UPDATE: Power returned to Athens

Mayor Patterson says the power outage affected almost the entire city
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 5:55 PM EST
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A power outage in Athens that affected over 18,000 people has been taken care of.

Most people had their power back by 1 a.m. By late morning, only 80 customers were still without power. Now, everyone affected has power back, according to AEP Ohio.

Crews worked through the afternoon and night, replacing the broken pole that caused the outage.

In response to the situation, the city of Athens opened an emergency warming station at the Athens Community Center yesterday.

Mayor Patterson said it was more than an uncomfortable situation.

“It’s a dangerous situation to be in. You know, to have complete power loss for the entire city or almost the entire city...,”

Patterson said police and firefighters were a part of the emergency response. Police drove around doing visual well checks while firefighters were at the ready. There were multiple instances of people being stuck in elevators, mostly at Ohio University.

UPDATE: 1/22/21 10:40 P.M.

According to a post on AEP Ohio’s social media, power is now expected to return to customers in Athens County by 1:00 a.m. Saturday.

That’s about eight hours earlier than officials originally estimated. They say it’s because crews have been able to work faster than anticipated.

The outage, which started around 2 p.m. Friday, has impacted more than 15,000 AEP customers in Athens County.

You can read more about the outage below.

UPDATE: 1/22/21 8:50 P.M.

The City of Athens has opened an emergency warming station in the Athens Community Center while AEP crews continue working to restore power to around 16,000 customers throughout the county Friday evening.

City officials say the building has heating and lighting, but outlets for charging personal devices may be limited.

They also say anyone coming to get warmed up will have to follow COVID guidelines, including wearing a mask.

AEP Ohio said in a social media post that the outage, which started around 2 p.m., was caused by a broken pole.

Company officials estimate power will be restored around 9 a.m. Saturday.

The warming station will be open until the outage is over.

UPDATE: 11/22/21 7:35 P.M.

Officials with AEP Ohio say the power outage affecting thousands of Athens County customers will likely last through Friday night and into Saturday morning.

The broken pole that caused the outage Friday afternoon will have to be replaced and crews say it is difficult to access.

Company officials estimate power will be restored around 9 a.m. Saturday.

UPDATE: 11/22/21 7:15 P.M.

AEP Ohio has determined the cause of the outage still affecting thousands of customers in Athens County.

A post on the company’s Twitter says a secluded pole that carries electricity to multiple stations that send power all over the area has broken.

Crews are working to repair the damage, but company officials are still unsure of when power may come back.


Much of Athens County was affected by a power outage that began early Friday afternoon and continued throughout the day.

As of 5:30 p.m., an outage map on AEP Ohio’s website showed that power was still out to about 16,000 customers.

The website indicated the outage began about 2 p.m., but it did not provide an estimated restoration time or information about the cause of the outage.

In a Facebook post, the Athens Police Department urged motorists to treat intersections where stop lights are not working as four-way stops.

Athens County authorities have not responded to phone calls requesting more information about the outage.

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