Editor's Note: This story is being updated as conditions change.
LEXINGTON -- Downed power lines in Bellville on Thursday caused multiple outages for in southern Richland County and northern Knox County.
"At this time we know that lines have been reported down in Bellville, and approximately 5,000 customers are experiencing an interruption in power," a spokesperson for AEP Ohio said via email.
"Updates will be available at AEPOhio.com/OutageMap, as well as through our social media channels as they become available," AEP said.
The spokesperson from AEP said crews have been dispatched to investigate the outages.
Two outages in Lexington have reportedly impacted 1,268 customers, according to AEP's website. The outages began around 9:17 a.m. and the company estimates power will be restored by 1:30 p.m.
The power outages have affected Lexington High School and Junior High, Central Elementary and Eastern Elementary. Schools are remaining in session through the entire school day as normal and lunch is still being provided. Any parent wishing to pick up their child early must go to the main office to sign them out as phones are currently down.
An outage north of Bellville has impacted approximately 1,852 customers. The outage began at approximately 10:16 a.m. AEP estimated power will be restored by 12:30 p.m.
Three outages in Fredericktown have collectively impacted 1,921 customers. These outages also began around 9:17 a.m. and have an estimated service restoration time of 1:30 p.m.
An outage in Centerburg has reportedly impacted fewer than 5 customers. This outage began around 7:02 a.m. Earlier this morning, AEP predicted power will be restored by 11:00 a.m., but its website now says the company is assessing conditions and not restoration time is posted.
Residents should stay far away from any downed lines as well as anything they may be touching to avoid the risk of electric shock, AEP said.
The Energy Cooperative is reporting outages in Richland and Knox counties. The outages are impacting approximately 440 Richland County customers and 189 Knox County customers. An outage in Ashland County appears to have been resolved, according to the company's outage map.
An automated phone message states that crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, but there is no estimated timeframe for service restoration.
FirstEnergy is reporting fewer than five Ashland County customers impacted by an outage in Milton Township. A crew has been dispatched and service should be restored by 3 p.m.