Updated: REC Says Power Restored After High Winds Cause Outages In Clarke

Update 8:00am – After working through the overnight hours, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) has successfully restored service to its members who lost power as a result of Saturday’s wind storm. Crews worked through the night until service was restored to all REC members by 2:00 a.m. Sunday.

“Losing power is a frustrating experience for everyone,” said Rhonda F. Curtis, REC’s manager of customer service and public relations. “We appreciate the patience our members have shown while our crews worked to restore their electric service.”

The Cooperative experienced its first outages at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the number increased until more than 3,600 REC members were without power. The wind storm affected the majority of the Cooperative’s service territory with the heaviest concentrations of outages occurring in the counties of Caroline, Clarke, Culpeper and Frederick.

“Significant progress was made during the overnight hours as we brought in crews from all three service districts to the areas hardest hit by the high winds,” added Curtis. “This type of wind causes heavy damage, creating a very labor-intensive restoration process. Safety is always a primary concern for both our employees and members while working as quickly as conditions allow to restore service to everyone.”


As of 4:30 p.m. on Saturday Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) has approximately 2,000 members without service. High winds have caused tree limbs to fall onto power lines, producing most of the damage. REC started experiencing outages late Saturday morning, and they are expected to last through Saturday evening into early Sunday.

“High winds have resulted in damage to our lines and poles,” said Brian Wolfe, REC’s public relations specialist. “We have the necessary manpower and equipment deployed to ensure service is restored as quickly and safely as possible.”

At 6:00 pm REC reported 481 customers in Clarke County without power. Sustained winds of 15 mph with gusts of 32 mph were observed on the Blue Ridge in extreme eastern Clarke County just north of Mount Weather at 6:00 pm.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reported 481 customers without power in Clarke County as of 6:00 pm

Members without power should call 1-800-552-3904 to report their outage. REC reminds everyone to stay away from downed lines and trees or other objects touching lines. The lines may still be energized and should be considered dangerous. Please notify REC if you see downed lines or other hazardous conditions.

“The heavy, sustained winds can cause tree damage, which can create many hazards, including downed power lines that are hidden by fallen trees,” added Wolfe. “The public should take the proper precautions if they come across a dangerous situation. We appreciate the patience our members have shown while the Cooperative continues to work until everyone’s power has been restored.”


  1. My 2 Cents... says:

    Just to let everyone know, 635.00 bill just arrived in the mail Thursday! How do they suppose people make ends meet? I guess we will have to sit in the dark with candles and purchase a kero. heater….. I cant afford to keep paying these bills!

  2. River Watcher says:

    A friend of mine just got one of those outrageous bills also $468.00.
    Im wondering if I picked up on some kind of a pattern, so far it seems to be the people in Town.
    So far nobody out here or the Retreat are receiving crazy bills.

    Lets put out heads together and figure this out!

    Fight the POWER!

    • People in Stephens City have had their bills doubled if not tripled. My friend’s went from $85 to $293…hmmmmm

  3. River Watcher says:

    I found this article about the Sale of Allegheny to be very interesting.

    Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced Tuesday the approval of the transfer and sale of Allegheny Power’s Virginia service territory to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, along with an agreement that will protect customers from sharp rate increases.

    The State Corporation Commission approved the transaction and imposed conditions to protect customers that the attorney general’s office and Frederick County negotiated with Allegheny Power and the cooperatives.

    Cuccinelli’s office was concerned that the transaction as originally proposed could result in sharply higher rates for Allegheny’s 102,000 customers and place undue financial burden on the two cooperatives’ 145,000 existing customers. To address these issues, the utilities agreed to the following concessions:

    – Allegheny will contribute $27.5 million to the cooperatives to reduce power supply costs for former Allegheny customers through June 2015.

    – The cooperatives will defer for one year the collection of $5 million in power costs from former Allegheny customers from July 2012 through June 2013.

    – Allegheny will contribute to the cooperatives an additional $35 million to reduce the purchase price of the service territory, which will reduce rates for all customers.

    – The cooperatives agree there will be no base rate increase for former Allegheny customers before July 2014, and distribution rate increases for former Allegheny customers in 2014, 2015, and 2016 are capped at five percent of the total bill.

    – The cooperatives will amend their bylaws to provide representation for the former Allegheny customers on their respective boards of directors.

    The SCC further ordered that the cooperatives not modify base rates before 2020 for either former Allegheny customers or existing cooperative customers without first obtaining commission approval.


  4. yousepeople says:

    I would just like to know if my well pump died because of all the surges…this will be a 15,000 replacement… (very deep well, had it done before) that on top of a huge bill. just wondering

    • utmost empathy says:

      I have several small electrical problems going on at my house too that I believe may be related to all the power surges lately. I would hope a claim as big as yours would be taken care of by your homeowner’s insurance. Actually, I know someone who got a settlement through the electric company for a serious power surge. Give REC a call too. If it’s power surge they should be able to tell. The one good thing I can say is I’m NOT seeing the high bills everyone is talking about. I’m on the budget plan, it hasn’t been raised and I currently have a small credit on account. I also have a business that is billed bi-monthly and that hasn’t been out of line either……I’ll count myself lucky.

  5. The bill I received last week is for $471.00. Two bedroom townhouse. Totally INSANE!!!

  6. We are continuously losing power and always at the same pole. Never had as much trouble with Allegheny Power as we do with REC. We, as well, have numerous meters and each one’s bill has at least doubled. It’s so frustrating to have no choice in who provides your power!

  7. Jeremy Carter says:

    I live in Orange County now (down near Charlottesville)…we have REC. I have roughly 3600 sq ft….and my bill last month was $307. That’s the highest it gets..and it’s usually Jan/Feb b/c of the cold, and I have one heat pump for my whole house. I keep it at 70 or 72 in the winter.

    I thought my price was outrageous..my entire house is electric. I dont have gas. If you folks in townhouses are paying more than me in my house…something is most certainly wrong.

    Also, to add to it, I’ve never lost power so much in my life. If it snows…forget it. Luckily with all the wind, we didnt lose it…but REC never does preventative maintenance on trees near their lines. We saw Dominion power trimming up all trees on our road last week…I’ve not seen any REC work done…and thats why we continuously lose power. IF I had a choice..I’d switch immediately.

    I hope this stuff gets sorted out. When I tried to get on the budget plan initially, and they tried that ‘square footage calculator’ crap with me…I told them they were crazy trying to charge me $400-$500 /month just b/c I have a ‘big house’. You have to watch them……….I’m tellin ya!

  8. just interested says:

    I have heard more complaints about these bills in town too. My bill is up $300 to $400 from this time last year. Now,granted I live in an old house but I have updated my windows and have done all the energy savings I can afford. So crank the wood stove and turn down the heat. Wear sweats and sweatshirts. I am fortunate to have a wood stove I admit. Yet,these complaints do seem to be coming more from TH or APTS. Haven’t a clue as to why? The good part is we are on the down side of winter and hopefully the bills will ease soon.

  9. Happy w/ REC says:

    I find this kind of weird that people are complaining about REC bills. I have lived in my house since 2004. Our bill used to average $750 every two months. We have a 2 story split foyer built in 1992, no central air, baseboard heat. At that time we had no children and used 1/2 the house. Fast forward to 2010, we now have 2 children (one a teenager who we adopted) and we use the entire house. Everything is original, windows, doors and all and this is the first time since we lived here that we are able to manage our bill without the threat of it being cut off. Our “Christmas Lights” bill for December & January came last week and its $531.00. I don’t think that is bad at all. We live in the county (Shenandoah Farms) and we too often lose power, but I must say I am HAPPY w/ REC. I can also say they actually come read our meter rather than guess at it live Allegheny did.

  10. Just received a bill for $772 (bi-monthly billing). Not sure that is normal as this is our first winter in the area. I will say that I have never paid so much. My power usage was $367 and the remainder was various connection fees. We did use a woodstove to supplement. I can’t imagine what our bill would have been otherwise.

    In addition, I have never dealt with so many surges and outages. There are no words for the frustration! In my opinion; REC definitely has room for improvement.

  11. We were out of state for 6 weeks. Thermostats turn off in most rooms and down to 60 in essential rooms. Bill was $480 – the highest bill we’ve ever had and nobody was home! Something is not right here.

  12. Birdonawire says:

    My last bill for 2 months was approx 870.00. I keep my thermostat at 70, turn off lights when I leave a room, use high energy saving light bulbs…etc. We sat in the dark and cold for 30 hours during the last snow storm, my power was out Saturday because of the wind, my power is out again today due to the wind I suppose. Who knows when the power will be back on. I don’t give the people in the field a hard time, but there is something wrong at the corporate level.