Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: Levi Washburn
Roanoke, VA - Much of our area was under a severe thunderstorm watch Tuesday night. And while those storms did not wind up materializing, many weren't taking any chances.
When cautions of 65 mph winds were issued Tuesday, Roanoke emergency management, and Appalachian Power crews sprang into action. With memories of June 29th fresh in everyone's mind, all were determined this time around, things would be different.
"We've got about 600 mobilized, and we'll have them strategically dispersed across our Appalachian Power service territory, so we're ready to respond if the outages do occur," said Todd Burns, the Communications Manager for Appalachian Power.
Appalachian Power says this time; they're not taking any chances.
"We're coming off the heels of the biggest storm we've ever had in our company's history. So yes, we've learned some things. We'll be looking to anticipate, stage some crews where we can. We did not have that opportunity with the 29th storm," said Burns.
When a severe thunderstorm watch came on the radar, it was all hands on deck. Ap.-Co officials say hundreds are now on stand-by coming from all over the east coast.
"Regardless of where they happen to report to work, they'll have a packed bag and be ready to go on the move to help assess the damage if it does occur," said Burns.
The same goes for Roanoke city. Emergency Management says following one of the worst natural disasters the city has seen in decades, they're taking every precaution possible.
"You know, we're looking at tree crews, increased law enforcement. If the fire and EMS assets are needed to step up, we'll have to activate our emergency operations center," said Mike Guzo, the Roanoke Emergency Management Coordinator.
All city crews keep in contact in case they need to spring into action.
"Stay vigilant, be prepared. Our mantra at Emergency Management is have a kit and be prepared," he said. A warning headed by many Roanoke residents, mindful of the recent devastation.
"We actually bought a generator the last time it happened, to help out a little bit. It helped out for the few days," said one woman.
"I just say hope and pray, that's about all you can do. I mean there are hardly any precautions you can take other than coming to the store and getting some food or something," said another Roanoke resident.
Tonight's storm wound up packing a punch for areas west of Roanoke. Many of those 600 Appalachian Crews will be deployed to help make repairs in those areas.