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Copper thieves knock out power in Charleston

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CHARLESTON — Appalachian Power says copper thieves are responsible for an outage in Charleston that left 2,900 customers without service.

Media outlets report that Thursday's outage affected customers in the Kanawha City and South Hills neighborhoods and along MacCorkle Avenue.

The University of Charleston canceled classes until power was restored around 11 a.m. Charleston Area Medical Center's Memorial Division switched to backup generators until it regained service around 9 a.m.

Traffic lights in the affected areas also were knocked out.

Appalachian Power spokeswoman Jeri Matheney says service wasn't expected to be restored to all customers until Thursday afternoon.

She says the theft occurred at a substation around 4:40 a.m. A voltage alarm alerted the utility.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press