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Hot meal, warming shelter services continue in Louisa as crews work to restore power

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 11:03 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 at 11:13 PM EST
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LOUISA, Va. (WWBT) - After a double winter event this week, recovery in Louisa County is expected to continue well into the weekend.

Fire Chief Robert Dube says fire and EMS crews have been working up to 36-hours shifts or more to meet the needs of county residents still without power.

“It’s been nonstop,” Dube said. “It’s been a challenge.”

Power has been restored to downtown Louisa for the past 48 hours, but as of Friday evening, thousands of residents are still left in the dark

The county’s largest power provider, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC), estimates that the majority of outages will be restored by the end of the weekend, with some smaller scattered outages continuing into next week.

As of Friday evening, about 21,000 members remained without power.

“My mom and dad are pretty frustrated. Two days ago they got a call from their power company that their power was restored, and it wasn’t,” Rebecca Whitlock said.

Dube says the county’s downtown stores like Food Lion, Walgreens and CVS are back open for business, but staffing and supplies shortages have made it more difficult for people just now beginning to restock on the essentials.

Dube says many grocery stores had to throw away thousands of dollars of products that passed their expiration date while stores were closed. Delivery trucks have also had a difficult time making it to stores for restocking

“The grocery stores and the two pharmacies were unavailable for almost three days,” Dube said.

For residents still struggling to make it through another night of sub-freezing temperatures, Dube says the 24-hour warming shelter at Louisa County Middle School is open to all who need it.

“If you need help to get to the shelter, we can arrange for that. If you need anything, just give us a call,” Dube said.

The County’s Resource Council also gave out carts that included nonperishable food supplies and other essentials to more than 125 families and regular customers in need at its warehouse location Friday.

For those who cannot get out of their house, the also council delivered prepackaged boxes designed to support a family of four for three days.

Dube says the plan for the county’s emergency operations center heading into the weekend is to continue providing hot meals and access to warming shelters but admits maintaining manpower may be difficult.

“It’s a combined effort with us and the sheriff’s department, and the schools and human services, and the work left to be done is to make sure we have enough staffing of employees and volunteers to keep the emergency service running,” Dube said.

At this time, Dube says anyone who has any trouble accessing its emergency services should reach out to the Emergency Operation Center at 540-967-3496.

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