For nearly 24 hours, we have depended on the web site of Appalachian Power to keep us up-to-date on the status of power outages in Floyd County and other parts of Southwestern Virginia.

According to the Flash-powered update chart, no homes in Floyd were without power by 1 a.m. today — which came as a surprise to us and other homes along Sandy Flats Road SE where houses remained cold and dark and our remained powered by a generator.

So were tried a more traditional form of communication — telephone.

So sorry, the not-so-sorrowful woman on the other end of the line said. Power won’t be restored to our part of the county until 4 p.m — at least 36 hours after it went out in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

When Amy pointed out that the company’s web site said all power had been restored to Floyd County her comment was a less-than-sympathetic "oh, we haven’t updated that in a while."

So why have the service if they are not going to be honest with it? Why give customers a false sense of security by using the web site to claim something that is not true?

The answer is easy. AEP has a long record of lying to its customers.  We’re heard their lies in the all too often during the 100-plus hours of outages suffered so far this year. We’ve heard their pathetic excuses when they tried to raise rates without approval and had to refund those increased charges for erratic electric service and lousy customer relations.

AEP proves the old Mark Twain adage that there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies and statistics. AEP uses all three.

UPDATE: At 7 a.m., AEP’s web site claims 778 customers in Floyd County are without power, along with 2,549 in the region. Is that accurate? Your guess is is good as ours.