Hurricane Irene’s potential impact on Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) service territory has yet to be determined. Although the direct path of the storm is still uncertain, crews continue to prepare for the possibility of power interruptions.
In anticipation of the storm, REC has arranged mutual aid to assist in power restoration as quickly and safely as possible. Timothy C. Martin, REC’s vice president of engineering and operations, said, “At this point we are preparing for this hurricane as if it will cause major power outages in our area. This type of storm could cause damage to REC’s power lines and equipment on a significant scale. In order to cope with an emergency of this nature, we are coordinating with other electric cooperatives and contract crews to assist us.”
According to Martin, one of the strengths of an electric cooperative system is their mutual aid program. If any cooperative system is affected by a devastating hurricane, or some other disaster, there is a network of other cooperatives to assist when called upon.
William M. Carter, REC’s director of operations and construction services, said, “If major outages occur in our area, it could require crews to work for several days to restore power. Those who come in to assist us will be deployed with REC line crews and are prepared to work extended hours in the field. Office employees will also work extended hours answering phone calls until restoration efforts are complete.”
REC urges its members to prepare for extended outages, just as the Cooperative is doing. Having a disaster supply kit can make the inconvenience of a power outage more bearable. For a list of items you should have in your outage preparedness kit please visit our website and check out the Outage Center.