Appalachian Power tell us the strong weather system with prolonged damaging winds is affecting multiple states and large population centers from Illinois to the east coast. Much of Appalachian Power’s service area is experiencing sustained winds of 15 – 40 mph with frequent gusts of 40 – 55 mph. More than 74,000 Appalachian Power customers are currently without electric service due to damage from high winds, and additional outages are expected to occur as high winds continue to batter areas with moisture-saturated soil. High winds are forecast to continue through tonight and into tomorrow in parts of the company’s service area. Outages are widespread across the Appalachian Power service area. Currently the number of customers without service is 2,300 in Tennessee, 40,000 in Virginia and 32,000 in West Virginia.

A high wind warning is in effect for us until noon Monday as west winds from 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are expected. The National Weather Service in Blacksburg says tree limbs will be blown down, trees in waterlogged soil will topple over, increasing the potential for power outages. As of 4pm Sunday afternoon winds are beginning to have their effect as 1,269 customers in Henry County, 1,294 in Franklin County and 469 in Patrick County were without power.

The forecast for this afternoon – wind gusts up to 40 mph, sunny with a high of 64. Clear, 31, and wind gusts up to 29 mph overnight. Monday with be sunny, 55, and wind gusts up to 25 mph. Clear Monday night as winds begin to subside, a lows of 26.