Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s (REC) restoration efforts are under way as the cooperative assess damage and has crews working to repair broken lines and equipment from the winter storm that is producing sleet, freezing rain and snow.
The Cooperative’s call center will be fully staffed around the clock until all power is restored. REC secured additional crews in advance of the storm from other Georgia Cooperatives as well as right of way contractors and line contractors to assist with outages caused by this storm.
Right-of-way crews are working to clear the path into outage-stricken areas. Much of REC’s service area is rural and difficult to access under normal conditions. The crews will also clear trees and limbs from power lines once linemen are able to reach affected areas.
Restoration work will begin in critical facilities supporting public health and safety and then power lines carrying electricity to the largest numbers of people. Crews will then move on to make repairs to power lines serving neighborhoods. Following that we will then repair damage to individual services at homes and businesses.
Today’s winter storm has just over 6,000 REC members without electricity, and only 185 are in Caroline. The storm’s precipitation has caused trees heavily laden with sleet and snow to fall onto power lines, resulting in widespread outages in many of the counties served by REC. The largest number outages are concentrated in Culpeper and Louisa counties.
REC is working to restore service as quickly and safely as possible and will continue to do so until all service is restored. The cooperative appreciates the patience its members are showing as they work to get their lights back on.
REC offers the following tips in the event you experience an outage:
· Call 1-800-552-3904 and follow the voice commands to report your outage. Smartphone users can go to the Outage Center on REC’s mobile website and select the “Report Outage” option.
· If you or a family member is dependent on electricity-powered medical equipment, take steps now to seek alternative shelter or a source of backup power, as appropriate.
· 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.
REC provides electric service to over 158,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., Rappahannock operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For information about REC, please visit myrec.coop.