Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) restoration efforts are well under way as crews worked through the night to repair damaged lines and equipment from Wednesday’s winter storm. Power has been restored overnight to over 14,000 members due to efforts of our crews working in extreme winter conditions throughout the night. REC will continue its efforts to facilitate customer communication by fully staffing the Cooperative’s call center around the clock until restoration efforts are complete. REC has additional contract tree-trimming crews and line crews contacted and scheduled to be dispatched with our crews at daylight to respond to the thousands of outages caused by the fast moving storm.
Wednesday evening’s snowstorm left nearly 20,000 Rappahannock Electric Cooperative members without electricity. The storm’s high winds caused trees heavily laden with wet snow to fall onto power lines, resulting in outages in 14 of the 22 counties served by REC, with most outages concentrated in Clarke, Warren, Fauquier, and Culpeper counties. Even with hazardous travel conditions and limited visibility, crews had restored power to several thousand locations by 11 p.m. Wednesday night.
As of 6:30 a.m., just fewer than 6,000 REC members are still without power. The majority of members are in the counties of Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Orange and Warren.
“Crews have been dispatched to the affected areas and are working to restore service,” said Maxie Rozell, REC’s director of safety and security. “In some cases this could take an extended period of time because of the type of damage we are seeing. Please be aware that we are working to restore service as quickly and safely as possible and will continue to do so until all service is restored. We appreciate the patience our members are showing as we work to get their lights back on.”
REC offers the following tips in the event you experience an outage:
* Call 1-800-552-3904 and follow the voice commands to report your outage.
* Families who have special medical needs or elderly members should closely monitor the outage situation and make alternate arrangements, if needed.
* Stay away from all power lines that have fallen. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and your local police department.
* If you are using a portable electric generator, do not connect it directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line workers making repairs.