Weather reports early in the week of June 13 looked worrisome, with severe storms forecasted Monday and extreme heat predicted later in the week. We were prepared for the possibility of power outages — what we didn’t expect was AEP Ohio’s biggest weather event in the past 10 years. Lightning and straight-line winds nearing 75 miles per hour crossed the state that Monday night, toppling trees and power lines. Within the first 12 hours more than 155,000 customers lost power, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of Ohio. 

The storm also caused significant damage to some high-voltage transmission lines that feed power to the Columbus area. As temperatures climbed into the 90s and demand for energy grew, some transmission lines quickly ended up being operated above their normal capacity, requiring immediate emergency forced outages for those served by those lines.  By Tuesday evening, 170,000 customers in the Columbus area were without power, bringing the total number of customers out to nearly 250,000.

Restoring Power Across the State 

Damage assessment was difficult because many roads were blocked by fallen branches and other debris. The final tally of damage across AEP Ohio’s service territory was significant: more than 450 electric poles and 2,100 spans of wire down, plus 200 broken crossarms. Northeast Ohio — including Steubenville, New Philadelphia and Wooster — was among the hardest hit, with 184 poles needing replaced and 860 spans of wire down.

AEP Ohio deployed more than 2,500 workers, with many working 16-hour shifts to repair damage caused by the storm. That included 569 full-time employees, 929 contract employees (roughly three times our everyday average), 470 tree-trimmers and 572 transmission employees. Help arrived from beyond Ohio’s borders – crews from Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Texas and even Canada – and the full team steadily chipped away at the damage. Below is a small snapshot of what our crews encountered:

More than ninety percent of customers were back on by Thursday afternoon, yet work continued in some of the hardest hit areas, like Wooster. Offroad work required driving through fields and heavily wooded areas just to access our equipment – making progress slow-going.
By Monday, June 20 the power was flowing again to all customers across Ohio.

We know being without power, especially for an extended period of time, is difficult.  We truly appreciate your support as our crews worked to restore power in your community.

If you are facing financial hardship, we’re here to help. We’ve expanded our Neighbor to Neighbor program offering bill assistance to eligible customers and additional support is available here.  

20 responses to “Restoring Your Power After the Storm

  1. Like I always said, you guys are the best.l will never complain about AEP. Keep up the good work 😃

  2. Thank You for all the long hrs and hardwork… and how quick everything was restored… God Bless all of you…

  3. AEP did a great job restoring our electric after the storms.
    Yes it took several days but, the debris had to be removed first
    Thank you AEP

    The Sloans

  4. Thank you for all the hard work that restored power to our homes and businesses. It had to have been an overwhelming job to face.

  5. We are very grateful for everyone that assisted with restoring power to us!! I have never seen so many people working together to help one another like I did during this storm!! Thank You AEP and everyone that assisted us!!

  6. Sep gave our nebures electric but bypassed pur.hpuse. I had to flag.down out workers to restore.power

  7. Thank you so much for your dedication and hard, long work hours. Such a massive storm and massive damage. My dad used to own an electrical construction company so I can truly appreciate the hard work by all involved. Thank you.

  8. I commend each worker who deals with electricity and restoring power. My father and sister both had long careers in the electric companies and I know incidents when electrocution occured with the linemen. The hours you work and the weather you endure has to be a hard scenerio to work in.
    You are very much appreciated. I say my prayers for you every time I pass a bucket truck enrout.
    Thank you for all you do.

  9. Thank you so much for your time and hard work in restoring power for so many. It is very much appreciated!

  10. Thank You to all who worked to restore power to Wooster and the surrounding area. I used to do electrical work (not lineman) and was friends with many AEP and former Ohio Power employees. Knowing how dangerous that line of work is, I cannot imagine what you encountered after the storm. We were severely impacted by a Tornado in September of 2010, so I know first hand the damage nature can create. Again, Thank You to the many personal that work hard every day to keep the lights on!!!

  11. Very impressive article. I can see the damage was much greater than I had assumed.
    My power was restored on Friday of that week. This time delay was not an issue for me, since I have a natural gas home generator. Thanks for your service, and this article. I read the article on use of drones. That also was impressive, and a very good use for that technology.

  12. We have been wanting to say thank you to everyone that worked so hard during the rain, the heat, and all hours of the days and nights to restore power to us and the rest of Ohio. It was inconvenient for us to be without power (& water), but we know it was equally inconvenient for all the workers. So, thank you.

  13. We like to thank everyone for their hard work and appreciate everything you did for us. God keep you all safe at all times. Sincerely Walt and Jan Lilley

  14. I would like to thank all of the workers that were involved in the restoration of our power! It took a lot more stamina and patience to do what they did than it was for me to deal with no power. I couldn’t even imagine being in the sweltering heat and working 16 hour shifts outside for a long as we needed them. I thank you again from the bottom of my heart for everything and repairing the power in a timely manner. I consider of all you true HEROES!!!!

  15. Even though the area I live in was not adversely affected by the storm, I still want to thank all the people who were involved in restoring power and services to the public. I can only imagine the difficulties in getting the job completed that a lot of people had no idea what was going on behind the scenes. The dedication of these employees is to be admired, as in this day and age, such dedication is extremely hard to find. AEP is extremely fortunate to have these kinds of employees and contractors. Again, a huge thank you!

  16. Thank you so very much for all your time and hard work in restoring power. It is very much appreciated.

  17. I just think I should get credited for 5 days of no power plus you really shouldn’t advertise that you’re going to reimburse people for their lost food and stuff like that during the power outage and then deny them that really upset me I even sent pictures and everything and was told no after that’s what was broadcast that AEP was going to do

  18. We just want to thank you all for the hard work you all did to bring us back on w power, may God bless you all.

  19. While it is always a hardship when our power goes out, we truly appreciate all the hard work and long hours your employees do to get everyone back up and running. We have a well so when the power is out, we have no water. Also where we live, there is a lot of water from our neighborhood than runs and drain through a pipe on our property. Excess water also drains into our sump pumps. Throw in the extreme temperatures with this past storm and it made it even worse. Thank you all for everything you do.

  20. Thank you to all the hard working men and women who worked long and hard hours to get electricity to everyone.

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