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Power Companies Prepare for Widespread Outages - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Power Companies Prepare for Widespread Outages

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Power companies in central Virginia are preparing to respond to widespread outages. Crews across the commonwealth have spent the day beefing up their resources to get ready for severe winter weather.

The Central Virginia Electric Cooperative says it's all a waiting game with Mother Nature. They have already done preliminary work including keeping a right-of-way clear and cutting down dangerous trees ahead of the impending storm.

Dominion Virginia Power and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative have loaded their trucks with equipment to put their restoration process into effect.

Both power companies have sharpened their saws in order to deal with fallen trees from ice loading on power lines.

Once an outage is reported, crews will try to pinpoint problem areas and restore power as quickly as possible.

“We take all that information and then we figure out where the fault locations are - where trees have come down. We start at the power line and we work our way out because that's the path the electricity follows.” Greg Kelly, CVEC member services manager, stated.

The companies have already called in crews from out of state to help in the event of a massive storm. They have also stacked schedules to have someone answering calls at all times.

If you want to take extra steps to be prepared, the companies recommend assembling an outage kit including flashlights, extra batteries, and stored water.

Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative Press Release

MT. CRAWFORD – With a wintry mix in the forecast for parts of Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative’s (SVEC) eight-county service area this weekend, SVEC has pulled together key staff members responsible for working these types of situations and has implemented a plan of action to coordinate our response to the severe weather.

SVEC has extra support staff on standby, ready to respond, should the situation require additional help. SVEC continues to monitor the progression of the storm and is in regular contact with the National Weather Service.

SVEC would like to remind our member/owners that now is the time to prepare for possible inclement weather. The potential for snow, freezing rain, and sleet present the chance for power outages. “Blinking” of lights may also occur, and this is a normal condition during an event such as this. With the forecast amount of ice, it is possible that outages may last an extended period of time.

When tree limbs break as a result of the ice and fall on power lines, outages are possible. SVEC makes every effort to have power restored to members as quickly and safely as possible, and would like to offer these tips in case of an outage:

Do not make any attempts to clear trees or other debris from power lines. Note the location, and any other important information regarding these situations, and contact SVEC. 

Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative will work to ensure that power is restored as soon as possible. Avoid contact with downed power lines.

In the event that you lose power and you are an SVEC member, call SVEC at 1-800-234-7832, even if you think your neighbor may have called. It is more effective for SVEC to know where all outages are.

It is a good idea to make sure that your cell phone, if you have one, is completely charged, in the event of an outage.To make sure you and your family have the necessities for an outage, SVEC advises that you prepare a home outage kit. Good items to include are:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • A battery operated radio
  • Candles or lanterns and matches
  • An alternate source of heat
  • Canned or packaged foods, powered milk and beverages, dry cereal
  • Water (one gallon per person per day for drinking; fill bathtub and other containers for flushing toilets and other needs)
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Camp stove or other emergency cooking device
  • Extra blankets or sleeping bags
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • If needed, extra baby food, formula, diapers

Chartered in 1936, SVEC serves approximately 90,000 meters in the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren and the city of Winchester in Virginia. Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative was the first electric cooperative chartered in Virginia.

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative Press Release

With the forecasted arrival of severe weather in portions of Virginia, Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) is preparing to respond to outages due to potential ice loading on power lines and on adjacent trees growing outside of the 40-foot right of way.

Field crews and equipment are ready to go if necessary. Dispatchers and field supervisors are prepared to coordinate power restoration efforts. Member service representatives are available to answer member calls and enter outage tickets. Crews from adjoining cooperatives will stand by, ready to provide assistance if necessary.

CVEC members may report outages by calling 800-367-2832 and using the automated reporting system. Cooperative members may also visit www.mycvec.com on a computer or a smart phone to report an outage online. Each reported loss of power will be entered into the CVEC Outage Management System, where it will be combined with other reported outages to allow dispatchers to identify fault locations and to send crews to where they will do the most good.

Outage updates will be available through the local media, on the CVEC Facebook page, and at www.mycvec.com. The Cooperative website also features an outage map with the number of members affected within each substation service area.

Co-op members are advised to take appropriate measures that include preparing for an outage and creating an outage kit. CVEC also requests that members turn off major appliances after a loss of power, in order to help with cold load pick up…the point when power is restored and there is a major burden on the distribution system.

For safety sake, anyone that encounters a down-power line, stay clear, even if there is no obvious sparking. Do not attempt to cut trees on power lines. The tree may be conducting electricity. In addition, once cut, the power line may launch the tree in any direction. Please leave restoration work for the trained linemen.

If the storm does result in significant power outages, CVEC crews will begin repairs along major lines closest to the local substation, then work their way out along the primary lines, clearing outages as they go in order to restore service to as many members as soon as possible and to permit power to flow to the end of the distribution lines. Other personnel will be creating damage assessments, while other crews may be dedicated to service restoration in local neighborhoods or in clusters of home.

Look for updates from CVEC in the event of and for the duration of significant power outages.

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, not-for-profit, electric utility serving the rural portions of 14 Virginia counties.

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