Appalachian Power, which serves the Kingsport area and much of Southwest Virginia, has its own in-house weather forecasters, who take cues from the National Weather Service, according to Appalachian Power District Manager Isaac Webb.
“Right now, the predictions are, what storm we might have, will be minor here (in the Tri-Cities) in comparison to the Roanoke, Charleston and Beckley, WVa. areas,” Webb said. “We have 750 line personnel ready and an additional 100 contract assessment teams — these are the folks that go out and look and identify where the damage is. I've asked all of the folks in my area of responsibility to plan to report to work at 7:30 in the morning on Saturday so we can sort out what we have and have crews ready to go."
Appalachian Power customers can prepare for the storm by assembling an emergency kit with flashlights and fresh batteries; candles, matches or lighters; water for drinking and cooking; canned goods and a manual can opener and other supplies.
Power company officials advise that during outages in very cold weather, customers assist restoration efforts by keeping electric heating systems and water heaters turned off until several minutes after power is restored.
Should outages occur, Webb says customers in Virginia should call (800)956-4237, or, in Tennessee, call (800)-967-4237.
Customers can get specific information about the outages affecting their accounts via text message and/or email by subscribing to Appalachian Power outage alerts. To sign up, visit www.appalachianpower.com/alerts.
A snapshot view of current outages is available anytime at www.appalachianpower.com.
Appalachian Power has one million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to nearly 5.4 million customers through 223,000 miles of distribution lines in 11 states.