A rash of bomb threats have been directed at Appalachian Power’s John Amos Power Plant, the company said.
The latest threat was made Monday, said Joe Haynes, the plant’s community relations manager.
“Every time it happens we stop work, we evacuate and search the area,” he said.
That’s a big, expensive undertaking: There are about 3,000 workers on site during the day shift. Most are installing a scrubber on Unit 3, the largest of the plant’s three power-generating units. A smaller shift works nights.
Appalachian Power is an operating unit of American Electric Power.
Sgt. K.S. Dickson, commander of the State Police’s Winfield Detachment, said that since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “places that are deemed critical infrastructure – which AEP falls under – have an enhanced penalty. The FBI comes in and gets involved. Every time there’s a bomb threat there, we’re notified to bring in our bomb dogs and handlers. AEP has to notify the U.S. Coast Guard; they shut down the Kanawha River. The Homeland Security people are notified. A lot of resources get spent because you have to go through and check everything every time.”
AEP is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the threats, Dickson said. The State Police’s Winfield Detachment’s number to call with information is 304-586-2000.