APCo: Still 22K power outages in Virginia

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- More than 22,000 Appalachian Power customers in Virginia are without electric service after an ice storm struck the area on Wednesday evening, according to the latest information from APCo.

The first blast of winter weather hit the area late Tuesday into Wednesday with snow transitioning into a freezing rain. Pre-staged Appalachian Power and contract crews were on alert and responding to outages as they occurred. Yesterday evening a second round of weather dropped temperatures and turned freezing rain into ice, downing trees and power lines and damaging electrical facilities. About a quarter-inch of ice was reported in parts of Appalachian's Virginia service territory, the release stated.

The regional breakdown of outages is as follows:

Roanoke County: 4,424
Bedford County: 4,125
Franklin County: 3,669
Amherst County: 3,365
Lynchburg City: 1,546
Roanoke City: 1,410
Botetourt County: 1,315

Appalachian secured assistance from more than 400 workers from outside the company’s service area, the release stated. Most outside assistance is from Tennessee and West Virginia contractors, as well as sister utility Kentucky Power. In all, more than 1,000 workers are involved in restoring electric service.

Already there are nearly 700 known places at which repairs need made, and damage assessment teams are working to determine the full extent of the damage last night’s storm caused. Restoration estimates will be made once the extent of damage is more fully known, the release added.