Appalachian Power: 80,000+ without service due to wind

Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 7:30 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - As of 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Appalachian Power reported more than 83,000 customers were without service. The outages came as winds in Appalachian Power’s service area exceeded 50 miles per hour in some areas.

According to Phil Moye, the company’s Director of Communications for W.Va., outages were only expected to rise through Saturday night. WVVA spoke with Moye around 5 p.m. on Saturday, when around 60,000 customers had already lost service.

“We’ve watched the outages grow from practically nothing around noon today, to close to 60-thousand now, and I do feel like it’ll continue to go on,” said Moye. “And it really is effecting most all of the counties that we serve. Some to greater degrees than others, but we really have seen a lot of very high, very gusty winds today and that’s caused us a lot of trouble.”

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, more than 49,000 customers without service were in W.Va., and more than 31,000 were in Va..

Karen E. Whissing, the company’s Senior Communications Consultant, reported the company did plan for significant outages with Saturday’s winds, with more than 1,600 workers dedicated to restoring electric service.

In advance of the heavy winds, the company secured more than 200 line workers from outside Appalachian Power’s service area, traveling from as far away as Texas and Louisiana to assist with restoration. More than 100 additional call center employees were set to work the weekend as well.

As of publish, there were no estimates for restoration times. WVVA will work to provide that information as it becomes available.