REC still working on 6-thousand outages. Good progress made on Sunday
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) crews, contractors and mutual-aid workers from out-of-state cooperatives have restored service to more than 16,000 member-owners as of this evening.
Despite additional outages occurring throughout the day as a result of ice falling onto lines and equipment, and bent trees and limbs springing upward into lines as the ice melted, REC’s restoration workforce made excellent progress today.
As of 6 p.m., over 6,000 member-owners remained without service, down from about 22,000 outages at the peak of the storm. In some cases, member-owners will need to report their outage multiple times as the online system may indicate power has been restored when it is still out. REC estimates that some outages could linger into at least Tuesday evening.
REC’s crews were joined today by contractors and mutual-aid crews from North Carolina and South Carolina, doubling the field work force to about 200.
More than 20 broken poles have been identified so far, with at least that many still likely to be found as work progresses further downline and onto lines serving fewer homes. Many of the pole replacements require specialized, tracked equipment to access and perform the replacement. Today, crews discovered about 40 trees that had fallen along a single power line circuit.
“REC knows conditions are very uncomfortable in homes without electricity. Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore everyone’s service,” said Casey Hollins, director of communications and public relations. “We encourage members to be especially careful when using portable generators; to place the generator well away from the house to avoid exhaust fumes from entering the living area; and unless specialized connections have been previously installed, to only use extension cords to connect individual appliances to the generator.”