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Appalachian Power Storm Response Update

Saturday, February 13, 2021 – 5:15 p.m.

Situation Appalachian Power is responding to two significant ice-damage weather events, and preparing for a possible third weather event Sunday night into Monday. In Virginia an ice storm is in progress, mostly in areas east of Interstate 77 and south of Interstate 81. In a 12 hour span from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m., more than 40,000 Virginia customers lost service. Outages continue to climb as the weather system passes across the area.

Weather In Virginia ice in several areas continues accumulating to levels that are producing tree damage and associated power outages, mostly in areas east of Interstate 77.

Outages In Virginia 42,000 customers are currently without electric service, with numbers expected to rise. Counties most affected include Franklin, with 11,750 customers out of service; Henry, 6,368; Floyd, 6,300; Campbell, 5,160; Montgomery, 2,679; and Pulaski, 1,639.

(earlier APCO release) Appalachian Power is responding to two significant ice-damage weather events. In Virginia an ice storm is in progress, mostly in areas east of Interstate 77 and south of Interstate 81. Outages began climbing from ice damage early this morning and stood at 23,000 at 11:00 a.m. In West Virginia an ice storm late Wednesday night into Thursday left a peak of more than 45,000 customers without service, with Cabell, Wayne and Putnam counties most affected. Ice continues to be a problem, remaining on trees, power lines and some roads and causing hazardous driving and working conditions.

 Weather

In West Virginia ice remains on trees from Thursday’s storm, and as more limbs break new outages continue to occur. Forecasters say another damaging ice event is likely Sunday night into Monday across much of the company’s West Virginia service area, and is likely to cause damage and outages across much of the area affected by Thursday’s weather.

 In Virginia ice is accumulating to levels that are producing tree damage and associated power outages, mostly in areas east of Interstate 77. Further accumulation, additional damage and increasing outages are expected through today.

Outages

In Virginia 23,000 customers are without electric service as of 11:00 a.m., with numbers expected to rise as ice accumulates through the day. Counties most affected currently include Henry, with 5,517 customers out of service, Franklin, with 8,639, Floyd, with 3,046 and Pulaski, with 1,103.

In West Virginia around 21,000 customers are currently without electric service as a result of the Thursday ice storm. Counties with most remaining outages are Cabell, with 9,280 customers out of service, Wayne, with 4,944, and Putnam, with 3,312.

 Restoration Process

In all storm events Appalachian Power prioritizes restoration efforts to safely get the largest number of customers on in the shortest amount of time, and addresses restoration in these four steps:

  • First, restore critical services, such as hospitals and fire departments
  • Second, restore outages that affect large groups of customers
  • Third, fix problems that affect smaller numbers of customers and
  • Fourth, make repairs that affect individual customers.

In Virginia we are working to ensure known hazards are addressed, ensuring we are aware of critical services without power, assessing damage, and addressing large known outages as weather conditions to safely permit us to do so.

In West Virginia there are 45 outages that affect 100 or more customers, and we are restoring service to a mix of large outages and outages that affect smaller numbers of customers.

 Restoration Estimates

  • In West Virginia we expect to continue making good progress today, and to have service restored to most remaining customers in Jackson and Mason counties by 10 p.m. tonight. Most customers currently without service in Cabell, Wayne, Putnam and Lincoln should have service restored by 6 p.m. tomorrow. In some cases where restoration could extend into Monday, outage-specific information with restoration times will be updated on our outage map and through outage alerts, as noted below.
  • In Virginia damaging weather and resulting outages are in progress. We will not be able to provide restoration estimates until the storm passes and the extent of damage is known.

For information on a specific outage check our Outage Map at www.AppalachianPower/OutageMap.

 Storm Response Efforts

In Virginia local employees and contractors are responding in their local areas, and workers from other parts of the company’s Virginia service area will move in to assist. Additional resources from outside the service area are being assembled as the extent of damage becomes known.

In West Virginia nearly 1,000 workers are involved in restoring electric service, including more than 550 line workers. Work includes replacing nearly 80 broken poles and 650 spans of downed power lines.

 In all areas ice continues to weigh down trees and limbs continue to break, new outages continue to occur. Driving conditions on some roads remains slippery. Crews are following COVID safety protocols and taking precautions to ensure they are working safely in the slick conditions.