POWER RESTORED TO MORE THAN 215,000 CUSTOMERS; RESTORATION WILL CONTINUE THROUGH WEEKEND
Crews from as far away as South Dakota arriving to assist
Charleston, W.Va., July 3, 2012 – Appalachian Power workers were able to restore power to more than 215,000 customers since late Friday when an enormous wind and rain storm knocked 573,000 customers out of service. The storm was part of a massive “Derecho” or straight line wind storm that traveled close to 700 miles in 10 hours, devastating 10 states and leaving more than 4.3 million customers without electric service throughout the United States.
Company and state officials are characterizing the storm as similar to or even greater than a hurricane, but without advance warning.
Power restoration will continue for at least the next six days. In some areas, restoration estimates have changed for these reasons:
New storms from Sunday evening caused an additional 30,000 customer outages throughout the Appalachian Power service area.
Based on the ongoing assessment, crews are continuing to find additional damage to facilities including hundreds of broken poles, cross arms and downed spans of wire mostly caused by trees that fell during the storm. Assessors are finding more damage than anticipated, such as broken poles and downed wire, as the restoration progresses.
Because there are several million people throughout the country without power, it has been more difficult to find outside assistance. More than 2,000 workers - tree removal workers, damage assessment specialists, company line mechanics and outside line contractors - are dedicated to the restoration effort. Appalachian has secured help from Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia to join the restoration effort and will continue to bring in additional resources as they become available. We have crews working in every district in our service territory, including rural and urban areas.
As damage assessment continues restoration dates could be adjusted. Estimates are based on current assessment and assume no further storm-related outages.
In West Virginia, 215,060 of the company’s half-million customers are without electric service as a result of the storm. In Virginia, 140,597 of the company’s half-million customers are without electric service.
Restoration estimates include:
Tuesday night, July 3 - Dickenson, and Wise counties
Wednesday night, July 4 – Buchanan and Russell counties
Thursday night, July 5 – Floyd, Smyth, Tazewell and Washington counties
Friday night, July 6 - Bland, Carroll, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski and Wythe counties
Saturday night, July 7 - Albermarle, Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt, Campbell, City of Lynchburg, Craig, Franklin, Henry, Nelson, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Roanoke counties and City of Roanoke
Friday night, July 6 - Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Putnam and Summers counties
Saturday night, July 7 – Boone, Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo and Wayne counties
Sunday night, July 8 - Clay, Kanawha, Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, Roane and Wyoming counties
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.