parts of Piqua.
Reports of power out began around mid-morning on Sunday. The most widespread area seemed to be in the Looney Road and County Road 25-A area, on the northeast side of Piqua.
Rob Beeler, a spokesman for the Dayton Power and Light Company, said more than 1,000 customers in Miami County originally were affected by the outage, and by mid-afternoon Sunday, there were still about 800 without electricity.
“This has been our hardest-hit area at present. We’ve had some additional crews coming in, above and beyond normal staffing levels, to get folks back on as quickly as possible. There’s been a lot of wind and ice in the north part of the region and that’s caused a lot of outages,” Beeler said, adding that traffic accidents also contributed to the outages.
“We’re trying to get folks to be safe on the roads, since some of the outages come from people hitting poles and other electrical equipment,” he said.
Beeler also emphasized the importance of home safety during an outage.
“If you’re using a generator, make sure there are no carbon monoxide issues by running it outside and hooking it up safely,” he said.
“Also, if you see a downed wire, assume it is live and report it to us immediately.”
Often, the utility company is unaware of outages until phone calls alert them, so Beeler encouraged affected customers to call (877) 4-OUTAGE to report loss of power.
Traffic signals on Looney Road, at both County Road 25-A and East Ash Street, also were affected by the outages, as well as the Indian Ridge development and other homes and businesses in the area.
Piqua Power Distribution went to work to restore power, getting traffic signals back online within an hour.
AccuWeather predicts sunny but very cold weather for Piqua today, with temperatures in the low 20s. Snow is expected to return Tuesday, with morning squalls, as the mercury peaks at about 25 before dipping to single digits at night. The cold spell will continue into Wednesday, which will be partly sunny and breezy, with a high of 16 and low of 4.
Things will thaw out a bit on Thursday, when the high is expected to hit the low 30s. The work week will wrap up with a slight upswing in temperature on Friday, with a high in the low 40s.
Mike Ullery and Belinda M. Paschal contributed to this story. Reach Ullery at (937) 451-3335 and Paschal at (937) 451-3341.