UPDATE from REC
(July 1, 2012 11:00 a.m. ) 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 power lines 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.
June 30, 2012
The powerful line of thunderstorms that tore through Clarke County Friday evening left a path of destruction across the Mid-Atlantic region knocking out power for millions of people.
The weather phenomenon called a “Derecho” (from the Spanish adverb meaning “straight ahead” or “straight line”) was spawned in the Ohio Valley and blasted through the Eastern Seaboard all the way to the coast of Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. It packed wind gusts of 80+mph, uprooting trees and launching anything that was not anchored to the ground.
Driving through Clarke County Saturday morning, roads were covered with debris and massive fallen trees marked yards and fields everywhere. The huge number of downed trees took out power for residents across the county starting at approximately 9:30 p.m. when the storm front moved through the area. As of 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2,105 Clarke County residents are still without power. REC officials say that over 45 percent of those who lost power from the storm late Friday night have had service restored, but added that they anticipate a multiple day restoration effort as a result of the destruction, extreme heat, and the threat of additional damaging storms tonight.
REC said their crews, contractors and additional assistance from other Cooperatives are working extended hours in record-breaking temperatures and tough conditions to restore power. Crews will be working on rotating schedules to continue repairs through the overnight hours. REC expects to determine their estimated total restoration time by end of day Sunday.
“This storm caused excessive damage,” said Tim Martin, REC’s vice president of engineering and operations. “In addition to a large number of broken poles and cross arms, downed lines and damaged equipment have contributed to the widespread outages. Compared to last September’s Hurricane Irene that was concentrated in the Bowling Green District, this storm resulted in nearly 30,000 more outages and was reported in all 22 counties,” concluded Martin.
Officials at the Clarke County Central Communications number said that the county does not currently have an emergency location for residents without power, but encouraged residents to check on neighbors, particularly the elderly, during this outage. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 90’s for the next few days which can create dangerous conditions for residents without power.