Power company braces for high wind gusts and heavy rain

Local - 1/30/2013 4:42 PM by Karen Franklin
CHARLESTON - Heavy rain and high wind gusts expected in southern West Virginia Wednesday night caused Appalachian Power to prepare for potential outages.

Appalachian Power said its parent company, AEP, has three meteorologists that look into how the weather could have an impact.

"The meteorologists are always a key part to our storm planning, and in advance of a storm, that's the first alert we get," Phil Moye, of Appalachian Power, told WOAY.

Moye and Appalachian Power monitor storms early.

"Then if we see that it's something we're pretty sure is going to impact our system, then we make sure that we have resources available," Moye said. "And when I say resources, I mean people. If we see that we may need additional help, we try to get extra people here to help with the storm."

But this time around, extra help from other states was not solicited.

"With this storm, we haven't made that step because we believe that the outages that might occur from it are such that we could either handle it ourselves or move resources into areas that are affected pretty quickly, and not have to go as far away as Florida or Georgia for help with this one," Moye said.

Power officials said dealing with this week's rain is much different than handling last week's snow in that different conditions present different problems.

The good thing about this storm, Moye said, is that the high winds will face less resistance against leafless trees. The storm also arrived at daytime when crews are already working.

Moye said crews have already been working to restore power Wednesday in affected areas. Employees of the company will be on call tonight.

"We are monitoring the weather, we are looking at it, our crews are on standby and we are ready to respond," he said.

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