West Virginians' power steadily coming back online - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

West Virginians' power steadily coming back online

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While West Virginia wasn't quite as battered as some other states by the record-breaking superstorm Sandy on Oct. 30, the storm did leave hundreds of thousands of West Virginia homes and businesses without power for several days.

But late the afternoon of Nov. 2, both Appalachian Power and FirstEnergy said many of their customers were seeing their lights come back on.

Crews working for both of the utility companies were able to reconnect customers to the grid much quicker than June's derecho which knocked out power to many West Virginians for up to two weeks. The quicker response to Sandy's outages, the utilities say, is primarily attributed to forecasting of the event that allowed crews to get prepared for the storm.

"Power has been restored to approximately 82 percent of customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland who were affected by the storm," a Nov. 2 release from FirstEnergy stated.

West Virginia's other major power supplier, Appalachian Power, also reported significant process by Nov. 2.

"By Friday morning, Appalachian Power crews and outside workers were able to restore power to approximately 145,000 customers since the storm hit earlier in the week," the AEP website states. "Outages peaked on (Oct. 30) at 182,000 customers and 37,000 remain without power this morning."

Customers of First Energy's Mon Power are expected to be back at full power by mid-week.

In First Energy's update to the storm, the company cautioned residents to remain careful as power was brought back to the state. Impatience or carelessness could be fatal if one is not careful around downed lines or debris.

"As debris from the storm is being cleared, customers are cautioned never to touch downed lines," First Energy warned. "Customers should always assume downed wires are carrying electricity and are reminded to keep children and pets away from them. Downed wires should be reported immediately to your electric company or local police or fire department. Customers should never try to remove trees or limbs from power lines because they could conduct electricity. They should wait for emergency services or utility crews to arrive."