PDT Staff Writer
American Electric Power (AEP) still does not know how much the efforts to restore power from last week’s storm is costing their company, but said it could cost them more than damages from Hurrican Ike in 2008.
According to Terri Flora, Director of Corporate Communications of AEP Ohio, that figure will not be known for some time.
“We do not have an estimate on how much this storm is costing us, nor will we for several weeks. For all of the crews that are coming in from out of town they need to bill us for their time and services. For any police that we use to help guard areas, they have to bill us for their time and services, and any equipment we have purchased,” Flora said. “This is not an automatic bill to the consumer. We have to work with the Public Utilities Commission on our cost. They will determine how much we can recover through consumers bills, that usually takes a number of years.”
She said AEP is only now recovering some of its costs from Hurricane Ike four years ago.
“After Ike it was around $41-50 million for all of our restoration efforts. We were not allowed to recover all of that amount. We were allowed to recover about $28 million of that,” Flora said.
She said rates went up a few dollars on customer bills.
“There was not as may outages at the peak of Ike in comparison to this recent storm. At it’s peak there were 675,000 outages with this recent storm. With Ike, we had around 650,000,” Flora said. “There were differences with wind. With Ike the peak wind was 75 miles per hour. With the recent storm there were wind up to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the territory. With Ike we had about 372 circuits that were effected, with this storm we had 528.”
She said the big difference between the two storms was with the transmission infrastructure.
“With Ike we had about six structures effected. With this storm we had 683 structures effected by the storm,” Flora said.
According to Kim Carver, Director of Scioto County Emergency Management the storm that rolled through the area Thursday evening knocked out power to 1,000 people.
“Residents reported some fairly good sized hail around the McDermott area. Winds got up to 50 miles per hour with that storm,” Carver said.
Flora stated that as of 9 a.m. Friday 87 percent of AEP Ohio consumers power had been restored.
“We are on target for 95 percent of our consumers to be restored by midnight in Saturday,” Flora said.
As of 4 p.m. Friday, AEP reported 1,401 customers in Scioto County without power.
The Scioto County EMA in discussion with the County Engineer has estimated costs of clean up and disposal at about $300,000 for the County Highway Department, Portsmouth City Service Department, 16 Townships, and four villages. Residential damages have been estimated at $500,000.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.