Wind Storm Riley Restoration Nearly Complete
REC and mutual aid crews entered the homestretch today as they race to restore service to the final few hundred members who remain without power after last week's 36-hour windstorm. All storm-related outages should be restored by later today.
"We recognize these extended outages have presented a hardship for many members," said Robbie Beard, manager of REC's western region. "We appreciate their patience and understanding. It's frustrating any time the power goes out, but to have an outage persist for several days is unsettling and frustrating."
The remaining 800 outages are concentrated in REC's western territory, especially the counties of Rappahannock, Greene and Madison, where wind gusts neared 80 mph at the height of the storm.
To restore service as quickly as possible, REC doubled the number of field crews by calling upon more than 200 additional mutual aid line workers from around Virginia and six other states. As the crews restored the final outages in REC's eastern counties, all 400-plus crew members converged on outages west of State Route 29, where winds toppled trees, snapped poles and dropped power lines.
Many of the final outages persist in rural and mountainous regions, where crews are using tracked vehicles to reach the worst of the damage. At the storm's peak, more than 45,803 members had lost service. In all, the storm affected 71,246 members.
By the time mutual aid crews pack up for home and REC line workers wrap up their work, they will have replaced more than 350 broken poles. Said Beard: "I can't say enough about the guys who have worked around the clock - in trying conditions - to literally rebuild much of REC's network from the ground up."
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 www.myrec.coop. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.