Lenoir, North Carolina (March 3, 2018—9 am Update) Crews worked through the night but continued high winds Friday led to additional, severe storm damage and the cooperative expects power restoration will continue well into Saturday. Blue Ridge Energy crews are working in full force with assisting crews from South Carolina's Blue Ridge Electric and contractor Sumter Utilities.
Alleghany County and a portion of Wilkes County near Alleghany and Ashe county lines are hardest hit by wind toppling trees and tearing down electric system along with it. Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible as they chain saw their way into some locations where trucks are unable to access to repair mangled power lines and replace broken power poles.
As of early Saturday morning, crews are working to repair 23 severely damaged, remote locations causing outages to around 250 members. Impacted are:
- Alleghany District: 185 members primarily in the areas of Mahogany Rock Rd., BrineGar Lane, LilyPad Lane, Pendry Rd., Saddle Mountain Church Rd., Clark Hop Rd., Lonmack Rd., Meadow View Rd.
- Wilkes County: members primarily affected in the areas of Longbottom Rd, Grissel Tail Rd
- Ashe District: 26 members primarily in Darnell Woodie Lane
- Watauga District: 24 members primarily in Blowing Rock
- Caldwell District: 4 members
During the height of the storm damage, over 5,000 members in western Watauga County were impacted by a large voltage transmission outage. The area of damage was the cooperativeâ€™s most difficult to reach transmission line, in a very mountainous ridge-top line crews had to access by all-terrain vehicle. Line technicians manually scaled the large transmission line, hooking ladders to reach the top to make repairs and restore power before midnight.
To report outages, members can use the Blue Ridge mobile app (download for free at: https://cbrk4.app.goo.gl/5S4M) or call the cooperative's PowerLine: 1-800-448-2383.
Blue Ridge Energy advises the public to be alert for downed power lines. If you see a downed line, stay far away as it could still be energized and therefore dangerous and even deadly. Call the cooperative immediately to report it at: 1-800-451-5474.
To check outage status at any time, see the cooperative's outage map available at www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com and on the Blue Ridge mobile app. Blue Ridge Energy also posts information during major outages and alerts on its social media channels: www.facebook.com/blueridgeenergy; www.instagram.com/blueridgeenergy and www.twitter.com/blueridgeemc.
Blue Ridge Electric serves some 75,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties.