CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WSAZ) – Lights are being turned back on and power is being restored following one of the biggest early snowstorms Appalachian Power officials say they’ve ever seen.
This latest storm came four months to the day after the high winds from the late-June derecho knocked out power to people all across West Virginia.
"Anytime we have a major event -- whether its high winds, ice, snow -- the biggest problem for us is going to be trees," said Phil Moye of Appalachian Power.
So, one can’t help but wonder what the damage from Sandy would have looked like in West Virginia, and how many people could’ve lost power, had the Derecho not taken out some of the trees that may have fallen this time around.
"You know, it is likely that some of the trees that fell during the Derecho might have fallen in this storm had they not fallen earlier this year. It's really hard to tell if we would have had that much more damage had we not had the summer storm -- the summer storm did clear out some trees but by the same token the summer storm also weakened some trees that didn't fall, so I think we had some trees that were weakened from that summer storm that ended up falling in this one," said Moye.
Taking advantage of a luxury they didn’t have with the Derecho, AEP had days of preparation time before the storm hit and placed workers in strategic areas where AEP meteorologists forecast large amounts of snow and, thus, higher chances of outages.
"And so, when they were forecasting where this was going to hit, how much snow we were going to get in particular areas, that helped us determine where to stage people,” said Moye.