CREWE – A major winter storm moved across parts of Southside Electric Cooperative’s service area early Wednesday morning and afternoon blanketing parts of central and southern Virginia with as much as 10 inches of wet snow in some areas. As of 3:30pm this afternoon, approximately 4,100 members are without electric service as a result of downed trees and limbs, as well as heavy wet snow and ice accumulation on power lines. With winds gusting to 35 mph and snow still accumulating through the afternoon, SEC members are urged to seek shelter and stay off roads.
All available SEC line crews are working to restore service as quickly and safely as possible, alongside previously requested utility contractors and crews from neighboring electric cooperatives in South Carolina. In total, 50-60 lines crews have been working since Wednesday morning to restore power to SEC members.
With over 100 personnel assessing and working to repair outages, SEC expects outage numbers to decrease steadily over the next 12-24 hours. The heaviest concentrations of outages have occurred in Powhatan County (3,200). Smaller pockets of outages include Cumberland (375), Campbell (183), Amelia (116), and Nottoway (47), with scattered outages remaining in Lunenburg (17) and Prince Edward (12) counties.
While the extent of the storm damage to SEC territory is still being accessed at this time, it may be several days before electric service is restored to all members. SEC members without electricity at this time should take necessary steps to prepare for an extended outage. Special precaution should be taken by members who may rely on oxygen machines or other types of life support equipment, and/or members requiring alternate heating sources.
Members should stay away from downed lines and broken poles which may still be energized. These and other observed damage conditions should be reported to the Cooperative at (866) 878-5514 and/or to local law enforcement. SEC will be issuing periodic updates on the power restoration efforts on local radio/television stations and other local media, including the Co-op’s website (www.sec.coop) throughout the day.
For additional information please contact Franklin D. Harris, SEC Manager of Public & Member Relations at 1-800-552-2118; extension 3211, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.