Linemen Battle Bitter Cold, Winds, Snow and Flooding to Restore Power in Mountains
Linemen with Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation worked throughout the night and continue power restoration efforts today for a high last night of 9,000 members affecting by the storm. Seventy-five linemen are arriving this morning from sister cooperatives and contractors to assist in power restoration efforts that could continue into Saturday.
As of 6 a.m., 4,400 Blue Ridge members remain without power. Ashe County is the most severely affected where 3,238 members are without power and linemen work to repair damage at 150 different outage locations. Alleghany County has 755 members without power this morning due to damage in 34 different locations. Watauga County is down to 387 members awaiting restoration and several hundred Caldwell County members were restored with power by midnight.
Outages were caused by heavy wet snow on trees and power lines, as well as large trees outside the right-of-way falling onto power lines after this week’s strong rains, a heavy wet snow and high winds. Dangerously slick roads, flooding across creeks and trees across roads and power lines are affecting restoration efforts. The cooperative thanks members for their patience as linemen work to reach outage locations, repair lines and replace power poles—often in remote locations of the mountains.
Blue Ridge Electric members should call the cooperative's PowerLine at 1-800-448-2383 to report outages. Blue Ridge Electric warns the public that downed power lines can still be energized and therefore dangerous or even deadly! Stay far away from downed power lines and report them immediately to the cooperative.
To check outage status at any time, Blue Ridge Electric provides an online outage map at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com, where news releases and safety tips can also be found. Updates are also available on the cooperative’s social media sites at: www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc and www.twitter.com/blueridgeemc.
Blue Ridge Electric serves some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties.
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