REC's Restoration Efforts Continue after Devastating Wind Storm

March 3, 2018

REC crews worked nonstop overnight to restore power to several thousand members who lost service during the extended and dangerous wind storm that roared through REC's 22-county service territory.

As of 8 a.m., about 36,000 members remained without power, and REC cautions that many of the outages may extend beyond this weekend into next week.

Mutual aid crews from electric cooperatives in Kentucky, South Carolina and North Carolina have begun to arrive to assist in REC's restoration efforts. In all, more than 100 out-of-state linemen are expected to help.

The storm damage is extensive. The strong winds downed trees and broke dozens of electric poles. Replacing those poles is a time-consuming and labor-intensive activity, which has been complicated by the gusting wind. In many cases, REC's right-of-way teams had to clear paths so our line crews could reach damaged equipment. In addition, crews have worked with VDOT to access roads closed by downed trees. As always, safety is REC's top priority.

For members, that means keeping the following in mind:

  • Avoid 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.