12/21/2009
APPALACHIAN POWER RECOMMENDS REPORTING POWER OUTAGES AND OBTAINING UPDATES BY PHONE OR ONLINE

Power restoration is under way for 130,000 Appalachian Power customers who remain without power today in parts of the company’s Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia service area.

In addition to hundreds of Appalachian Power employees, more than 1,300 contractors from 13 states have moved in to assist with restoration. While many people will have power restored today and tomorrow, some areas will not be restored until the end of the week.

Crews are using every resource available, but blocked and snow covered roads and the large number of outages continue to make restoration efforts extremely challenging. Crews have reported finding hundreds of broken power poles and miles of downed power lines in areas that they have been able to access so far. They were able to restore power to about 40,000 customers on Sunday.
 
If your power is out
If customers are experiencing an outage, they should make sure Appalachian Power has been contacted by calling or reporting it online.
Customers should call Appalachian Power’s toll-free number (Tennessee: 1-800-967-4237, Virginia:1-800-956-4237, West Virginia: 1-800-982-4237). If callers receive a recorded message, they should follow the automated instructions to leave a message and not hang up.

For those who have access to a computer and the Internet, outages can be reported at www.AppalachianPower.com. Reporting an outage this way only takes a few minutes and simply requires the customer’s phone number and verification of address to start the process.

People should not approach power company crews with questions about outages because it can be potentially dangerous for everyone. “Making electrical repairs in these circumstances is very dangerous work, and requires the complete concentration of our employees. It is imperative that distractions be kept to a minimum, so we are urging our customers to use the phone and Internet to report and receive information,” said Phil Wright, Appalachian Power vice president – distribution.

It is also not recommended for people to visit Appalachian Power offices because employees who work there are not equipped to take outage information and do not have access to customer information. Offices and service centers are not open to the public.

Further, for those affected by a power outage, including those who must leave their homes, it is recommended that all lights and appliances be turned off, including heating systems. Following this advice will help prevent circuit overload situations as power is restored to homes. One light can be left on, so customers will know when power is restored.

Heavy snow continued through the night Friday and in to Saturday.  By Saturday afternoon, outages peaked at 220,000 customers.

Appalachian Power has almost 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. 

Phil Moye - West Virginia
Corporate Communications Manager
(304) 348-4188
pamoye@aep.com

Todd Burns – Tennessee and Virginia
Corporate Communications Manager
(540) 985-2912
tfburns@aep.com

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