SEC Restoring Outages across Service Area Following Early Winter Storm
CREWE, Va – Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) line crews and contractors are working steadily to assess damage and restore power across SEC service territory following an early winter ice storm. Ice accumulated on poles, wires and adjacent trees Sunday afternoon and into early Monday after a second round of storms moved in from the west leaving thousands without power. Scattered outages range from Bedford County in the west, to Powhatan and Amelia Counties in the east, and most counties in between.
SEC was prepared, assembling 125 contract linemen and 70 trucks before the storm hit. These additional crews joined SEC’s own fleet of 65 lineman and 100 trucks. Through mutual aid agreements with co-ops in neighboring states (NC, SC and TN) and additional private contract crews, SEC was able to cut outages by two-thirds at midday on Monday. At the height, about 9,500 members were without power early Monday morning. At the time of this release outage numbers were around 2,000. Hardest hit areas include the counties of Bedford, Charlotte and Pittsylvania to the west, and Amelia, Prince Edward and Powhatan to the east.
The vast majority of outages are related to damage caused by trees and branches falling on power lines, with only a few broken poles reported thus far. Initial damage to an Amelia substation was quickly fixed, and no transmission lines were affected during the storm. Widespread outages in mostly residential areas will make restoration efforts slow, as crews must travel distances to assess and then make repairs, encountering a variety of unknown situations at each location. Ice layering on most surfaces coupled with saturated ground conditions often presents a challenge to line workers, sometimes necessitating a slow pace for crews due to safety precautions.
Members are urged to stay away from downed lines and other electrical equipment and to report these immediately to SEC, along with any remaining outage locations. As restoration efforts continue, it may be several days before all outages are fully restored. Members are instructed to prepare accordingly by procuring non-perishable food items, and make arrangements for alternate lodging if adequate heating is not available. When using alternate sources of heat, please take all necessary precautions, as these may present fire hazards. Members with specific medical conditions such as oxygen or other types of life support are urged to contact relatives, medical technicians or social services if necessary.
If you experience a power outage, please call the Cooperative’s toll free outage number: 1-866-878-5514. Periodic updates on SEC’s power restoration efforts can be obtained on our outage map @ http://outage.sec.coop:8181. Please check for updated news releases @ www.sec.coop and also check for updates at our Facebook page: www.fb.com/SouthsideElectric.
Headquartered in Crewe, SEC is a member-owned not-for-profit electric utility serving more than 54,000 meters in homes and businesses throughout southern and central Virginia. For additional information 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.