Around 12,000 Appalachian Power customers are experiencing weather-related power outages due to damage from what remains of Hurricane Florence. Although damage is not as severe or widespread as early hurricane forecasts indicated, there are still around 400 places where repairs must be made before all electric service can be restored. Most outages are in areas south of the Virginia-West Virginia state line and east from Interstate 77 toward Roanoke. Additional outages from high winds are not expected, but in some isolated cases flooding could cause new outages or issues accessing damaged facilities.
Appalachian Power is moving contractors from less affected areas into areas with significant numbers of outages. In most areas with storm-related outages, customers should have service restored by tonight. In more heavily damaged areas of Carroll, Floyd, Grayson, Henry, Patrick and Roanoke counties complete service restoration may extend to tomorrow night.
Appalachian Power continues to respond to potential storm impact on its 6 hydroelectric dams on the New and Roanoke rivers in Virginia. Targeted drawdowns of the reservoirs at Claytor, Buck, Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes were completed last week and are helping manage higher river flows today. Adjustments are being made as needed. Riverside residents, campers and businesses should remain vigilant around flood waters and monitor emergency notifications.
Appalachian Power currently has no outstanding requests for assistance from other utilities affected by Florence, but will consider supplying resources as needed once service is secure to Appalachian Power customers.
This update provides a broad overview of the company’s planning efforts. Customers can get specific information about the outages affecting their accounts via text message and/or email by subscribing to Appalachian Power outage alerts. To sign up, please visit www.appalachianpower.com/alerts.
Appalachian Power hydro plant water levels and flows can be monitored at www.aep.com/environment/conservation/hydro/. Specific project information is available at www.SmithMountainProject.com, www.ClaytorHydro.com , and their social media sites.
Report an outage, check outage status, manage your accounts, enroll in paperless billing, and more by downloading the Appalachian Power mobile app at www.AppalachianPower.com/App.
A snapshot view of current outages is available anytime at www.appalachianpower.com. Go to the Outages and Problems section of the site and click "View Outage Map."
If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
Additional safety tips can be found HERE.
Photo: Appalachian Power