CHARLESTON, W.Va., March 5, 2015 -- Last night and into today up to a foot of heavy, wet snow fell in areas of western West Virginia along the Ohio River and between Huntington and Charleston, weighing down trees and causing outages. Outages rose throughout the day, from around 30,000 at daybreak to more than 43,000 this afternoon as trees continued to buckle under the weight of heavy snow.
Weather conditions are affecting the company’s efforts to restore power in a number of ways:
- As heavy snow continues to weigh down trees, it is likely more limbs and trees will fall and create new outages;
- Travel conditions remain challenging in some areas, and in some cases are slowing or limiting workers’ ability to reach damaged facilities;
- Near record cold temperatures are expected tonight, which may lead to isolated equipment-related outages.
As of 7 p.m., nearly 33,000 customers in the company’s West Virginia service area were without electric service. Numbers by county include:
- Cabell -- 8,604
- Jackson -- 2,620
- Kanawha -- 5,109
- Mason -- 5,302
- Putnam -- 7,342
- Roane -- 1,010
- Wayne -- 1,821
- (West Virginia, all other areas) -- 976
All Appalachian Power line workers and contractors in areas affected by the storm are involved in service restoration. Employees from parts of Appalachian Power unaffected by the storm are among the nearly 250 additional workers from Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana who are assisting local crews in the restoration effort.
In Cabell, Jackson, Mason, Putnam and Wayne counties, the restoration effort is expected to conclude Saturday night. Customers in all other counties affected by the storm should have service restored by tomorrow night.
Temperatures are expected to fall to near record lows tonight across the region. Customers without electric service are encouraged to make plans to stay safe and warm. Those using alternate sources of heat should follow appropriate safety precautions. Emergency response agencies have set up warming stations and shelters at several locations. Warming shelter information is posted on area television station news sites: WCHS; WOWK; WSAZ.
This information provides a broad overview of the company’s restoration efforts. Customers who sign up for Outage Alerts can now get specific information about the outage affecting their account. To sign up, go to appalachianpower.com and click “Sign Up Now” under the Outage Alerts heading.
A snapshot view of current outages is available anytime at appalachianpower.com. Go to the Outages and Problems section of the site and click "View Outage Map."