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. In Western Ohio — including Bucyrus, Findlay, Kenton, Tiffin and Van Wert — 55 poles were replaced and 225 spans of wire were either repaired or fully replaced.
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.
8 responses to “Restoring Your Power After the Storm”
I believe you should help families pay for their lost groceries and those of us who had to buy a generator to keep our animals watered, along with us humans. What is your plan to help with the costs of peoples’ losses?
Hi Julie. Many homeowners and renters insurance policies offer reimbursement of food lost during a power outage. Please check with your insurance company to see what is covered under your policy.
Even though it is an inconvenience to all who is without power we do appreciate everyone’s help and response during those times. We live in the country and have witnessed the their hard work
Thank you to all for your loyalty and hard work. It is appreciated
Thank you to your wonderful & hard working employees for their great service! Appreciate it!
AEP peoples; thank you for your hard works on a daily basis. We are so blessed to have so many knowledgeable, skilled, devoted people like you all. You faced the heat the winds, rains and the hard work. I got goose bumps looking at the pictures of June 2022 storm damage and all of you tackling it until it was fixed. It was hot in those days and you worked through it in your protective gear and heavy equipment. As a simple person cozy at home, i always think of you and am grateful for your hard works. We are all so blessed to live so well. With many thanks to hard working devoted dependable people like you.
Thanks for the hard work!! GREAT JOB
Admiration, gratitude and respect!!! AEP does a great job everyday and your efforts to restore power after the storm was amazing and inspiring. Sometimes we don’t realize just how important electricity is to our every day lives… or how much work it takes to keep it working. Many thanks to all the unsung heroes who risked their lives to restore power after this big storm!!!
All I can say is thank you, thankyou. Great job.