Monday: REC Says Remaining Outages Expected Back On by Tuesday Morning

4:00 PM Monday: Rappahannock Electric Cooperative will have crews working through the overnight hours to restore electric service to those who lost power as a result of Saturday’s snowstorm.  As of 3:30 p.m. we have approximately 300 members without service.  The Cooperative is on track to restore all service by late this evening or during the early morning hours on Tuesday.  After restoration is complete, we will be working for several days on storm clean up and clearing up any hazardous situations that may exist.

 

7:30 pm Sunday: Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) crews are continuing to make repairs on lines and equipment in Clarke, Warren, Rappahannock and Frederick counties as well as the Town of Stevens City and Berryville. Currently we have 2,200 members without power. This early winter snow storm has caused lots of damage. The heavy wet snow coupled with the fact that leaves are still on the trees have caused many limbs and trees to fall. The mountainous terrain has proven difficult during today’s restoration efforts. With assistance from the REC Bowling Green and Culpeper districts as well at Northern Neck Electric Cooperative and other contract crews, the Cooperative is making progress.

REC understands the inconvenience and appreciates everyone’s patience. REC’s restoration efforts will continue around the clock until all services are restored. The Cooperative estimates that most of its members will have their power restored by tonight or early tomorrow. Much of the remaining damage is on lines serving fewer members or in some cases individual homes. Based on the high number of outages impacting single homes, some services may not be restored until Tuesday.

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.

7:30 am Sunday: Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) crews worked throughout the night to make repairs on lines and equipment in the northwestern part of its service area. These electric facilities received extensive damage from the unusual early winter storm which dumped wet and heavy snow to the area. Nearly 6,000 members have had their power restored since the beginning of the storm. Outages are concentrated in the counties of Warren, Clarke, Rappahannock and Frederick. The downed trees and slippery road conditions brought on from yesterday’s snowstorm have extended outage restoration times. With assistance from the Bowling Green and Culpeper districts and other cooperatives and contract crews from around the state, REC anticipates the majority of its members to be restored Sunday evening but some individual outages may go into Monday.

“With winter weather storm during the early fall, the snow weighted down a significant number of trees and limbs, affecting our power lines,” said Darrell Potter, REC’s Blue Ridge District director of operations and construction. “REC’s local crews and assisting workforce from across the state are making good progress. As we restore service as quickly as possible, we continue to make the safety of our employees and the overall public our primary focus.”

REC reminds its members that downed power lines and tree touching the lines are extremely dangerous. Although the winter weather has moved out of our area, hazardous conditions may still exist. If you see a downed line, report it by contacting REC or 911 and be sure to keep others away from the line. 

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6:30 pm Saturday: Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) restoration efforts continue as crews from its Blue Ridge district office along with reinforcements from the Bowling Green and Culpeper districts and help from contractor C.W. Wright repair damaged lines and equipment from today’s winter storm. Currently nearly 8,000 members in Warren, Clarke, Frederick and Rappahannock counties, as well as the Town of Berryville are without power.

“While our crews have been making progress throughout the day, there are still a significant number of members without power,” said Darrell Potter, REC’s Blue Ridge District director of operations and construction. “Our crews are encountering significant damage where snow covered trees fell onto power lines, taking them to the ground. Repairing these facilities will take time to complete. Members should expect outages to continue through the overnight hours.”

During this early season snow fall where the leaves are still on trees, the combined weight of the snow and leaves has caused additional stress to the trees, triggering more tree limbs to break and fall onto power lines. Crews are experiencing hazardous conditions as they work to remove debris off downed lines and to repair broken poles.

Potter added, “Downed power lines and trees touching the lines are extremely dangerous. Please be aware that hazardous conditions may exist in the aftermath of this storm. If you see a downed line, report it by contacting REC or 911 and be sure to keep others away from the line.”

Cold weather power outages can be dangerous as the temperatures inside homes can drop rapidly. The public should take the following simple precautions to stay warm and safe during a winter power outage:

* If your area experiences an extended outage, consider staying with friends or relatives in another area.

* Save body heat by wearing loose layers of clothing to trap body heat. Use plenty of blankets and a hot water bottle if you are able to safely heat water. Keep moving; exercise generates body heat.

* Lock in home heat by picking one room, away from the prevailing wind, to close off and keep the heat in. Use blankets to insulatewindows and doors.

* Be cautious with alternative light and heat sources. As they cause many house fires each year, do not use candles to light your home. Never use kerosene heaters indoors without proper ventilation. Also, never use charcoal briquettes indoors. They produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes

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Nearly 8,000 Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) members are without electricity as of 12:00 p.m. The winter storm that hit the region Friday night and during the day Saturday has brought heavy snow and strong winds to the northwest portion of the Cooperative’s service territory. The accumulating snow in those areas has caused trees and limbs to fall onto power lines creating outages.

As of 1:00 pm Saturday over 7″ of heavy snow had fallen near Mount Weather in eastern Clark County, Virginia.

- Photo Edward Leonard

Additional crews from the Cooperative’s Bowling Green and Culpeper districts are working together with Blue Ridge district crews to restore service. At this time, outages are concentrated in Clarke, Frederick, Rappahannock and Warren Counties where the accumulating snow has been seen.

“We will be working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service,” said Rhonda F. Curtis, REC’s manager of cooperative communications. “In some cases this could take an extended period of time because of the type of damage we are seeing. We will continue to work until all service is restored and appreciate the patience our members are showing as we work to get their lights back on.”

REC offers the following tips in the event you experience an outage:

* To report your outage call 1-800-552-3904 and follow the voice commands or log on to myrec.coop to report your outage online.

* Families who have special medical needs or elderly members should closely monitor the outage situation and make alternate arrangements, if needed.

* Stay away from all power lines that have fallen. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and your local police department.

* If you are using a portable electric generator, do not connect it directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line workers making repairs.

Visit www.myrec.cooop for up-to-date information about power outages, as well as safety tips and suggestions on how to prepare for power outages.

Comments

  1. iz lights out at the bookshop, berryville grill, and such as of 2pm, 3pm. Lights still on further down E Main…

  2. Travis Goodwin says:

    Hmmm…why do we continue to hang wires on poles? Oh, that’s right…it’s the cheapest solution. Seems to me that burying those lines wherever possible would save money in the long run.

    • Because I Care says:

      At least use stronger wires. Boy, if they aren’t prepared for what we got today, we are in for a long winter. My power was out for about four hours. The lights are still flickering and dimming. NOT good for the appliances!!!

    • Our electric and power lines are buried underground for about half a mile. Since so much of the line feeding to us is above ground, this really hasn’t helped us avoid outages, plus the lines have to be above ground coming to our house from the road due to the very steep hillside. You should know that when our lines were first buried, a trench was dug in the gravel secondary road and cheap wire was laid directly in the trench without any pipe to protect it. Then gravel was thrown back on top. Of course neither we nor VDOT knew the lines were buried in the road and the next year VDOT ripped them out of the road grading it. Now they are buried in a field, still without any culvert to protect them, and whenever it rains, we have terrible static on the line. The utility companies hire contractors to do the work and they cut corners, in other words. To sum up, all the lines have to be buried in an area for this strategy to work and you have to be certain that the buried lines are protected somehow. It doesn’t buy you a thing to have your electric and phone lines underground otherwise.

  3. Good luck getting anyone on the phone from REC….. All automated!!! My bill will triple next month now.

  4. is west main street in the town of berryville still out of power?

  5. Despite flashlights, blankets and hats, prolonged power outages increase feelings of vulnerabilty on the elderly. The uncertainty is psychologically difficult for them, especially when they are alone. I know an elderly widow, who lives by herself and she was extremely worried during the recent power outage.

    • Good time to remind everyone before we really get hit with weather is to check in with elderly you know to be sure they are ok during a storm. Even checking before a storm to be sure they have necessities is good too. We all need to watch out for one another.

  6. Lights out since SAT a.m. says:

    Edward and Mike thanks for traversing the inclement weather to bring us these lovely photos and updates.

  7. As of 7:00 am Monday, power is still out north of Route 7 near the River.

  8. Why is Blue Ridge Fire Dept not a high priority for restoring service? They did not get power back until Sunday evening.

  9. Sharon Strickland says:

    Is it dumb to ask this: If the power company knows the triggers for losing power, why aren’t they cutting more tree limbs near the lines, etc.? We have a lot of Lessons Learned in Clarke County so why are the responsible people not solving more issues like losing our power. My husband jotted down each time the power blipped or was lost this past Saturday. Not impressive for the power company. I felt for some of my known seniors in on community. Some do live alone and they are not in places with back up generators. I knew their children were checking on them but it didn’t help to know they were cold. Any thoughts on improving customer service when a company knows a storm is brewing? Surely, having more customer service reps handling phone calls might have soothed tempers somewhat. Should we suggest that the company and others have an offsite to brain storm? We really need to solve our loss of power on such a frequent basis. We are turning in the timesheet to REC to get a refund for lost power. It got chilly at our house on Saturday evening.