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.
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.”