Around 12:30 PM today (June 14) over 2000 Clarke County residents lost electrical service. Traffic lights have been out and stores and homes across the area have been in the dark, without air conditioning for the past three hours.
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) officials stated that the outage was a result of two major circuits going down in Berryville. Crews found breakers blown and are working to reroute power around the area. Officials stated that there is no sign of any damage from storms or other incidents. They believe the system became overloaded due to heavy electrical use because of the recent heat wave.
REC recently replaced Allegheny Power as the electric provider for Clarke County. When asked if this had anything to do with the recent switch, REC representative stated that, “Nothing different had been done to the system since the takeover.”
REC could not give a firm estimate on the time required to correct the problem but did say they hoped to have service back to our area by this evening.
Outage information can be found here: http://www.myrec.coop/outage-center/index.cfm
Clarke County Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy said that CCPS classes will follow a normal dismissal schedule today despite the power outage.
“We lost power today around 1:00pm” Dr. Murphy said. “”It took about an hour for the power company to let us know that power would remain out for three to five hours. ”
Murphy said that the power outage not only knocked out lighting and air conditioning, it also affected bus radios.
Murphy decided that early student release didn’t make sense despite the power problems. “If kids are sent home early it means that parents are not necessarily there to meet them. Also, with the bus radios out there was a potential safety issue that we decided not to risk.”
Murphy said that he had been in contact via text-message with all of the building principals. Principals are handling the outage without difficulty as students prepare to board buses for home at 3:25 p.m.