After a major storm hits, our crews quickly begin to assess the damage and determine staffing needs — sometimes coordinating crews from other parts of Ohio and other states to help with restoration efforts, depending on the severity of the damage. Assessing the impact of the storm takes time, but it’s an important part of our process to get the power back on as safely and quickly as possible. 

Here’s a high-level overview of our damage assessment process:

Step 1: Taking Quick Inventory of Damage 

When the storm passes, AEP Ohio crews immediately head out and drive along the roadways to get a quick understanding of the damage, while also looking for any potential safety hazards:

  • Are there a lot of downed power lines and poles?
  • Are there any downed power lines across the roadways?
  • What are we going to need to get the power restored?

Step 2: Detailed Damage Assessment Begins

Once we have a general idea of how severe the damage is, two-person teams begin patrolling the lines for a more in-depth assessment — noting specific inventory needs along the way:

  • How many broken poles are there? 
  • How much wire is down? 
  • What other type of electrical equipment has been damaged?
  • What special equipment do we need to bring in to make repairs?
  • How many crew members do we need to restore power? 
  • Do we need to bring in resources from other areas? 

This detailed assessment takes time, especially in more rural areas where terrain may make it more difficult to reach and repair damaged equipment.  

Our Goal: Restoring Your Power

There’s a lot that happens within the first 24 hours after a storm hits. While assessment teams are taking an inventory of the damage and determining exact needs, lineworkers are beginning repairs where they safely can. 

We work hard to keep customers informed during an outage, including giving our best estimate for how long it will take to get the power back on. Every outage is different, but we’ll use all the information at hand to keep you informed on progress along the way.

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4 responses to “After the Storm: Assessing Damage 

  1. If all the food in my freezers goes bad, you need to pay to replace it. We are having too many blackouts lately. A little wind shouldn’t do that. Can’t understand why you’re not burying the lines anyway. Repairing pols and cutting trees and brush is a waste of time. Just bury the lines!

  2. Announcements about our outage in this last storm was non-existent for 11 hours! When I tried to login to the AEP Ohio website on Sunday morning to find out about the outages (using my generator), only to find that AEP had their system down for MAINTENANCE!!!!! Imagine doing that in the midst of so many outages. That is a totally irresponsible move. I’ve lost faith in what you do to serve customers.

    1. Jerry, we aren’t aware of any system maintenance during this time but I will look into it to confirm. We’re trying to do a better job of keeping our customers informed so, you’re right, this failure would be irresponsible. Thank you for alerting us.

    2. We appreciate all the hard work AEP is doing to rectify the power outage throughout the area. We may be without power but I’d rather be home, snuggled in a blanket than out in the elements climbing up poles or dealing with downed electrical wires. Thank you and God bless all those working round the clock to restore our power. A great item to have in this situation is an elastic headlamp. They have served us well over the last couple of years as our power goes out quite frequently.

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