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Posted July 2, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Utilities restore power to thousands

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

Utility crews worked Monday to restore electricity to thousands of customers in the region who lost power in Friday's storm.

Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative reduced the number of customers without power from approximately 8,300 reported in its service area around 11:30 a.m. to 2,758 by 9:30 p.m., according to information from the utility.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reduced the number of outages from approximately 16,000 customers reported at 8:30 a.m. Monday to 6,514 as of 9:30 p.m., according to the utility's website.

SVEC outages as of Monday evening were as follows:

  • Frederick County - 269

  • Winchester - 133

  • Shenandoah County -60

  • Warren County - 20

REC reported the following outages:

  • Frederick County - 299

  • Warren County - 75

REC warned its customers the utility may not complete power restoration until the end of the week. SVEC before 3 p.m. set a goal to reduce the number of outages to 1,500 or fewer by the end of day Monday, according to a press release.

Dominion Power reported they expected to restore electricity to 80-85 percent of its affected customers by Tuesday night; 90 to 95 percent by Thursday night and nearly all of those without service by Saturday, according to its website.

SVEC enlisted more than 440 people to work on restoring the power to its customers. Crews included workers from other electric cooperatives in Virginia and other neighboring states.

As utility crews worked on restoring power, property owners spent the weekend cutting fallen trees and removing limbs from yards, roads, rooftops and vehicles. Localities set up special pickup services or allowed residents to bring limbs and other debris to landfills or other centers for disposal.

Warren County allows its residents to dispose of the debris at its transfer station in Bentonville free of charge. The station turns the limbs and trees into mulch, according to County Administrator Douglas Stanley.

"I know we've been getting some already," Stanley said.

Along county roads, the Virginia Department of Transportation did much of the clearing of debris, according to Stanley. Front Royal took care of its roads within town limits.

Shenandoah County announced Monday afternoon it would open the landfill on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to accommodate households with residential garbage. Also the county will open the collection and compactor sites from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The collection and compactor sites will close Thursday as regularly scheduled.

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