CHARLESTON, W.Va. – More than 5,300 Appalachian Power customers lost electricity late Sunday night into early Monday morning, the product of gusting winds that downed lines as bitter cold struck the East.
Company spokesman Phil Moye said those outages in Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell counties were due to downed lines.
“When you have that combination of wet weather and then gusty winds that follow, you often have trees or limbs that will fall onto our power lines,” explained Moye. “That’s what we’ve had.”
Appalachian line crews were working to repair those lines and get service back up as quickly as possible.
“The weather is only going to get colder, as the day goes on. So we’re doing our best to get everyone back, in service,” said Moye.
Temperatures are expected to drop below zero across much of West Virginia Monday night and only reach the lower teens or single digits Tuesday. Other than a mid-summer heat wave, this is the most power Appalachian will be pumping out all year.
“A lot of people use electricity for heating in their homes. The colder it gets, the more demand there is for heat. That puts some additional stress on our system,” Moye said.
Appalachian crews will be on call just in case there are unforeseen outages over the next two days. Moye said the company is prepared for this cold snap.
“We don’t anticipate it’s going to be enough to cause widespread problems but we certainly are keeping an eye on those areas where we know we have heavy electrical loading,” Moye said.
The worst of the cold snap should be finished by Wednesday when temperatures are forecast to reach the lower 30s.