CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Appalachian Power officials had hopes of having electricity restored to around 95 percent of its West Virginia customers by Sunday. And the company was on track to do that Sunday.
Then a new line of thunderstorms pummeled the state, causing more than 20,000 additional power outages across the state.
"We were pretty well on our way but those storms started moving the outage numbers back in the wrong direction," Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye said.
At around 2 p.m., outages in West Virginia numbered in the 41,000 range, Moye said. By 6 p.m., as another line of thunderstorms crossed the state, an additional 20,000 West Virginia customers were out of power, he said.
Around 10,000 of the new outages were in the Kanawha Valley and the other 10,000 were in the Huntington area, Moye said.
At around 8 p.m., 15,000 Kanawha County customers were without power, he said.
Sunday marked the third storm that caused a setback for Appalachian Power after a June 29 storm knocked out power to more than half a million West Virginians, 330,000 of them AEP customers.
A storm on July 1 caused an additional 30,000 customers to lose power. Another storm July 5 knocked out power to around 40,000 people in West Virginia, Moye said.
"It's a big letdown for us and a big letdown for the customers who are, I'm sure, at wits end from not having power for nine days," Moye said.
Moye said the company plans to reassess its estimated restoration times Monday. Sunday's storms will "certainly" extend the time it takes the company to restore power, Moye said.