Two power providers are working around the clock to get the lights and the heat back on in the Shenandoah Valley. Thursday evening, about 4,400 customers are still without power.
At the height of the winter storm, more than 10,000 customers were in the dark in Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro. But Dominion Power and Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) plan to get everyone restored by the weekend.
SVEC has about 88,000 members in a dozen counties. Getting them all back in service requires the efforts of about 400 employees and contract crews, from as far as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Tennessee.
The process can seem slow, but those men and women often have to contend with fallen tree limbs and difficult access to work sites.
"Oftentimes the devices – the protected devices – are located in a very, very rural area. Trucks often have difficulty getting to a situation like that, and so the men are left to walk in with the equipment they need to make the repairs," said Mike Aulgur, SVEC manager of external affairs.
Tree contractors often travel in a convoy with the power crews. They have to remove fallen limbs and branches before electric lines and conductors can be repaired.
SVEC has already restored power to about 98 percent of its members and hopes to get them all up by midnight Thursday.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:36 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:36:22 GMT
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