Fluvanna Man Stuck in Home Due to Downed Power Lines - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fluvanna Man Stuck in Home Due to Downed Power Lines

Posted: Updated: March 10, 2013 11:04 PM EDT

Many have been without power since last week's winter storm. Power crews are working to restore electricity to homes in rural communities of central Virginia.   It's tedious, slow-going work. For people who live in these homes, it's a source of frustration.

One Fluvanna County man hasn't been able to leave his driveway for five days because of downed power and telephone lines.

"It's been a real inconvenience and worry," Dale Shanklin said.

Crews from Central Virginia Electric Cooperative worked hours Sunday to clear Shanklin's driveway on Venable Road near Palmyra. He says he's more worried about safety than getting his power back on.

"We're having to rely on a kerosene heater and they're outdated right now, they're kind of dangerous to burn," he said. "My biggest concern was the house catching on fire and nobody being able to get up here."

Shanklin says he called the power company several times and watched crews drive past his house.

"I just can't understand why it took five days to clear my driveway up," he said.

After a storm, CVEC crews first restore power to the main lines, then move to tap lines, and work on down to small pockets of homes and single family homes. The company says it's very slow going work. When power lines are causing a safety hazard, that problem moves to the top of the priority list.

But one crew member says that's not the case at Shanklin's home.

"Not all these lines are ours. A lot of the larger black cables are actually telephone lines," said Jimmy Wilmoth of CVEC.

Nevertheless, CVEC crews cleared the power lines and the telephone lines that were blocking Shanklin's driveway.  Wilmoth says other homeowners can learn from Shanklin's situation.

"Any time that happens to any individual or anything, you need to contact your telephone company because they will actually come out and they're responsible to clear those lines so you have access in and out your driveway," Wilmoth said.

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative says the rest of its work is in those small clusters of customers. Each repair only restores power to a handful of homes or even just one home at a time.

Crews are still having trouble reaching certain repair sites because of the wet ground.

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