AEP Crews Working Around the Clock To Restore Power

CABIN CREEK, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Four-wheelers, mountain air, and full stomachs -- they seem like the perfect ingredients for an afternoon of fun in the rural terrain of eastern Kanawha County.

But it's no joyride for half a dozen men wearing safety gear. Their contracted crews with AEP on a scoping mission to find downed power lines.

"It's tough terrain, hard to get to," says Craig Walters, an AEP linesman stationed out of Pikeville, Ky.

Walters was among hundreds called in from around the region and AEP's sister companies to help restore power.

"These lines feed to substations, which feed power to people," Walters said.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, more than 87,000 West Virginians with AEP remained without power. AEP officials says some people may not see the power back on until Sunday. The biggest chunk of that population lives in Kanawha County.

Many of the men on the AEP crew in Cabin Creek, W.Va., will climb the mountain by foot or they'll take an ATV to their locations.
The first choice to help restore some of these downed lines is a helicopter, but the weather the last few days has made that impossible.

"We have to worry about ATV safety, slips, trips and falls," Walters said. "There's also limbs on the trees. Thankfully, it's not summer and we won't see snakes. Believe me, we've run in to some dandies."

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