Advertisement

AEP | Power restored to 75% of customers who lost service in back-to-back ice storms

(AP)
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 12:05 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

UPDATE 2/22/21 @ 6 p.m.

HUNTINGTON/CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – About 23,000 Appalachian Power customers remain without power after restoration to 75% of customers, AEP said Monday evening.

The company said “a huge number of workers remain concentrated in Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam and Wayne counties.”

As of 5 p.m. Monday, AEP reported the following outages in those hard-hit areas: Wayne (11,332), Cabell (6,995), Jackson (1,214), Lincoln (2,042), Mason (1,698) and Putnam (1,720).

The outages happened after back-to-back ice storms on Feb. 11 and 15 followed by a snow storm just days later. At the peak, nearly 97,000 Appalachian Power customers were without service.

According to AEP, “Damage from the two ice storms is massive and unprecedented. The full extent of the destruction is still not fully known.” The company has been using helicopters and drones to help assess the damage.

The company also released the following information about restoration:

“Restoration times were reevaluated this afternoon for all locations. In Wayne County, a large number of customers will be restored when the Wayne Station and associated circuits are restored, which is expected to be late tonight. Based on conditions, the estimated event restoration time for all remaining customers in Wayne County, as well as customers in Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, and Putnam counties has been extended to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26.”

According to AEP, “there remain at least 1,350 separate locations where repairs are needed. Of that number, the largest outages have now been restored. Repair work remains difficult, but progress continues to slowly be made with power restored to more customers each day.”

(WSAZ) - According to AEP, as of Monday at 11 a.m., power has been restored to 75% of customers who lost service in back-to-back ice storms that hit the state Feb. 11 and 15.

Outages peaked at 97,000 customers and now have dropped to approximately 24,000, with even more customers expected to see power restored before the end of Monday.

AEP says workers remain concentrated in the following counties: Cabell, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam and Wayne.

West Virginia Outages by County and Restoration Estimates

  • Around 24,000 customers remain out of power. Counties most affected include Cabell, where 7,359 customers are without service; Jackson, 1,310; Lincoln, 2,087; Mason, 1,800; Putnam, 1,929; and Wayne, 11,210.
  • Restoration times for all areas are currently being reevaluated.
  • In the Milton area of Cabell County, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, and Putnam counties, most customers without power will have service restored by 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22.
  • In Wayne County and the remainder of Cabell County, most customers without power should have service restored by 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23.

There remains at least 1,350 separate locations where repairs are needed. Of that number, the largest outages have now been restored.

AEP says restoration times are currently being reevaluated for all locations, and updated times will be provided Monday afternoon.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

Crews say Monday’s rain and warmer temperatures will likely lead to increased ice melt, which could contribute to some rebound outages as ice falls from trees and other surfaces. They say weather conditions will also prevent helicopters from flying, but drones will still be used. According to AEP, helicopters and drones have proven valuable for assessing and locating damage in remote areas.

WEST VIRGINIA STORM SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS

  • Assessment teams are estimating that as many as 600 broken poles and roughly 2,400 spans of wire must be replaced to restore all customers to service.
  • Over the course of these ice storms, over 100 circuits were out. That number is now reduced to five.
  • A total of 12 stations were out of service during the ice storms. Power has been restored to 11 of these.
  • The Wayne Station in Wayne County will be out of service until at least this evening. Progress has been difficult due to the level of damage and remote location. Several poles required to restore service to the Wayne station were set yesterday, and more are expected to be set today as crews begin installing lines.
  • A total of 27 bunkhouses are in place at the Huntington Mall to house workers, with area hotels also filled with workers.

As for Ohio, AEP told WSAZ Monday additional line crews have been added in South Point to assist in the effort.

Crews are working to replace three poles Monday as well as continuing to make other repairs to help get power flowing again.

AEP Ohio says the warmer temperatures continue to contribute to the ice thawing and softening the ground, leading to additional trees falling and potential new outages.

AEP plans to keep crews in the area for the next few days to be ready to respond quickly if that happens.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

Copyright 2021 WSAZ. All rights reserved.