The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Most area residents without power should be reconnected by Thursday
Two electric cooperatives have reconnected most of their Fredericksburg-area customers who lost power when Hurricane Sandy barreled through here this week.
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative crews have restored power to 84 percent of its members, and most restoration is expected to be completed by the end of the day Thursday. Among those still without power at noon today are 391 members in Fauquier County, 10 in Culpeper County, 5 in Louisa County and 4 in Spotsylvania County.
Remaining outages are concentrated in the counties of Greene, Rappahannock, Fauquier and Madison, and some members there may be without power longer than Thursday.
Damage in these areas is significant and repairs are complicated and time-consuming, according to a press release from the cooperative. Numerous poles and cross-arms have been broken and need to be replaced in remote locations that are difficult to access even with heavy-duty, four-wheel drive line trucks.
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative crews have reconnected 93 percent of its customers, and estimates that most of the remaining 1,942 customers still waiting for service will be reconnected to the power grid by Thursday night. They include 398 customers in Fauquier County and 43 in Stafford County.
Photos on NOVEC’s website show the extensive damage Sandy did to its system from Loudoun County, to the entire town of Clifton in Fairfax County, to Stafford County.
“Our temperatures went from balmy 70s on Saturday to 40-some degrees on Monday when Sandy’s full force of rain and wind tore through here,” NOVEC spokesman Mike Curtis in a press release. “We know customers without electricity are cold, frustrated, and anxious to have power restored. That’s why we’ll not leave the field until the last customer can turn on the lights.”
He cautioned parents taking their children trick or treating tonight to be alert for downed power lines.
“If you see a tree or debris on the ground, don’t touch it,” Curtis said. “It may be covering a power line; all downed lines should be treated as live. Walking on wet ground anywhere near a live line can be fatal. If you see anything suspicious, call NOVEC at 703/335-0500 or 888/335-0500.”