February Ice Storm
Update: 5:00 PM, 2/26/2021
Power is back on for 96% of customers affected by historic back-to-back ice storms that hit the state Feb. 11 and 15. At the height of the weather event, 97,000 customers lost power, a number that has now dropped to 4,000. Only one county, Wayne, has more than 1,000 customers without power. In all areas, the objective was to get the majority of affected customers back on by 10:00 p.m.
Line workers and others will continue to work throughout the weekend until all customers have power. There remain about 400 locations where repairs must be made before power can be turned back on. Customers have exhibited incredible patience and understanding as thousands of employees and contractors have worked tirelessly and in difficult conditions to make repairs. This natural disaster included back-to-back ice storms followed by a layer of snow, and temperatures that dipped well below freezing for multiple days. Since the storms hit, the Appalachian spirit has been on full display with the community providing workers with coffee and warm meals, homemade cookies, and hand drawn thank you cards. Thank you for your kindness.
• Customers still out of power should check where service comes into their homes and make sure there’s no damage that would prevent their power from being restored. Customers are responsible for any repairs to the meter box and other equipment attached to their homes, not including the meter itself or the line from the pole to their home.
• For customers who will not receive service tonight and require work into the weekend, restoration times will be adjusted to provide a better estimate.
• Customers who’ve not had contact with the company for the past 24 hours are encouraged to report their outage again for an updated restoration time.
• Customers can see the restoration estimate for their home on the outage map, the Appalachian Power app, or through text and email alerts.
• Crews will continue to make repairs until the last customer is restored and workers are safely back home.
If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators "backfeed" electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator. See additional information about use of backup generators.
Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don't touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. Call Appalachian Power to report any downed lines or equipment.
In the event of a major power interruption, life-support customers are encouraged to contact Appalachian Power's toll-free customer service number to advise our representatives of their situation. Due to the nature of restoration activity, Appalachian Power cannot assure priority restoration for life-support customers. Life-support customers are advised to take precautionary measures to protect themselves in the event of a power loss. Contact relatives or friends for assistance or temporary accommodations in the event of a prolonged outage. Keep emergency phone numbers (physicians, hospitals, safety services, utilities) posted near your telephone.
Appalachian Power cannot connect power to any home or business where there is damage to the service entrance. The service entrance is the area located 1) at the meter, 2) between the meter and the home's electrical panel, or 3) the location where Appalachian Power's cable connects to the home/business owner's cable. Customers need to have a qualified electrician repair this damage before power can be restored to the home or business.
Customers are reminded that during storm restoration situations, Appalachian Power tree crews clear rights of way of trees and move on to the next location. Appalachian Power does not return to remove the cut trees. Property owners are responsible for brush removal.
Appalachian Power asks customers affected by the power outage, including those who must leave their homes, to turn off all lights and appliances – including heating or air conditioning systems – to prevent circuit overload situations as power is restored to their homes. Customers should be extra cautious in making sure nothing is left cooking on kitchen ranges. One light can be left on, so customers will know when power is restored.
Note: This is the last update on this storm.
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