As of 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) has restored power to 70% of its members who lost service during Friday evening’s violent summer thunderstorm. Working around the clock rebuilding significant sections of the system, linemen have replaced dozens of broken poles, cross-arms and other damaged equipment to return service as quickly and safely as possible.
“The Cooperative expects to have power restored to most of its members by the end of the week,” said David F. Koogler, REC’s Vice President of Customer Services. “It may take longer to complete repairs in more heavily damaged areas. Be assured that our efforts will not stop until everyone has service,” continued Koogler.
In an effort to keep members informed about the restoration process, the Cooperative uses various communication tools: REC’s website www.myrec.coop is updated regularly with the latest available information and can be accessed by mobile devices and smart phones. Facebook is another source of information for members. And, REC’s phone center is staffed 24/7 during major events for members to report outages and speak to a customer service representative.
Work continued through the night with significant progress being made, yet it will still be several days before service is restored to all REC members. Additional crews arrived from out of state and are being deployed this morning. With REC’s workforce now doubled, the focus remains on repairing the main circuits and ensuring service to critical facilities.
Those currently without power need to be aware that, for many, this will be an extended outage, and they should plan appropriately. Many local governments have opened cooling shelters. Listen to local media or check with local officials for shelter locations in your area. Shelter locations are also listed on REC’s website at www.myrec.coop and on REC’s Facebook page. By the end of today, REC will be able to project when the majority of repairs will be complete.
“We are very proud of the response by our employees, working long hours in record-breaking heat and difficult conditions” said Tim Martin, vice president of engineering and operations. “We appreciate the additional support of our contract crews and additional linemen from less-affected areas of Virginia as well as Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maryland” added Martin.
Additional information on district work schedules for today are available on REC’s website at www.myrec.coop and on Facebook as well. These schedules will be updated each morning. Please remember to report any unsafe conditions, such as downed powerlines to the Cooperative immediately. REC reminds everyone that safety is the number one concern and therefore, please make sure major appliances such as stoves and ovens are cut off to prevent damage as power is restored. If you are not sure what is on, switch off all but one of your home’s circuit breakers. Leave one branch circuit on with a radio or lamp plugged in so you will know when power is restored.
To report a power outage, please call 1-800-552-3904 or visit www.myrec.coop and report your outage online. If the cause of the damage is evident, and you are reporting your outage by phone, please provide information concerning cause and location to the customer service representative. Callers with no additional information are encouraged to choose the automated reporting option. Members who rely on a smart phone can also access outage information and report an outage through the Cooperative’s website.