COLUMBUS - A strong band of severe weather that traveled across the state this afternoon has caused considerable damage to AEP Ohio’s electric system. Currently, the company has more than 139,000 customers without power as of 8 p.m. Power was knocked out to portions of Knox county but the hardest hit areas include the southern portion of Columbus and communities throughout western Ohio, Newark and Canton.
Strong winds with gusts registering at over 70 miles per hour in some parts of the state, coupled with heavy rains and severe lightning has caused damage to electrical equipment, poles and power lines. AEP Ohio personnel are working now to assess the damage caused by the storm and to restore as many customers as possible this evening. Based on the extent of the damage, however, AEP Ohio is asking customers to be prepared for the possibility of extended power outages over the next several days. The company will provide more information about the extent of the damage and expected service restoration times as soon as the information becomes available.
The Energy Cooperative also experienced numerous power outages scattered throughout their service territory late Wednesday afternoon and evening due to the severe weather. Roughly 1,600 members were affected.