WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Appalachian Power has released the following statement regarding the outages from Saturday’s storm:

“A weather system with widespread high winds is passing across much of Appalachian Power’s service area, and so far has left about 57,000 Appalachian Power customers without electric service. Outages began to accumulate around noon today, and will likely continue to rise until later tonight when winds are expected to diminish.

Appalachian Power’s storm response team is assessing damage, making repairs on large known outages, and developing plans for additional resources in locations where damage is more extensive.

More than 45,000 customers in West Virginia are without electric service, mostly in areas where moisture-saturated soil and frequent wind gusts of over 40 mph are causing significant tree damage.

Appalachian Power planned for significant outages from this storm, and hundreds of assessors, line mechanics and tree crews are in the field helping repair damaged facilities and remove downed trees.

The company is securing additional resources to assist with restoration once severe weather passes. Resource availability from some surrounding areas is limited, as the weather system is affecting neighboring areas of Ohio and Kentucky.  

We will not be able to provide accurate restoration estimates until the weather threat passes and damage assessors are able to determine the extent of damage to electrical facilities.

Windy conditions continue to cause new outages, but the severe weather threat is expected to diminish tonight.

Good weather is expected Sunday and there currently is no further severe weather threat early into next week.

All downed lines are dangerous — they carry an electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. Stay away to stay alive. If you encounter a fallen wire, keep yourself and others away from it and anything it may be touching, and call 911 and Appalachian Power at 1-800-956-4237 immediately.

Additional safety tips are posted at https://www.appalachianpower.com/outages/faq/OutageSafetyTips.aspx.”