COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Strong winds, thunderstorms and high temperatures became a combination that left many without electricity for days.
UPDATE: AEP Ohio has announced it will provide a $1 million fund to help reimburse residents who experienced widespread power outages.
If you had food go bad, lost wages at your job or had to stay in a hotel because of an extended outage, AEP has an online portal to file a claim. It’s not a guarantee that you will be reimbursed, as it only covers damage that fall outside out of the company’s terms and conditions, but the company does specify what it’s looking for when considering a claim and said it will respond.
Damage claims relate to a handful of areas. Here is what AEP said those are and what it looks for as proof:
Time you were unable to work due to personal injury; verification of lost time from your employer and/or payroll stubs showing your hourly or daily payrate.
Itemized list of the cost and type of spoiled perishable food, with receipts or other documentation, including photographs.
Hotel and restaurant receipts, and car rental receipts.
Would someone in Columbus be successful with such a claim? It’s doubtful, as AEP also lists several areas where it is not responsible if damage occurs:
- Line failures
- Animal interference
- High winds
- Acts of God
- Causes beyond the control of the company
- Voltage Fluctuations and single phasing
In addition, AEP said, “Damage from equipment failure, meter exchanges, repairs during routine maintenance, storms, lightning or severe weather conditions are also not covered.”
That’s not to say AEP won’t answer to anyone over the recent power outages. It falls under the watch of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Chairperson Jenifer French said Wednesday that an investigation is imminent.
“As a regulator, the PUCO monitors system-wide reliability, and with any major outage, we will be communicating with Ohio’s utilities to do an after-action review and determine what steps can be taken to avoid future occurrences,” French said.
AEP Ohio had said it would power back on by 5 a.m. Thursday, although many remained without it hours later. Late in the morning, the company said it was continuing work in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus and was looking at a new outage in the New Albany area.
As of 10:30 a.m., AEP reported more than 30,000 customer outages in the state, with nearly 3,000 in Franklin County.
To track power outages in the area, view AEP Ohio’s outage map below: