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Lunenburg residents voice concerns about response to power outages

Updated: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:24 PM EST
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CREWE, Va. (WWBT) - Southside Electric Cooperative says they’re making progress to restore power to their customers.

On Tuesday, hundreds of line workers returned to the field to restore power to thousands of people still in the dark, but some residents say they’re still frustrated over the slow restoration progress and the time it took to bring help to their neighbors.

Joe and Tinisha Paschal from Lunenburg County stood outside Southside Electric Cooperative Headquarters in Crewe on Tuesday to voice their concerns.

“If it’s just a two-person war with my wife and I for everybody, so be it,” Joe Paschal said. “Places like Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and Dominion had power back to their people within 72 hours and meanwhile, nothing had gotten done on the SEC stuff.”

The Paschals had no power for 10 days until it returned last night around 10 p.m. They’re questioning where the power crews were and the lack of communication for power restoration efforts.

“We’d ride around the counties and see nothing,” he said. “People were calling in and they were getting nothing. They were getting no information on when their power will be reinstated.”

The complaints are also reaching the State Corporation Commission. As of 12 p.m. on Tuesday, they have received more than 160 complaints about Southside Electric during this power outage.

Pascal says he’s more concerned about the people who rely on electricity for their medical needs.

“When I look at people, the elderly, and the people on oxygen and these people that are out there and really need help, that ticks me off,” he said.

A frustration customers say they’re facing as they continue to live without power.

“I do not have electricity. I have no food. I have no water. I have a medical condition that requires me to stay warm,” said a resident of Brunswick County, who didn’t wish to give his name. “They need to be honest with their customers, to tell the truth about what’s really going on.”

On Saturday, Southside Electric Cooperative said they’re aiming to have 95 percent of their service area restored by Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesperson for SEC says they’re still on track to complete this goal. They hope to have 99.9% of their service area restored by the end of the day on Friday.

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