Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and Public Works Director Brent Webster check out storm damage. (Facebook)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The April 2 storm that included 10 tornadoes in West Virginia cost Appalachian Power at least $30 million.

Karen Wissing

Company spokesperson Karen Wissing said they’re still totaling up the final numbers but it was one of the worst hits to the system since $70 million in damages from the 2012 Derecho and Superstorm Sandy.

That $30 million is a combination of damage and storm response, Wissing said.

“It includes our mutual aid that came to help us restore power. It includes the equipment that needed to be replaced, any and all costs,” Wissing said.

Here’s a list of some of what was replaced by more than 3,000 workers:

–468 power poles

–716 cross-arms

–234 transformers

–52,2 miles of wire

There were 2,300 outage orders and 74 total circuit outages.

“Our vice president of distribution said it was the highest number of circuit outages he has seen in his career,” Wissing said.

Charlotte Lane

Most customers were back on line within three to four days. Wissing said flooding the serve area with thousands of workers from outside the state was key.

“Fortunately we were able to secure thousands of outside resources to come to our aid and thankfully restore power to roughly 100,000 customers within 48 hours,” Wissing said.

West Virginia Public Service Commission Chair Charlotte Lane previously praised the utility for its response to last month’s storm.

“Losing power is a frightening and painful experience for everyone involved,” Lane said. “I believe these companies deserve special credit for their heroic efforts to so quickly put right what these devastating storms did to our state residents.”

Kent Carper

Praise also came from longtime Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper, who has been one of Appalachian Power’s sharpest critics in recent years.

“I think they’re response has been as good as I’ve ever seen,” Carper told MetroNews on April 4, two days after the storm hit.


Appalachian Power will turn to its customers to recover the $30 million in damages.

Wissing said they’ll do so in a future filing with the PSC and they’ll ask to do it over a several year period.

“We do plan to seek recovery over a period of years in a future proceeding,” Wissing said. “The reason we do it over a period of years because we want to take our customers into consideration because in a one-year period the cost would be too much and we certainly want to be fair to our customers.”

The PSC already allows Appalachian Power to collect about $18 million a year as part of its base rate for storm response. The $30 million would be above and beyond the annual cost.

Appalachian Power took a similar path after those 2012 storms when it sought recovery of nearly $70 million in its 2014 base rate case. The PSC granted recovery over five years.

Record tornadoes

There were 10 tornadoes that were part of the storm, all in the Appalachian Power service area.

The National Weather Service, which said it was a record breakout for one day, confirmed those tornadoes in Fayette, Kanawha, Putnam, Cabell and Wayne counties.