The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative update
NOVEC crews and contractors continue to make steady progress in restoring service to customers throughout the NOVEC system.
More than 84 percent of the 37,000 NOVEC customers who were affected by powerful thunderstorms on Friday night have been restored to service. As of 4:00 p.m. today, the total number of outages on the NOVEC system is just over 6,000. Of those, 317 are in Stafford County. Work will continue around the clock until all service is restored.
According to a July 1 story in the Washington Post, the region was struck by a “Derecho” – a “fast-moving, long-lived, large and violent thunderstorm complex.” The Friday evening storm had recorded wind gusts of 60-80 mph and has been credited with causing the most wide-spread non-hurricane related power outages in Virginia’s history.
In NOVEC’s service area, the storms toppled trees, and damaged poles and equipment in all jurisdictions. “As much as would like to say all service will be restored today, it won’t happen,” says Larry Shaffer, manager, system operations. “We still have more than 200 outage tickets to close and some of the remaining locations have extensive damage to repair. I am proud of what our team is achieving under very difficult working conditions. Modern outage management technology is helping us maximize the efficiency of our service restoration.
” The crews in the field are battling brutal heat and humidity, but have remained positive and focused on getting power restored on as quickly and safely as possible. We understand the frustrations and challenges our customers experience during an extended outage. The NOVEC team will be on the job 24/7 until the last repair is completed.”
Lingering Verizon phone system problems have affected inbound and outbound calling, hampering service restoration efforts by making it more difficult to communicate with customers and employees in the field. “We’re finding ways to work around it, but we’re hoping Verizon can fix the problem soon. Unavailability of reliable phone service certainly adds another layer of difficulty to service restoration,” notes Shaffer.
NOVEC customers with internet access can track service restoration progress here: http://stormcenter.novec.com/index.cfm . Customers may also check the status of an outage by calling NOVEC’s automated phone system at either of the phone numbers listed below. Outage status is updated frequently to reflect the latest information from the field.
Safety is always a top priority for our employees and customers. Downed power lines and trees touching the lines are extremely dangerous and should never be touched. Downed power lines should be immediately reported by contacting NOVEC at 703-335-0500 or toll free at 1-888-335-0500.