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January 4, 2022

Power outages may linger several days after storm

Photo/REC
Rappahannock Electrical Cooperative reported more than 90,000 customers statewide without power during the storm Monday.
This is a historic outage event for REC. We have mobilized all of our resources and we have mutual aid from other states and cooperatives in Virginia working to assist REC. We know this is a difficult outage for many of our member-owners and their families, and all employees are working together to get the power back on.
— Casey Hollins, REC spokeswoman
Some Fauquier County residents who lost power as a result of Monday’s blizzard may not have service restored for several days.

Almost 3,400 Fauquier homes and businesses remained without electricity at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, which serves much of western Fauquier energy, in a news release said the organization is underway in what it calls an historic effort to restore electricity to more than 90,000 of its customers whose lines were interrupted by trees that toppled under the weight of wet and heavy snow and strong winds. The storm’s impact on the power grid and related equipment left more than 600 individual damage locations for crews to address, REC said.

According to the organization’s outage map, about 2,417 customers in Fauquier remained without power Tuesday morning.

The number had risen to more than 3,400 Tuesday afternoon.

Dominion Energy, which serves most of the county, reported 602 Fauquier customers without power.

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative had 366 Fauquier customers without power Tuesday morning.

“This is a historic outage event for REC,” Casey Hollins, managing director of communications and public relations, said in a statement. “We have mobilized all of our resources and we have mutual aid from other states and cooperatives in Virginia working to assist REC. We know this is a difficult outage for many of our member-owners and their families, and all employees are working together to get the power back on.”

REC’s Culpeper region sustained extensive damage from the storm, and the organization expects some outages to persist through the end of the work week. REC advised customers to seek shelter in the meantime as below-freezing temperatures are anticipated in the coming nights.

Several hundred mutual-aid field employees from as far away as Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia and Florida will join REC crew to assist in making repairs and restoring power. Those additional crews will bring more bucket trucks and other heavy equipment to speed up restoration efforts, according to REC.

REC also has more than 100 tree trimming crew members with additional resources that arrived in the region Monday night. In restoring power, REC focuses first on the largest outages, including repairs to substations and large distribution circuits, according to the organization.
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