Power crews prepare for snow related outages

The snowfall in the Tri-Cities has power companies on high alert.

Appalachian Power and Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) both told us they had extra crews on hand but they told us they weren't expecting any major power outages.

They told us that's because the snow was light and dry.  Both companies said that wet, heavy snow causes more outages because it weighs down power lines and causes tree branches to break.

We tracked the AEP power outage map on Wednesday night and found that most of the outages occurred east of the Tri-Cities.

Appalachian Power told us they've been asked to send crews to the Roanoke area, where we're told 100 extra contractors are already on hand to help with potential power outages.

Appalachian Power said they won't be sending crews there until Thursday. They told us they want to make sure they have enough crews on hand in the Tri-Cities through the worst of the storm.

We talked to BTES CEO Mike Browder who told us they spent most of the day on Wednesday getting their crews together.

"We have our people ready to go, we have our equipment ready to go," said Browder.

Browder told us they put chains on their trucks. They also had crew members on call to respond to damages and outages from this storm, he said.

The storm "could cause some lines to be down, trees to be down, or almost any kind of thing could happen," Browder told us.

He said downed trees and power lines are the first things you want to check for outside, if your power does goes out.

Next, he said, you should report the outage.

"If their phone number is on their bill and they're calling from that phone number, it will be able to tell us who it is and where it is," said Browder.

He told us this helps them track how large an outage is.

Browder suggests having a few essential items on hand in case you do lose power.

"They need to have to have flashlights and things to be able to see with," he said. "They need to have a radio so they can find the news and find out what's happening."

Browder told us it's also best to keep your refrigerator and freezer closed in the case of a power outage so that your food remains fresh for a longer period of time.

He said you want to keep extra blankets on hand because downed trees and power lines can cause delays.

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