West Virginia American Water Prepares for Operational Impacts from Hurricane Florence

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)  – West Virginia American Water said today it is prepared to respond to potential operational impacts related to Hurricane Florence. The storm is expected to inflict heavy rainfall and 40-45 mph wind gusts in parts of the company’s service area across southern West Virginia this weekend and into early next week. The company is concerned about flooding, which could damage equipment, water treatment and pumping facilities while also causing hazardous driving conditions. In addition, power outages could affect the company’s hundreds of electricity-dependent facilities.

To prepare for these impacts, West Virginia American Water personnel have fueled and readied a large number of fixed and portable generators, and technicians are ready to deploy them as needed. Company vehicles and equipment have been fueled, treatment plant chemicals have been stocked, mobile potable water tankers have been readied and staffing contingencies are in place. Additional employees have been scheduled to respond to water service disruptions, and contractors are on standby to respond to main breaks or equipment transport needs.

“Our team will work around the clock in the safest manner possible to respond to any issues that develop,” said West Virginia American Water president Brian Bruce. “Heavy rain and road closures may lengthen response times, so we appreciate your patience and understanding as our workers carry out their tasks under potentially challenging conditions.”

Operational alerts will be posted to the company’s website, westvirginiaamwater.com. Emergency notifications, such as precautionary boil water advisories, will be communicated through the company’s CodeRED emergency customer notification system. Customers are encouraged to download the CodeRED mobile app and to make sure their contact information with the company is current so that they receive any emergency notifications. West Virginia American Water’s customer service center is staffed 24/7 for emergencies and can be reached at 1-800-685-8660.

West Virginia American Water is a member of the West Virginia Water Agency Response Network (WV WARN), which is designed to provide utility-to-utility mutual aid during an emergency to rapidly and effectively coordinate and respond to equipment and resource needs by water and wastewater utilities across West Virginia. If called upon, West Virginia American Water will be ready to help nearby utilities in responding to this serious weather event.

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com