10/30/2013 5:57 PM
by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - As many as 157,000 Appalachian Power customers lost electricity after Superstorm Sandy dumped feet of snow in regions of West Virgina a year ago today.
Phil Moye of Appalachian Power told Newswatch that Sandy was one of the five largest storms the company had ever dealt with.
After Sandy, Appalachian Power began to pre-certify more contractors, strengthen its system and work closely with the service program to create a tree trimming schedule.
Although 2,000 additional workers were ready to restore power before the storm hit, Moye says storm is a learning opportunity.
"We always look at that as an opportunity to see, 'OK, what do we do well, and what can we do better,' and so we always have a post-storm critique to say, 'What are some of the things that we can improve on next time,' and I think the experience we had last year gave us plenty to look at and will help us be more greatly prepared whenever we do have another major storm like that come through," Moye said.
More than 95 percent of Appalachian Power customers had power within days of Sandy, according to the company, but handling outages after the derecho was different because the storm was unexpected.