REC Continues to Discover Extensive Damage to Infrastructure

March 5, 2018

REC continues to discover more broken poles and extensive damage as crews make their way into previously inaccessible areas, especially west of State Route 29, as well as Route 17 corridor in Southern Fauquier. The 36-hour wind storm that roared through REC's territory left as many as 50,000 members without power at its peak. As of 6 p.m., about 5,500 members remained without power.

In all, REC now estimates at least 250 poles will need to be replaced, a procedure that takes anywhere from a couple of hours to more than half a day depending on the circumstances. Because of the remoteness of some areas, linemen need to replace some poles by hand.

Twelve of our 22 counties experienced gusts approaching or exceeding 60 miles per hour. The National Weather Service documented that Rappahannock County had known wind speeds of 78 miles per hour.

"The damage is truly catastrophic," said Robbie Beard, manager of REC's western region.

Today alone, crews replaced three tractor-trailer loads worth of poles. New supplies of cross-arms, wires and other hardware is constantly being restocked.

In addition, more than 200 additional men have joined REC’s work force, coming from other states as well as from other electric co-ops in Virginia. REC also is bringing in additional vehicles such as bull dozers, excavators and other tracked vehicles to help with the significant repairs in many of the more remote areas served by the Cooperative.

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.

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VIDEOS: REC Responds to Wind Storm
Wind Storm Video imageCheck out video footage our REC and mutual aid crews repairing damage and restoring service.

damage photo