Princeton Times

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January 30, 2013

Appalachian Power preparing for high-wind storm expected to impact Mercer County

PRINCETON — With high winds expected to blow through the area today, Appalachian Power has local crews on alert should any power outages arise.

Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye said that the company was monitoring the storm and had crews ready to leave their regularly scheduled duties to battle power outages in the area should they arise.

Moye added that the company hadn’t taken the step of requesting crews from other companies that were expected to avoid the storms. He said Appalachian Power believed it could handle any outages from the storm with crews already in place.

“Say Huntington doesn’t get impacted but Bluefield does,” Moye said. “We believe that we can reassign a crew from Huntington to handle that.”

Moye continued to say that the high winds would not have as much of an impact as they would in the summer time. In the summer, the trees are full of leaves that act to catch the wind and create tree-moving resistance. In winter, there are no leaves to create that resistance.

Also, the timing of the storm makes Appalachian Power believe it battle any outages in its territory with its own resources. Because this storm is projected to occur in the daytime, crews can see damaged lines and act to repair them much more quickly.

“One other thing that we have to be aware of is the saturated ground,” Moye said. “It makes it a lot easier for trees to uproot from the ground in high winds.”

Moye explained that last week’s storm that left eight or nine inches of snow in Mercer County had thoroughly saturated the ground.

-       Contact Matt Christian at mchristian@ptonline.net.

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