Dinwiddie, Va. (WWBT) - As of Saturday afternoon Southside Electric says they have restored power to more than 60 percent of the homes that were knocked out across their 18-county territory, but they warn it could be until the end of the month before 100 percent of the homes are back.
Southside Electric Crews spent Saturday afternoon working to bring power to those still left in the dark by this week’s ice storms. At least 825 crew members worked Saturday as opposed to the 68 powerline men the company typically has restoring powerlines.
The company’s CEO Jeff Edwards says the restoration timeline is improving since receiving extra assistant from Dominion Energy and private contractors.
“We’re anticipating we’re going to have about at least 95 percent of the system back on by Wednesday afternoon,” Edwards said.
Melting snow and rain has also made getting to damaged poles more difficult. Edwards said their work vehicles are getting stuck in the mud trying to access right-of-ways that are not adjacent to the roads. The company is used to restoring 500 poles in a year has surpassed that amount from this week’s storms alone.
“We’ve already identified 450 broken poles on our systems in this time and we’re expecting that to go past 750 before restoring is over,” Edwards said. “We had severe electrical system components fail across our 18-county service territory because of the heavy icing and the tree damage.”
State delegate Lashrecse Aird joined Southside’s crews to assess the damage still left to be repaired up close, promising swift relief for homeowners still without heat and light.
“Our workers have been pouring everything they have into getting houses in Dinwiddie County restored,” Aird said. “Seeing the devastation and seeing how complicated the restoration is I’m really able to offer more details, more transparency and greater information about what is actually happening in the field.”
There were more than 48,000 without power in the wake of the ice storms, but Saturday that number has improved to 19,000 homes. Still, Edwards warns power for some may still be a week away.
“We’re hoping to have everybody on by no later than next Sunday, but there will very few people that will be out to that time,” Edwards said.
Aird says the county will still be relying on its warming shelters until all power is restored to homes in Dinwiddie.
- Dinwiddie Fire Station - 13506 Boydton Plank Road
- Ford Fire Station - 13402 Cox Road
- McKenney Fire Station - 10507 Doyle Blvd
The sites will be open until 5 p.m.
Residents will need to bring their own charges and water containers. No bottled water will be available.
“Every single day we are trying to make sure that the households that can be restored are getting restored as quickly as possible,” Aird said.
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