Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 – 10 a.m.
The potential impact of tropical depression Florence on Appalachian Power’s service area is becoming more clear, and the company stands ready to respond. This evening and tonight the storm is expected to bring high sustained winds and gusts of up to 40 mph in elevations above 2,500 feet, particularly in southern Virginia. Also in southern Virginia 4-10” of rainfall is expected to cause flooding, even in rivers away from the heaviest rainfall. The heaviest periods of rain are expected tonight. Some landslides in the mountains cannot be ruled out. Soft soils and weakened tree roots will mean even wind gusts of 30-40 mph could lead to more issues than usual.
Storm Preparation Efforts
Appalachian Power employees and contractors remain prepared to move into areas that may experience damage and outages from Florence. The company’s response plan includes the availability of storm restoration workers from outside the company’s service area if needed, staging areas for crews, and contingency planning for facilities in areas where flooding issues may arise.
Flooding and high winds are of concern with this storm because they could hamper our ability to respond.
Appalachian Power is monitoring changing forecasts of storm impacts on its 6 hydroelectric dams on the New and Roanoke rivers in Virginia. Targeted drawdowns of the reservoirs at Claytor, Buck, Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes were completed Thursday and Hydro Operations continues to adjust levels as needed. The New River could see predicted major flooding by Monday morning. Riverside residents, campers and businesses should be vigilant by monitoring and heeding weather service and law enforcement warnings.
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: Monday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m.