Appalachian Prep for Storm, Learned From Derecho

Roanoke, VA - A lot of other preparation work is underway right now, including over at AEP.

Believe it or not, they are still cleaning up the mess from the June derecho.

Crews learned many lessons learned from that storm, but how will that play into AEP's plan for this impending storm?

While AEP is getting together the groundwork for a major response to this weather event, Friday, things were business as usual. They are doing what everyone else is: Watching to see where Hurricane Sandy ends up.

When the June derecho hit our area, the one thing for sure it did do that Hurricane Sandy won't do, is catch everyone by surprise.

"Unlike the June event, we've got the opportunity to watch this storm develop and see where it's going to happen. The June event just kind of appeared and it really blindsided most everybody," said Todd Burns, spokesperson for Appalachian Power.

This makes this event much different than the derecho because as the experts track the storm, they are able to begin to better understand their response.

"We are seeing models that showed different degrees of impact on our service territory. It will have an impact just where it happens is the thing that we are struggling to define right now," said Burns.

On Friday in the Appalachian Power nerve center, Hurricane Sandy is the second thing on everyone's minds. The first is the current outages that need attending to.

The hope is that everything will work out so the storm moves north - sparing AEP territory in Virginia and West Virginia.

But just in case..

"We're making the communications we need to make sure that if it does impact us then we have the resources we need to get the power back on. We've talked to our sister AEP companies to bring resources in from other states if that need arises," said Burns .

All AEP territory across 11 states is on notice that they may be needed wherever the call comes from once Hurricane Sandy comes to shore.

While cautious about the storm's path, Appalachian Power is stressing to homeowners to take a look at their trees to ensure any broken or loose branches have been taken care of before the storm hits. That will decrease the chances one of those limbs will end up hitting a line, your house or even someone in your family.