REC Crews Respond to Outages after Storms

May 15, 2018

Strong thunderstorms with gusty winds crashed through Rappahannock Electric Cooperative's (REC) service territory Monday evening, snapping trees, downing wires and knocking out power to more than 38,000 members. About 12,000 remained without power as of 7:30 this morning.

Repair crews from other electric cooperatives less effected by the storm are arriving today to help with restoration efforts. REC is redirecting resources to the areas hardest hit by last night's storms, which broke numerous poles and cross-arms.

While Spotsylvania, Culpeper, Greene, Orange and Rappahannock counties sustained the most outages, the storms affected members in nearly all 22 counties served by REC - from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Northern Neck.

"On the radar, a streak of dark red covered much of the state," said Maxie Rozell, manager of REC's eastern region. "Our crews were ready and responded as soon as it was safe to do so. In many cases, just to get to the damaged lines crews had to cut their way through trees that had fallen and blocked roads."

Maxie added, "Rest assured, they will continue their efforts around the clock until power is restored to all members."

Members are asked to keep the following safety tips 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. Also, only use a generator outside and away from doors and windows to keep dangerous carbon monoxide fumes from entering the house.
  • 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.
  • Check on friends and neighbors, especially those who are ill or elderly, who may need assistance or a place to cool off.

REC provides electric service to over 167,000 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.