Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 29, 2012

Hundreds already without power as superstorm blankets the region

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — An additional 400 crews with Appalachian Power are now on stand-by in Princeton and Beckley in the event of widespread power outages. Several hundred families in the region were already without power Monday.

Appalachian Power reported 809 outages in Mercer County and 681 in Tazewell County. Another 515 lost power in McDowell County and 112 were in the dark in Giles County. Virginia remains under a state of emergency, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency Monday for West Virginia.

“We are going to be lodging people in both Princeton and Beckley because this looks like that is going to be where we expect the worse outages could occur due to this snowfall,” Jerri Matheny, a corporate communications manager for Appalachian Power, said. “They will be starting to move in today so that they will be ready to go tomorrow morning.”

Matheny said heavy wet snow — combined with strong winds — could result in power outages.

“Our meteorologists predict heavy wet snow totals of 20 inches in some parts of West Virginia, and even 12 inches in the highest ridges in the Virginia, Kentucky borders, and the high elevations in the coalfield counties. Compounding that could be wind. As possibly we could get northwest winds gusting to 45 mph.”