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Storms cause power outages in SW Va.

Steve Igo • Jul 2, 2012 at 10:55 AM

WISE — A line of strong thunderstorms swept out of Kentucky across Southwest Virginia Sunday night, adding areas of power outages for regional utilities already dealing with massive power disruptions across the Eastern United States, particularly West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.

Since last Friday Appalachian Power Co., a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), has been struggling to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers in West Virginia and Virginia.

Sunday after 10 p.m., a line of powerful storms hammered large portions of Southwest Virginia with lightning and strong winds, downing power lines primarily as a result of falling limbs or in some cases, entire trees.

Old Dominion Power Co., a unit of Kentucky Utilities (KU) based in Lexington, Ky., serves most of Wise County and portions of Lee County. ODP reported well over 2,000 customers without service across those two counties Sunday night into Monday.

“Wise and Lee were pretty much hit the hardest for us,” KU spokesman Cliff Feltham said Monday. “Between those two, at the height of the storm we had about 2,500 customers out.”

KU hoped to have service restored to all its ODP customers Monday.

Meanwhile, that same storm system added Appalachian Power’s service slice of Wise County, primarily around the Pound area, to AEP’s giant service headache. AEP’s Web site on Monday reported 657 customers in Wise County were without power on Sunday.

Other area counties AEP reported with outages included 780 customers in Dickenson, 1,485 in Buchanan, 913 in Russell, 828 in Tazewell, and 1,246 in Washington.

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