Power restoration efforts in rural counties could last into weekend

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 4:40 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The rural parts of Virginia are still reeling from the aftermath of this snowstorm.

The Rappahannock Electric Cooperative still has about 50,000 people who need their lights back on.

In Goochland County, there’s a tree down on a power line every few miles.

Crews have been out all day in various locations trying to get the lines back up, but it’s a tedious process. It takes some of them hours to simply cut through the trees to get to the job location.

“Just traveling by rural backroads, some of them are narrow, all of them are surrounded by trees, and just imagine those trees falling into the roadway, bringing power lines and power poles, and it’s definitely an overwhelming task to cut through,” Rappahannock Electric Cooperative spokesperson Casey Hollins said.

Shannon Hawkins and her stepdaughter Caitlyn Allen have running calls for the Holly Grove Volunteer Fire Department, and both of them are still without power at home.

“It’s pretty bad. There’s a lot of black ice. There’s a lot of trees down,” Allen said.

“Her father and her have been running calls constantly, helping people who have fallen in the middle of the night on the ice, or downed trees, cars in ditches. And we’ve been calling around, seeing if people need anything, and we’re willing to bring it to them if they need anything at all,” Hawkins said.

They are saying one of the hardest-hit areas is Louisa County. There’s actually an entire electric substation in Louisa that is in need of repair first before they can get to all of these other lines.

REC said as far as a timeline on this, it will take over the weekend and possibly into the beginning of next week to get the lights back on in those areas, with multiple trees down that are harder to get to.

There are warming shelters that have been set up in the meantime, and a list of those shelters can be found, here.

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