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AEP and VDOT crews clean up after Bedford storm

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 4:59 PM EDT
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - “That could have been worse.” AEP and VDOT crews are cleaning up after a severe Bedford County storm Friday.

Strong storms made for intense cleanup all throughout the day for AEP and VDOT crews.

“This is going to take some people a lot of time to recover from,” said Kevin Smith, AEP Manager of Distribution Systems for the Roanoke District.

Portions of roads remained closed in Bedford County Friday afternoon as AEP and VDOT crews worked to clean up live power lines, trees and storm debris after a powerful storm.

“I can tell you I’m in here next to large trees, what are just twisted and tossed,” Smith explains from the scene. “There’s large trees and some that are just uprooted and moved several feet from where the root ball was, which had to have taken quite an event. There’s areas where the trees were a good distance from our line and the tops broke out or trees pushed over and threw our lines, tearing the lines down. I do think, from what I’m seeing thankfully, we do have some broken poles, but that could have been worse. We’ve got rooftops, metal barn roofs that are wrapped around power lines, it’s kind of like having a sail boat sale hanging on the line. It just pulls the poles and wires right over when something like that happens.”

Crews spent the day assessing the area and carefully working with power lines to safely begin to repair and restore power.

“We just have to take the extra steps that, to some, maybe look like we’re moving slow initially in the process, but we really have to take every step necessary to isolate and protect our employees,” Smith adds.

These are steps the crew takes when working far from home, or in their own hometown.

“I had a son that was possibly about to get on a school bus and apparently this happened just after the children in this area got on the bus, so we missed that particular circumstance. As much as people know we are in the area to fix power, it’s the damage we see of personal property and of course injuries when you have them that hit closest to home and cause you to realize how thankful you are, especially in this situation where it sounds like we missed any serious injuries in the community,” he explains.

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