Power Restoration Complete After Wind Storm Riley
March 8, 2018
REC crews completed the weeklong, tedious task of restoring outages caused by the 36-hour windstorm that thrashed REC's 22-county service territory. The final outages persisted in REC's western region, which saw wind gusts up to 78 mph. Restoration was completed yesterday evening.
"We know this was difficult. Whether members were offline for a day or a week, going without electricity is more than an inconvenience. It's unsettling," said Robbie Beard, manager of REC's western region. "We greatly appreciate members' patience as the guys worked nonstop through challenging terrain to rebuild much of REC's infrastructure."
Crews replaced more than 350 broken poles, re-strung downed wires and replaced damaged transformers. REC secures mutual aid agreements in advance of dangerous weather, so line crews from 26 different co-ops were able to quickly join REC's crews as they worked around the clock to restore service. More than 200 additional crew members joined REC's forces, more than doubling the size of REC's field restoration team.
"We're grateful not only to REC's line workers, but also to all the crews who came from other parts of Virginia and six other states to help us get members reconnected," Beard said. "We also want to thank the contractors we work with daily, who were also instrumental in restoring service."
At the peak of the wind storm, over 45,000 members were without power. Over 71,000 REC members experienced a power outage during the event. By the end of the day yesterday, over 112,000 power outages had been restored as some members experienced repeat outages.
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. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.