Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative crews are working around the clock to restore power to approximately 3,800 customers after winds from Winter Storm Riley caused power outages for more than 47,000 customers on Friday, March 2, and hundreds more on March 3.
"This was the worst storm in years," explains Dan Swingle, NOVEC vice president of system operations. "Those winds with near-hurricane strength blew countless trees on power lines, broke poles and cross arms, and damaged transformers. In some areas, our crews are working with VDOT to remove trees blocking roads so our utility trucks can get to outage locations."
Swingle notes that after crews remove trees and broken equipment, they have to install new equipment, reconnect lines, and then reenergize those lines. "It's time-intensive, and when you're dealing with chainsaws and electricity, it's dangerous. We know customers are anxious to have power restored, but we ask for their patience. We won't stop working until every customer can turn on their lights."
Mutual-aid crews from Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee are working with NOVEC crews at more than 300 outage locations in NOVEC's six-county service territory.