WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Appalachian Power crews are preparing for potential power outages as a storm packing prolonged high winds is set to hit West Virginia late today.
While the storm could cause outages across the company’s entire West Virginia service area, the greatest potential for widespread outages is in Wheeling, W.Va. service territory. A cold front with sustained high winds between 45-55 MPH will move across the Wheeling area tonight into Friday. The long duration of strong winds along with moisture-saturated soil will likely cause significant outages.
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.
Phil Wright, Appalachian Power’s vice president of distribution, said the prolonged high winds through Friday is a concerning characteristic of this storm because it could hamper the company’s ability to respond.
“We cannot safely make repairs while trees and limbs are still falling, or work from buckets or on poles while wind gusts are still dangerously high,” said Wright.
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/outagemap.