"We were very pleased we were able to get crews here on Monday before the storm even hit," she said.
The storm in June taught the company some lessons that it put to use after Sandy struck the region, she said.
"I think that we were more able to quickly work with city, county and state government to make sure hazards in the road were clear," she said, adding that the National Guard helped with that aspect of the cleanup.
During the derecho, Appalachian Power began using what it calls "non-traditional" employees to help with repairs. Plant employees, for instance, served as drivers and guides for crews, Matheny said.
"We did it first in the derecho out of necessity and we were able to do more of that during Sandy as well," she said.
During the derecho, Appalachian Power used helicopters to assess damage to lines. But during Sandy, cloud cover and snowy weather prevented the company from using helicopters until Thursday afternoon, she said.
Helicopters are useful for assessing damage because some of the company's service area is in such rural areas, she said.
Matheny said the storms were different.
"The most similar thing [about the storms] is they happened close together and caused outages," she said.
In both cases, downed trees causes outages but with the derecho, the wind by itself caused outages. During the snowstorm, heavy snow weighed down trees that fell on power lines, causing outages.
Trimming trees in right of ways did not help like it would during smaller outages, she said. Healthy trees outside the right-of-way areas that fell with a lot of force cause severe damage, she said.
"It's the trees far away that come crashing down and take out trees on their way down the mountain," she said. "They caused a lot of damage during Sandy and during the derecho."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.