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AEP Ohio not expecting repeat of last month's widespread outages with Wednesday storms

Last month's storm coupled with extreme heat prompted AEP Ohio to shut off power to more than 170,000 customers in central Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Last month's storm packed winds so strong that AEP Ohio said it snapped nearly 500 of its power poles and downed more than 2,000 of its power lines.

"I've been at the company for 15 years and I've never seen an event like this before," said Zach Miller Operations Manager for AEP Ohio.

Wednesday brings another storm, with similar conditions of high wind, high temperatures and high demand on the grid just like last month.

AEP Ohio does not expect a repeat performance.

"We don't foresee or expect anything similar to what we experienced last month. Since we've made the repairs from the event last month, we've had high heat, we've had a few weather events come through and the system has stood up and withstand those extreme temperatures and winds like it's designed and built to do," Miller said.

The electric company admits mistakes were made during the June 13 storm, mainly warning customers their power was about to be cut.

The company said it had only five minutes to react to shed power in an effort to avert what it said could have been a potential catastrophic power outage with more people without power and for longer periods of time.

AEP Ohio's actions are part of an investigation by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Since the storm, AEP Ohio it's worked hard to remove tree branches from high voltage lines to prevent future outages.

"We do a darn good job of keeping our lines clear of vegetation," Miller said.

The power company said it has a team of meteorologists watching the sky hoping to give its crews a jump on what's to come Wednesday night.

"It looks like there's quite a bit of instability in the air right now. We got crews that are alert, aware and ready to go at a moment's notice in 40 plus service centers throughout the state," Miller said.

10TV has forecasted the storm to hit between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

AEP Ohio urges customers to have a plan before a storm hits including making sure their cell phone is charged and that they have a flashlight. The company said customers should download its app and follow its social media pages to get the latest on the storm and outages.

You find AEP's outage map here.

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