Linemen are restoring power to the final member of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation affected by Thursday night’s snow storm.
Full power restoration will be complete thanks to help from crews from Rutherford EMC, Union Power, French Broad EMC, York Electric, Haywood EMC, EnergyUnited, and Sumter, Pike and Carter utility contract crews. At the height of the storm, 9,000 members were left without power Thursday night.
Linemen faced a unique challenge in this restoration effort: days of heavy rain before Thursday night’s storm loosened soil and tree roots. When heavy wet snow fell Thursday night, the extra weight on limbs caused trees to fall—many that were outside the cooperative’s rights-of-way and tall enough to crash down onto power lines. The heavy wet snow also weighted down power lines, bringing down spans of line and causing system damage, leading to more outages.
The most heavily damaged area was Ashe County, where the last outage remains. If members have an outage at any time, they should report it to the cooperative’s PowerLine at 800-448-2383.
An online “Outage Map” is available at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com. Information is also posted during widespread outages to www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc and www.twitter.com/blueridgeemc.