Several thousand members of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation were affected by outages overnight and this morning after a mix of high winds, snow, ice, and rain led to multiple downed trees in the cooperative’s mountain service area. Linemen worked through the night—removing trees from lines and replacing broken poles—and work continues today as sustained severe winter weather continues to lead to fallen trees.
Outages have been scattered this morning beginning at 2 a.m., with linemen restoring around 4,000 members so far. Currently, linemen are repairing damage in several locations to restore power for around 2,000 members in Ashe and Watauga counties. Just before midnight, around 10,000 members were affected when a tree fell on a line in Watauga County and linemen were able to restore that outage in less an hour.
Blue Ridge Electric reminds members that the fastest, most efficient way to report outages is to the cooperative’s PowerLine at 1-800-448-2383. The most effective reporting is when the outage is called in from the location experiencing the outage and from the telephone number that is associated with the account.
The cooperative has also received input from county officials that some are reporting outages to 911. This is not advised, as it could tie up the 911 emergency response line and possibly lead to an outage not being reported in the Blue Ridge Electric system. Always call your local Blue Ridge Electric office or PowerLine to report outages.
For safety, the public is also reminded that downed power lines can be extremely dangerous—even deadly. Stay far away and report downed lines to Blue Ridge Electric.
For a live outage map, visit www.BlueRidgeEMC.com, where safety tips and other helpful information can also be found in the “Storm Room”. Also check Blue Ridge Electric’s Facebook page for updates at www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc.