Associated Press Published

Thousands Without Power in Southern W.Va.

Power Lines

Appalachian Power says it will take a few days for crews to restore electricity to thousands of West Virginia customers who lost power during a winter storm.

According to the company’s website about- 7,500 customers remained without power Monday in southern West Virginia. The website showed 3,000 customers in Mercer County and about 1,900 in McDowell County were without power. The company says power is expected to be restored to residents and businesses in McDowell and Wyoming counties by late Tuesday and in Mercer County by late Wednesday.

The storm brought heavy, wet snow Saturday night that cut power to more than 13,000 customers in the three counties. The utility says it has more than 1,000 workers involved in restoration efforts with additional crews arriving Monday from outside its service area. The company says there is a great amount of damage to assess and repair.

In 2016 Appalachian Power launched a multi-million dollar investment to inspect thousands of utilities poles across the region. In addition, after the Deracho of 2012 AEP launched a maintenance program meant to improve service reliability and reduce the impact of damaging storms. In an email, AEP’s Phil Moye said both programs help prevent damage from heavy storms like the one that hit over the weekend.

In areas crews have cleared so far, Moye says tree-related outages have dropped nearly 40 percent but, quote, “The work doesn’t eliminate damage in major storms like we had Sunday because trees can (and do) fall from well outside the right-of-way we are allowed to maintain.”

This story was updated on Tuesday, March 27 to include a response from Appalachian Power.