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Electrician and AEP work to bring power back to Kanawha County family

After a week of no electricity and a WSAZ intervention, the family is one step closer to getting their power back.
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 9:14 PM EST
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ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) - It’s now been seven days in the dark for a family in Kanawha County. As temperatures drop into the upper teens, they’re relying on generators and propane heaters to stay warm.

“I have a little hope now,” said Vicki Donato.

Donato contacted WSAZ after she struggled to get answers and help after her power was disconnected last week. A subcontractor for AEP came to switch out the meter but discovered electrical problems, and another technician came out to shut off electricity to the home, citing safety concerns.

That was Tuesday, Dec. 28. Now, a week later, she’s been getting the runaround, trying to get the electrician, power company and inspector to coordinate a plan and agree on a course of action.

A plan was finally hatched after reporter Kelsey Souto reached out to the Public Service Commission and AEP to find out what was going on.

“Whatever magic you worked is what’s made this progress happen,” Donato said.

Donato was initially told repairs could take several weeks. Tuesday afternoon, electricians were able to complete the work ahead of schedule. Up next is getting an inspector to certify the work. Then AEP can return to hook up the lines.

“We would not be at this point. So I owe all of this today, to you,” she said to WSAZ.

She says she got an outpouring of support and understanding from the community after the first story aired -- many offering to loan her generators and offering up nearby land. Her children’s school even said she could use their laundry facilities.

Several people reached out to her on social media to share their similar stories and experiences. Fortunately for many others, it happened during a different time of year.

If you are having difficulty getting answers or a resolution with your utility company, you can also file a complaint with the West Virginia Public Service Commission. They will act as a liaison between the consumer and the company.

To read our previous coverage, click here.

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