UPDATE (5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24): The West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) also asks that residents reduce electricity until 10 a.m. on Sunday.

This is in agreeance with Appalachian Power and PJM’s request to reduce usage during strain on the regional electricity grid.

WVEMD says there are simple ways individuals can take to make a huge difference:

  • If it does not endanger your home, lower your thermostat a few degrees;
  • Turn off lights in areas not in use; and
  • Don’t run large appliances like dishwashers or dryers.

UPDATE (11:43 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24): Appalachian Power says about 36,800 West Virginia customers remain without power following Thursday’s storm.

Appalachian Power says there is a high demand on the power system due to cold temperatures. PJM, the regional power grid operator, and Appalachian Power are asking customers to reduce electricity use as much as possible without sacrificing safety.

Appalachian Power says the combined actions of customers can help the situation significantly. Officials say ways people can reduce electricity use include:

  • Lowering the thermostat, if health allows;
  • Postponing the use of major electric appliances (stoves, dishwashers, clothes dryers); and
  • Turning off electric lights, equipment and appliances.

Power officials ask that customers take these actions until Sunday, Dec. 25 at 10 a.m.

They say individuals should use electricity needed for personal safety or the protection of property.

“We are actively working with PJM and other regional utilities to minimize the impact of this event on our customers,” said Aaron Walker, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer. “We understand that cutting back on electricity use can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially during the holidays. This is a necessary step to prevent broader power interruptions, and we appreciate our customers’ efforts.”

Possible Next Steps

Further action may be needed such as brief, intermittent power outages to parts of PJM’s service territory. Power officials say customers should prepare further action and check in with elderly or disabled family, friends and neighbors.

Appalachian Power says the temporary outages only happen if needed to prevent widespread power loss and long-term system damage.

For updates, visit Appalachian Power’s website, Facebook or Twitter.

UPDATE (7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23): Appalachian Power says bitter cold temperatures are causing some delays in getting power back on to customers even once repairs have been made. The damaging winds from this morning’s storm caused power outages for more than 48,000 customers today throughout the company’s service area.

At this time, Appalachian Power says approximately 42,000 customers throughout their service area are still without power. According to Appalachian Power’s outage map, approximately 7,198 of those are customers in our region.

The company says Kanawha County is the only county in the Mountain State with more than 1,000 customers without power at 1,915 customers. Other areas that remain significantly affected are in Virginia.

Appalachian Power officials say they anticipated significant outages from this storm and more than 1,000 storm response workers were prepared and are working to repair damaged facilities and remove downed trees. The company says they also secured additional crews from outside the Appalachian Power service areas to respond to the Wheeling area of West Virginia and the hardest hit areas of Virginia.

Crews are still working to assess the damages, and restoration times have not yet been set for all areas. The company says it anticipates having power restored to West Virginia customers, with the exception of the Northern Panhandle, by sometime on Saturday night, Dec. 24, 2022. AEP says customers in Tennessee and parts of Virginia could also have power restored by Saturday night. The company says West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle and more counties in Virginia should have power by Sunday night, Dec. 25, 2022.

According to Appalachian Power officials, crews trying to restore power to a large number of customers are experiencing line overload problems due to the extremely cold temperatures. The company says because of this, crews have to make the repairs, then restore power to small groups of customers, and then let the electric load settle before restoring power to the next group.

Appalachian Power says customers experiencing outages can help make the process easier by turning off large electric appliances for at least 15 minutes after power has been restored.

AEP Ohio’s outage map shows approximately 241 of the company’s customers in our area are without power, and an overall total of approximately 2,070 customers in their service region are without power.

According to Kentucky Power’s outage map, approximately 115 customers in our area are without power, and an overall total of approximately 281 of the customers in their service region are still without power.

Appalachian Power customers can get information about the outages that affect their accounts through text or email by signing up for alerts through the company’s website, AEP says.

Information on warming shelter locations in affected areas is also included in the outage maps., the company says.

AEP is reminding everyone that all downlines are dangerous because they carry an electric current. Anyone who encounters a fallen wire should stay away and help keep others away from the downed line and anything it may touch. You should also contact 911 as well as contact Appalachian Power at 1-800-956-4237 immediately if you encounter a fallen wire.

Those who plan to use an alternate heat source should also make sure it is in good condition and follow all safety precautions for the heat source., Appalachian Power says. This includes making sure you have proper ventilation for lanterns, heaters, fuel-fired stoves or burning charcoal to avoid potential carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. Officials also warn residents not to plug a portable or RV generator into their circuit box.

For more safety tips, visit Appalachian Power’s website.

UPDATE (2:36 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23): Appalachian Power says they will not know the extent of damage and won’t be able to predict restoration estimates until the weather system has passed through the area.

They say that Kanawha (3,080 customers without power) and Jackson Counties (1,509) are the hardest-hit areas of West Virginia. Other areas that remain significantly affected are in Virginia.

Appalachian Power says they will have another update after 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

UPDATE (2:17 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23): More than 47,000 Appalachian Power customers remain without power.

UPDATE (12:20 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23): More than 49,000 Appalachian Power customers are currently without power.

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — More than 47,000 customers are without power in the Appalachian Power coverage area.

Outage map from Appalachian Power as of 10:42 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 23

Temperatures aren’t projected to reach above freezing until Tuesday, Dec. 27.

AEP says they are still assessing damage and will determine restoration times once crews have spent more time at outage sites.

This is a developing story, and we will provide updates as new information becomes available.