Appalachian Power crews continue to work on outage restoration efforts after strong bands of storms with wind gusts of up to 60 MPH blew across much of Appalachian Power’s service territory on Wednesday, damaging electrical facilities and leaving a peak of 100,000 customers without electric service.
Most of the damage is in West Virginia, with broken poles, uprooted trees and downed power lines. Nearly one in five of Appalachian Power’s West Virginia customers were affected by the storm.
A priority today is to address downed wires in area roadways and eliminate any hazards. About 60 distribution circuits, 21 distribution stations and more than 20 transmission lines were impacted by the storm. There has been a lot of damage to the transmission system, but the main issue crews are dealing with is downed wire.
Today’s weather will allow the company to have several helicopters in the air, which helps workers quickly find damage to the system.
Outages and Restoration Estimates
In the 24 hours since the storm struck, crews restored service to more than 30,000 customers. Currently more than 66,000 West Virginia customers and 3,000 Virginia customers remain without electric service.
Counties with the largest numbers of customer outages are all in West Virginia and include: Fayette (10,653), Kanawha (8,890), Raleigh County (6,667), Logan (5,785), McDowell (5,368), Mingo (5,008) and Boone (4,181).
In Virginia, Tennessee and in the northern panhandle area of West Virginia, all storm-related outages are expected to be restored by tonight.
In other parts of West Virginia, the restoration effort will continue into the weekend. Service should be restored to all customers, except in isolated cases of severe damage, as follows:
Friday night, March 3 – McDowell, Mercer, Wyoming counties
Saturday night, March 4 – Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam and Wayne counties
Sunday, March 5 – Hard-hit areas of Boone, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Logan, Mingo, Nicholas, Raleigh and Roane counties.
The forecast for today calls for clearer skies and little to no precipitation, but breezy conditions will remain and could hamper restoration efforts.
Storm Response Efforts
Appalachian Power line workers and contractors from unaffected parts of Virginia traveled to help local crews make repairs in hard-hit areas of West Virginia. Internal crews and local contractors continue to work to restore power and approximately 400 workers from outside the company are arriving today to assist in the efforts.
For More Information
This update provides a broad overview of the company’s restoration efforts. Customers can get specific information about the outages affecting their homes or businesses via text message and/or email by subscribing to Appalachian Power outage alerts. To sign up, please visit [www.appalachianpower.com/alerts]www.appalachianpower.com/alerts.
A snapshot view of current outages is available anytime at www.appalachianpower.com by clicking “View Outage Map.” You can also view the map by county or zip code to get a clearer picture of how your area is affected.
To report a power outage, please visit www.appalachianpower.com/outages/report/ or call 1-800-982-4237.
Severe weather can cause power lines to snap or poles to come down. Fallen power lines are dangerous because they carry an electric current that can cause serious or fatal injury. Never touch a fallen wire, no matter how harmless it looks and keep others away from the potential hazard as well. If you encounter fallen wires, stay away from them and immediately contact Appalachian Power.
Additional safety tips are posted at https://www.appalachianpower.com/outages/faq/OutageSafetyTips.aspx.