Team effort: power crews and tree service work to restore rural areas

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Thousands are still without power due to the wave of storms that started a little more than a week ago. While crews have been hard at work to repair these outages, there have been challenges delaying the restoration process.

Appalachian Power and contracted electrical crews both say this storm that ripped through the tri-state is one of the worst they’ve seen.

As far as storm work and stuff, this is probably one of the worst ones I’ve been on due to the terrain.

Brent Bigley, PowerGrid Services worker

The storm that hit many areas all over the tri-state on February 10th is still affecting customers almost two weeks later. Crews have repaired many of the larger outages and they’re now faced with the dangers of working in small rural areas.

In some areas you can see the work being done but for others they’ve been hard to get to, even for power crews.

In order to get replacement poles to some areas, tree crews must first make a path to get in, which has slowed efforts in Cabell County. The crews in these areas, especially at night, have had to watch out for not only fallen tree limbs but other hazards caused by temperature changes.

Now the ice is melting and it’s coming down on you and when you get two inches of ice falling off a line or off a tree… it hurts.

John Kennedy, AEP General Servicer

Overall 70% of customers’ power has been restored. Crews expect to have a majority of the outages in Cabell County restored in a couple of days. However, that could change depending on the condition of the roads and other hazardous conditions.

AEP crews also say anyone using a generator in these areas should not plug it directly into the circuit box. The power could backfeed electricity up the line and risk the lives of their workers. Essential electrical items should be plugged directly into the generator.

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