REC Cautions Members to Prepare for Extended Outages

March 2, 2018

More than 40,000 REC members remain without power this evening as the dangerous wind storm continues to pummel the Cooperative’s 22-county service territory.

REC cautions that many of the outages may extend beyond this weekend and into next week. The powerful wind gusts are expected to continue overnight before slowly subsiding on Saturday.

The wind already has broken dozens of poles and downed trees, making it difficult for crews to reach some locations. They are working with VDOT to safely obtain access to blocked roads. REC’s western region in the counties of Greene, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison and Warren have been hit the hardest.

Through mutual aid agreements, REC expects over 75 linemen from electrical co-ops in Kentucky and South Carolina to arrive in Virginia to help restore service. The crews will work around the clock until all service as has been restored. In addition, REC’s dispatch center and contact center will be staffed 24 hours.

REC encourages everyone to be safe and follow these simple guidelines:

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 REC 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.
• Those without power are urged to exercise extreme caution if using candles for emergency lighting, and to not leave burning candles unattended. They are also urged to cut off major appliances until after power is restored.

REC provides electric service to over 165,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 17,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about REC, please visit Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.