Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 – 10 a.m.
Appalachian Power is prepared to activate its response plans for Tropical Storm Florence as the storm comes closer to impacting its Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia service areas. The storm is likely to bring high sustained winds and damaging wind gusts at elevations above 2,500 feet late this afternoon into Sunday night. The most frequent gusts are expected to occur Sunday. In Virginia the storm is expected to bring 4-10” of rainfall in the mountains and southeast facing slopes south of Roanoke. The heaviest rain will come on Sunday and flooding is expected, even in rivers away from the heaviest rainfall. Lesser rainfall of 1-2” is expected west of the mountains in West Virginia and Kentucky.
Storm Preparation Efforts
Appalachian Power employees and contractors are prepared to move into areas that may experience damage and outages from Florence. The company has a solid plan in place that 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. Flooding may limit our ability to access damage. We cannot safely make repairs while high winds are still bringing down trees and limbs, and we cannot safely work from buckets or on poles in winds greater than 40 mph.
Appalachian Power is monitoring the 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 have been completed and Hydro operations continues to adjust as needed. Staff continues to especially monitor New River which is expected to crest as early as Monday or Tuesday.
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: Sunday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m.