GAHANNA, Ohio – AEP Ohio has restored power to more than 185,000 of the 660,000 customers affected by the catastrophic storms that moved through the state June 29. Approximately 475,000 customers remain without power at 10 a.m. today.
At the height of the storm, thunder, lightning and high winds of more than 80 mile per hour, knocked down transmission structures, poles, power lines and trees across AEP Ohio’s service territory. The central Ohio counties of Franklin, Delaware and Licking were the hardest hit, with approximately 345,000 customers affected.
AEP Ohio has more than 1,800 AEP Ohio and outside line resources and more than 300 various support personnel committed to restoring power to the customers who remain without service from the storm. The company will continue efforts to bring in additional resources as they become available to bolster the number of outside resources already deployed to restore power or still en route. Competition for available outside resources has been heavy because of the number of states affected by the event.
On Saturday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency for the entire state. Today, the state Emergency Management Agency will go door-to-door – with help from the Ohio National Guard and Ohio Departments of Aging and Health — to check on residents of senior citizen housing complexes and AEP Ohio customers who have registered health conditions with the company.
The event affected not only Ohio but much of the eastern U.S. Damage reports indicate this storm is a larger event than Hurricane Ike that hit Ohio in September 2008. Ike affected approximately 650,000 of AEP Ohio’s 1.5 million customers. During Ike, wind speeds were recorded in the 75 mph range. Restoration for the majority of the customers affected by Hurricane Ike was completed in about a week.
The latest assessment report for the June 29 event shows that 426 distribution circuits out were out of service from the storm. A distribution circuit will carry anywhere from several hundred to several thousand customers. Crews have restored 126 of those to service. Of the 300 circuits still out, 81are related to transmission line outages.
Damage continues to be assessed on-ground and via aerial patrol. Reports of wires down and other hazards across the AEP Ohio service territory has grown from 4,700 Saturday morning to more than 9,000 this morning.
At this point, restoration is expected to continue as follows for the majority of the customers affected. This is an early estimate that could change if additional damaging weather hits the area.
Initial estimated event restoration times follow. These restoration times will be updated on an ongoing basis as assessment continues and repairs are made. Again, these are early estimates that could change if we experience additional damaging weather.
Estimated “Event” restoration times by affected area:
Note: All times are for 90 percent restoration
Athens: Midnight July 6
Gallipolis: Midnight July 6
Lancaster: Midnight July 7
Marietta: Midnight July 6
Pomeroy: Midnight July 6
Wellston: Midnight July 10
Coshocton: Midnight July 5
New Philadelphia: Noon July 1
Chillicothe: Midnight July 5
Chesapeake: Midnight July 4
Hillsboro: Midnight July 2
Ironton: Midnight July 4
Portsmouth: Midnight July 5
Delaware: Midnight July 2
Northeast: Midnight July 8
Northwest: Midnight July 7
Southeast: Midnight July 6
Southwest: Midnight July 3
All areas: Midnight July 8
Ohio Valley Area
Belmont: Midnight July 4
Steubenville: Midnight July 2
Wheeling: Midnight July 6
Western Ohio Area
Bucyrus: Midnight July 3
Findlay: Midnight July 7
Kenton: Midnight July 3
Lima: Midnight July 7
Ottawa: Midnight July 7
Upper Sandusky: Midnight July 3
Van Wert: Midnight July 7
To view the outage restoration maps, click the link Outage Restoration Maps in the right menu. To view current customer outage numbers by county, click on the map of current outages.
Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. Call AEP Ohio to report any downed lines or equipment.
If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators “backfeed” electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator. See additional information about use of backup generators.
Please check on your affected family members and neighbors, especially the elderly, to make sure they remain safe. AEP Ohio is compiling shelter information for the affected areas, and will provide those locations on our website later today as well. AEP Ohio deeply appreciates our customers patience and understanding as we assess the damages caused by this event. We will provide updates with the latest information we have on an ongoing basis. The weather forecast for the next few days is for very hot, humid conditions.
AEP Ohio asks customers affected by the power outage, including those who must leave their homes, to turn off all lights and appliances – including heating or air conditioning systems – to prevent circuit overload situations as power is restored to their homes. Customers should be extra cautious in making sure nothing is left cooking on kitchen ranges. One light can be left on, so customers will know when power is restored.
AEP Ohio cannot connect power to any home or business where there is damage to the service entrance. The service entrance is the area located 1) at the meter, 2) between the meter and the home’s electrical panel, or 3) the location where AEP Ohio’s cable connects to the home/business owner’s cable. Customers need to have a qualified electrician repair this damage before power can be restored to the home or business.