Appalachian Power set for potential storm damage

Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 2:47 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Appalachian Power is requesting additional outside personnel to assist with potential outages caused by Monday’s expected storms.

The utility reports crews are ready to respond to any power outages caused by severe storms in portions of Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Storms are anticipated to bring damaging winds with gusts of 60 - 70 mph into Monday evening. Isolated tornadoes are possible with these storms, and many areas are under tornado watch.

A spokesperson explained AEP crews will work on emergency services first, like hospitals and fire departments, and then areas where the largest amount of customers are without power.

”We always ask for customers to be patient and I know that’s a tough word to say when we’re dealing with power outages in 80-90 degree weather, but we are working,” George Porter said. “We always work to restore every customer.”

The following is from Appalachian Power:

Storm Preparation Efforts

In anticipation of damage and outages from these storms, local employees and contractors are on alert and prepared to travel as needed.

Appalachian Power’s storm response team has secured 250 additional outside personnel to accelerate restoration efforts as necessary.

Five Tips to Help Keep Customers Safe and Prepared

1. Plan Ahead

Develop an emergency plan for you and your family. Be sure to contact family, friends, neighbors with young children, the elderly or people with medical conditions to ensure they also have a plan.

2. Make an emergency outage kit

Get ahead of storms by assembling an emergency preparedness kit that includes non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, a portable cell phone charging bank, a blanket or sleeping bag, a first aid kit and any necessary medications.

3. Stay away from downed lines

Remember, all downed lines are dangerous — they can carry an electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you see a fallen wire, stay away and keep others away, including children and pets. Call Appalachian Power at 1-800-956-4237 or 911 immediately.

4. Remember, safety first

If the power goes out, always use caution when using generators. Proper ventilation is necessary to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your home’s main electrical panel. This can “back-feed” electricity into outside utility lines, creating the danger of electrocution for repair crews and the public. Instead, read the manufacturer’s instructions and only plug essential appliances directly into the generator.

5. Stay in the know

It’s easy to stay connected. Report outages and check restoration status by:

For More Information For information on a specific outage, check Appalachian Power’s Outage Map.