Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 – 10 a.m.
With a solid response plan already in place, Appalachian Power continues to closely monitor Hurricane Florence as the storm makes landfall and begins to track inland. Forecast models indicate the company’s service area is likely to see heavy rain and damaging wind gusts from Florence through this weekend into early next week. Much of the company’s Virginia and West Virginia service areas could see 40-45 mph wind gusts and 2-4” of rainfall, with higher rainfall amounts in southern parts of Virginia. The greatest potential for outage-producing wind and rain is on Sunday, especially in higher elevation areas.
Storm Preparation Efforts
Appalachian Power employees and contractors are on alert and prepared to move into areas that may experience damage and outages from the hurricane. The company has secured lodging and staging areas for crews, as well as logistics and contingency planning for facilities in areas where flooding issues may arise. AEP workers from Ohio, Indiana and Michigan are prepared to travel and provide assistance if needed.
Flooding and high winds are concerning characteristics of this storm because they 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 in winds greater than 40 mph.
Appalachian Power continues to monitor the potential impacts of the storm on its 6 hydroelectric dams on the New and Roanoke rivers in Virginia. Hydro operations staff is adjusting reservoir levels to make way for heavy rains in the watersheds. Lakeside property owners are urged to secure docks and shorelines in the event of localized flooding.
Appalachian Power reliably helps other utilities in times of need, and once service to customers within our own service area is secure we anticipate making workers available to other utilities affected by the storm.
For More Information
This update provides a broad overview of the company’s planning efforts. 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.
Appalachian Power hydro plant water levels and flows can be monitored at www.aep.com/environment/conservation/hydro/. Specific project information is available at www.SmithMountainProject.com , www.ClaytorHydro.com , and their social media sites.
Report an outage, check outage status, manage your accounts, enroll in paperless billing, and more by downloading the Appalachian Power mobile app at www.AppalachianPower.com/App.
A snapshot view of current outages is available anytime at www.appalachianpower.com. Go to the Outages and Problems section of the site and click “View Outage Map.”
If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
Additional safety tips are posted at https://www.appalachianpower.com/outages/faq/OutageSafetyTips.aspx
Next Update: Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.