Thursday’s ice storm left more than 55,000 Appalachian Power customers without power. As of Saturday evening, approximately 70 percent of those customers have had power restored. Efforts are now concentrated on the smaller outages that are often in difficult locations and where the most damage has been sustained. Helicopters are being used in damage assessment to help reach heavily wooded areas and higher elevations. As of 9 AM this morning 1,217 customers in Patrick County are still without power, 90 in Franklin County, and fewer than 5 in Henry County. Officials say they hope to have power restored in these areas by 10 PM tonight.

High pressure will continue to bring fair weather to the Appalachians and central mid-Atlantic region for Sunday and into the first part of next week. A cold front will then slowly move across the area Monday night, with a good chance of rain or snow showers west of the Blue Ridge into Tuesday. High pressure then builds in with a return to fair but chilly weather for the middle of next week. In the forecast – Sun today with a high of 57. Cloudy tonight with a low of 38. Sun Monday with a high near 60. In the extended forecast – Sunny and clear Tuesday through Friday. Showers likely Friday night and rain likely Saturday. Highs 46-54 and lows 29-42.