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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 on Friday. Approximately 475,000 customers remain without power.
The Guernsey Muskingum Electric Cooperative reports that 7,900 are currently without power.
At the height of the storm, thunder, lightning and high winds of more than 80 mph 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 Governor 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, 81 are 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.
We'll continue to bring you the latest information as it becomes available.