Appalachian Power encourages customers to prepare for winter weather

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800px-Tree_branch_after_ice_stormCHARLESTON, W.Va. – Appalachian Power is encouraging its customers to prepare for a potential power outage should ice hit the area this weekend as predicted.

“Ice is one of the most damaging weather events for our electric system because its weight brings down trees and power lines, and inhibits our ability to get to the damaged poles, transformers and wires,” said Phil Wright, Appalachian Power vice president distribution. “We have been monitoring the weather conditions closely and will take steps to speed restoration should outages occur.”

American Electric Power meteorologists are forecasting the accumulation of up to a ½-inch of ice Sunday into Monday as an arctic front sinks into the region, bringing with it a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Within Appalachian’s service territory, much of the ice is predicted to hit West Virginia, with other precipitation expected in Virginia and Tennessee. Appalachian Power is moving employees and contractors from across the company into areas likely to experience damage and outages from the storm.

“We know how important electricity is to our customers,” Wright said. “We are doing everything we can to get to prepare for this storm so that we can get the power back on as quickly as possible in affected areas and minimize any inconveniences our customers may experience because of the weather.”

Customers who do lose service can report their outage to Appalachian Power by calling the customer service center toll-free at 1-800-982-4237. During times of high call volume, callers may hear a recorded message and can leave a voice message about the outage.

Customers can prepare for outages by assembling an emergency kit. Include flashlights and batteries; battery-powered radios or televisions; candles, matches, or lighters; water for drinking and cooking; a portable heater; camping equipment; and canned goods and a manual can opener. It’s also wise to keep cell phones and laptops fully charged and include a car charger in the emergency kit.

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