Weather: While the storm could cause outages across Appalachian Power’s entire service area, the greatest potential for widespread outages is in the company’s Virginia service territory. There, a cold front with sustained high winds between 40-60 MPH will move across areas from Glade Spring east through Lynchburg tonight and tomorrow. In higher elevations, winds are expected to continue into Saturday, with gusts as high as 70 MPH. The long duration of strong winds along with moisture-saturated soil will likely cause significant outages.
In the Wheeling, W.Va. area, wind gusts of 45-55 MPH are forecasted for tonight into Friday. It’s expected to exit the area by Friday evening.
Storm Preparation Efforts: Appalachian Power is monitoring the weather closely and has a plan in place to move employees and contractors into areas likely to experience damage and outages from the wind storm by Friday morning.
The prolonged high winds, through Friday and in some areas into Saturday is a concerning characteristic of this storm because it could hamper our ability to respond. We cannot safely make repairs while trees and limbs are still falling, and cannot safely work from buckets or on poles while wind gusts are still dangerously high.
Safety Message: Wind storms can cause many downed power lines. Customers should treat all downed lines as live power lines and stay away from them. Never touch downed power lines or sparking equipment. Keep children and pets away from fallen lines and anything the lines may touch.
Additional safety tips are posted at https://www.appalachianpower.com/outages/faq/OutageSafetyTips.aspx.
For More Information: 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.
A snapshot view of current outages is available anytime at www.appalachianpower.com. Go to the Outages and Problems section of the homepage and click “View Outage Map.”