Linemen made much progress today on system repairs to restore power and continue work for the final 500 members of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation without power as of 4 p.m. All remaining outages are in Ashe County, which was the hardest hit area during the storm, and linemen are continuing restoration efforts this afternoon and evening.
At the height of the storm Thursday night, 9,000 Blue Ridge Electric members were without power after heavy wet snow weighted down trees and power lines, causing extensive damage to the electric system. Conditions were compounded by days of heavy rains, which loosened tree roots and led to large trees outside the cooperative’s rights-of-way to fall onto power lines. Today alone, nearly 1,000 damaged locations require repair in order to get power to the 1,500 members who remained without power this morning.
Blue Ridge Electric has been assisted by crews from Rutherford EMC, Union Power, French Broad EMC, York Electric, Haywood EMC, EnergyUnited, and Sumter, Pike and Carter utility contract crews.
If members have an outage they haven’t reported, they should call the cooperative’s PowerLine at 1-800-448-2383.
The cooperative warns the public that downed power lines can still be energized and therefore dangerous or even deadly! Stay far away from downed power lines and report them immediately to the cooperative.
An online “Outage Map” is available to check outage status at any time at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com. Information is also available on the cooperative’s Facebook and Twitter sites: www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc and www.twitter.com/blueridgeemc.