CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It was this time last year the state and much of the east coast were battered by a powerful derecho leaving more than 600,000 people in West Virginia without electricity for days.
About 300,000 of those customers were serviced by Mon Power, and some West Virginians waitned nearly two weeks before the lights came back on.
Company spokesman Todd Meyers told MetroNews “Talkline” Wednesday the storm led the company to prioritize clearing rights-of-way, attempting to prevent debris and dead trees from falling on power lines.
“This year we’ve stepped it up and are spending about $44 million to trim trees in West Virginia,” Myers said.
Next month, Mon Power will present to the state Public Service Commission a new vegetation management plan that Myers said would go beyond current efforts. Among the findings from the PSC’s investigation into the 2012 massive power outage were questions about utilities doing enough to keep rights-of-way clear.
Myers added the company has also upgraded its communications and streamlined the process so it can more efficiently identify problem areas and get customers online quicker.