Back-to-back severe thunderstorm systems moved across Appalachian Power’s southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia service areas this week, leaving a total of more than 100,000 customers without electric service. Outage levels in West Virginia peaked at around 36,000 Monday evening, and surged again to 34,000 Tuesday night following another round of evening thunderstorms. In Virginia outage levels peaked at around 18,000 Monday evening.
For many areas, the storms are the latest in a string of recent rainfalls that have saturated the ground with moisture and made conditions favorable for trees to uproot.
The forecast through the remainder of the week is not expected to cause significant additional outages.
Damage from both the Monday and Tuesday storms is widespread, with more than 900 locations at which crews will have to make some type of repair to restore electric service.
A total of more than 1,800 workers are engaged in the service restoration effort, including 475 contractors from outside the service area, 750 employees and contractors from within the company’s service area and around 600 tree-clearing workers.
This week workers have restored service to around 90,000 customers across Appalachian Power’s service area. Currently around 29,000 remain without service.
Workers in less affected areas of Virginia will move on to harder hit areas of West Virginia as repairs in their areas are complete.
As of 10:30 a.m., around 29,000 customers are without electric service. Approximate state and county totals follow:
West Virginia – 27,000 (Boone 700; Cabell 1,300; Clay 700; Fayette 2,500; Greenbrier 700; Jackson 1,400; Kanawha 1,600; Lincoln 2,200; Logan 2,600; Marshall 1,200; Mason 2,300; McDowell, 1,500; Mercer 500; Mingo 2,900; Putnam 300; Raleigh 800; Roane 400; Summers 100; Wayne 3,200; Wyoming 200)
Virginia – 2,300 (Bland 400; Buchanan 200; Dickenson 700; Russell 500; Tazewell 200; Washington 300)
Service restoration is expected to be complete by tonight in areas served by the company’s Bluefield, Pineville and Welch service centers.
In areas served by the Beckley, Charleston, Glasgow, Hico, Madison and Walgrove service centers the restoration effort is expected to be complete by Thursday night.
In areas served by the Hamlin, Huntington, Logan, Milton, Point Pleasant, Ripley, Wayne and Williamson service centers, restoration may extend into Friday evening.