TWINSBURG — Abrams Farm resident Melissa Mertes and her family were still without power as of 1 p.m. Nov. 7, as are thousands of Twinsburg and Reminderville residents following the violent thunderstorms Nov. 5.
"I’m in Beachwood now," Mertes said Tuesday. "I’m going to call the Comfort Inn in Twinsburg to see if we can get a room there tonight, but I think it’s probably booked. I’m just worried that it’s going to be much colder tonight."
As FirstEnergy and service crews from across the United State and region work to pick up and replace the poles that were toppled like twigs along Liberty Road, Mertes is throwing away the food in her fridge as the time without power reaches 44 hours.
"We tossed everything yesterday," Mertes said. "This is inconvenient, but it could be worse. As long as we’re all together, that’s what matters."
As of 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, FirstEnergy’s Storm Center website reported that power to most of Reminderville was still out after the severe storm struck northern Summit County and surrounding areas. In Twinsburg, FirstEnergy lists more than 5,600 Twinsburg customers (about 60 percent of all customers) without power, while that number is about 1,600 Reminderville customers, or the entirety of the village.
The Drug Mart at the corner of Liberty Road and Glenwood Avenue is now open with restored power, Reminderville Mayor Sam Alonso said.
Estimates range widely as to when power could be restored, with FirstEnergy estimating 11:30 p.m. Nov. 8.
Twinsburg Mayor Ted Yates calls that estimate optimistic.
"I’ve heard they are supposed to get people along Chamberlin Road back online tonight," he said. "If the Liberty Road customers were restored by tomorrow night, that would be great. But it could be by Thursday or Friday, we really don’t know."
Yates said all of Meadowood is still without power, as is Ethans Green, Glenwood Preserve and Abrams Farm, all neighborhoods with about 500 homes apiece.
The Twinsburg Fitness Center remains open as a shelter, as does the Twinsburg Community Center, where there is a Red Cross station up and running, Yates said.
"People can stop down at the fitness center and grab a shower, and there is Red Cross at the community center," he said. "I just urge people to be careful on the roads, with traffic signals that are still out, as well as in and around town. Especially the elderly, who might be out cutting limbs or cleaning up. People need to be careful."
Sunday's storms, which included strong winds and heavy rain, resulted in downed branches and trees that disrupted power.
For all of Summit County, 8,741 customers had no power, while 15,531 out of FirstEnergy’s 2 million customers had no power. But the Twinsburg area was easily the hardest hit, Accuweather officials say.
About 613 customers in Sagamore Hills Township and 465 in Macedonia are still without power, while the number was 1,248 in all of Portage County.
Ohio Edison says on its website that it hopes to get all affected customers back online by 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Tuesday, Twinsburg Fire Chief Tim Morgan reported Liberty Road and Route 91 between Post Road and Officer Joshua T. Miktarian Parkway remained closed. He said Ravenna Road is now open.
A 30,000-volt transmission line came down across Liberty Road, which is what caused the massive power outage.
"Since that’s a main line which feeds less powerful lines, I’d think FirstEnergy is working extremely hard to get it taken care of first," said Morgan.
"These guys have been really, really good," Alonso said. "I think portions of Reminderville might get power back today."
Alonso cautioned homeowners to turn off stoves and washers and dryers, or anything that might spike when power is restored.
"Unplug TV’s and computers and other appliances," he said. "There could be a big jolt when power is restored."
Morgan added that diverted traffic is causing headaches for many motorists.
"We’re slowly getting back to normalcy and things are coming together a little bit at a time," he said. "All we can do is take it day by day, step by step, tree by tree, pole by pole."
The weather situation and power outages caused Twinsburg schools to be closed on Monday. They also are closed Tuesday, but that was a scheduled closing because of Election Day.
Twinsburg School District Superintendent Kathryn Powers said at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday she would know later today about Wednesday’s possible closing; the decision has not yet been made.
"The question is, how do I move kids?" she said. "It’s about the ability to get the busses out. And some roads remain impassible."
Area residents who have access to computer services can visit www.outages.firstenergycorp.com/oh.html for updates on power restoration efforts. The information is updated every 15 minutes, according to the website.