Appalachian Power Explains Restoration Priorities
Photo Crystal StClair
Work is progressing to repair extensive damage to both transmission and distribution lines in Cabell, Wayne, Putnam, Lincoln, Jackson and Mason counties in West Virginia. Snow overnight in these areas is making travel and work conditions more difficult for workers restoring service to 62,000 customers out of power as a result of Feb. 11 and Feb. 15. ice storms.
Snowfall in southern West Virginia is leading to some outages there, and ice accumulation in Virginia is causing a concerning rise in outages in parts of Virginia. As we continue to add resources, now more than 3,000 workers are dedicated to restoring power from storm damage in the two states.     WEST VIRGINIA STORM SUMMARY   Critical electric infrastructure is being repaired, including transmission lines, substations and distribution circuits. The Lavalette, Park Hill and South Neal substations are now energized, and repairs are ongoing at the Hash Ridge, Midkiff, Sheridan and Wayne substations. Several structures that carry transmission lines to the Wayne substation are damaged and need rebuilt. Of the 50 distribution circuits knocked out by the Monday storm, 17 remain out.   Weather: In ice-damaged areas drier than expected snow last night kept additional outages to a minimum, but the new snow accumulation is creating additional travel and work difficulties. In southern West Virginia an active weather system is producing new outages in Mercer and Raleigh counties. Outages and Restoration Efforts: More than 1,900 workers are committed to restoring service to customers who remain without power in areas affected by the Feb. 11 and Feb. 15 ice storms, with a continued focus on repairing damaged substations and outages that affect large numbers of customers. Counties most affected include Cabell, where 21,971 customers are without service; Wayne, 16,256; Putnam, 7,200; Lincoln, 6,879; Jackson, 3,414; and Mason, 2,772. In southern West Virginia crews are responding to new outages resulting from snow accumulation this morning. Restoration Estimates: Overall restoration estimates will likely be made later today for ice-damaged areas of West Virginia. Though thousands of customers will see service restored each day, restoration will in these heavily-damaged areas will continue into next week.     APPALACHIAN POWER’S RESTORATION PROCESS     In all storm events Appalachian Power prioritizes restoration efforts to safely get the largest number of customers on in the shortest amount of time, and addresses restoration in these four steps:   · First, assess damage and restore critical services, such as hospitals and fire departments · Second, restore outages that affect large groups of customers · Third, fix problems that affect smaller numbers of customers and · Fourth, make repairs that affect individual customers.