Hill City Hardest Hit from Storm - WSET.com - ABC13

Hill City Hardest Hit from Storm


Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Dan Heffner

Lynchburg, VA - Thursday, the outage numbers in the Hill City took a pretty big drop. Since noon Thursday, more than 5,600 customers got their lights back on. Still, Appalachian Power is saying the damage to Lynchburg is worse than they first thought.

Of course, it's good to see Lynchburg's outages drop, but Roanoke's have fallen much faster. 

APCO admits Roanoke's recovering more quickly, and they recognize that's frustrating. But, one spokesperson says the cleanup is more complicated in Lynchburg and the damage far worse.  

Day six, cleanup continues on Cranehill Drive. But, reality is setting in that the damage done is worse than the first reports.

"We have a tremendous amount of work left here in the city of Lynchburg," said Tommy Bondurant, AEP line crew supervisor.

As the dust settles, it's looking like Lynchburg took the brunt of the beating - worse than Roanoke. Fortunately, backup is here with more on the way.

"When one area cleans up, the other area sends their resources to the hardest hit area. So I would suspect in the next two days, we would get an additional 30, 40, 50 crews,"said Bondurant.

Finding power crews in his front yard delighted Henry Thaxton.

"They are all business. They're doing the job and getting it done as soon as possible," said Thaxton.

APCO reassures that Lynchburg's not being ignored. The same number of crews are tackling the Star City and the Hill City. But, Lynchburg has more cleanup - downed trees, broken poles, unraveled wire.

"The damage, what I have seen, is far more than what I've seen in 51 years," said Thaxton.

And no matter how much work still needs to be done, safety must remain top priority. Gloves and rubber shoes shield workers from potentially thousands of volts.

Friday's storm, which roared in in no time will have Lynchburg cleaning up for weeks and swapping storm stories like this one for years: "I just heard this big bang, crash! I was like, what the heck just happened?" said 5th-grader Pierson Blount, who had a tree fall on his home.

For Lynchburg and surrounding counties, AEP is still sticking with Saturday as their deadline. But one customer I talked with isn't holding his breath he'll have power by the weekend.

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