Power restoration is slowly progressing

Published 9:21 am Saturday, February 20, 2021

Prince Edward County still has more than 1,811 people without power following last weekend’s ice storm.

The number is down by 400 from Friday. Dominion Energy restored service to all of its 173 customers who were without power Friday leaving Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) with the remaining 1,811 needing service restored. SEC restored service to 219 Prince Edward County customers between Friday and Saturday.

SEC officials said Thursday it may be March 1 before power to every customer in the area is restored. The company said 90% of its customers can expect to be online by Feb. 25. In a Facebook post Saturday morning, SEC said crews would continue working around the clock this weekend and that significant progress was expected to be made throughout the day.

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The cooperative brought in 120 additional linemen from Rappahannock Electric Friday but said they did not expect to bring in other because they are at the maximum number of workers they can handle logistically.

One of the problems for SEC is the small number of customers who are out of power per outage. The largest number of customers without power in a single outage in Prince Edward is  292 customers in the Darlington Heights area. A crew has not been assigned to the outage yet according to SEC’s outage center map, but the company points out in a Facebook post that mutual aid and contract crews do not show up on the online outage maps.

Most of the 1,074 outages the coop is working to fix to restore power to the 19,843 customers still waiting for power are in the single digits of customers affected.

There are no outages that would put 1,000 customers back online when the repair is made. The average outage only affects less than 20 customers at 18.43 customers per outage. Most of SEC’s outages affect 10 customers of fewer.

Prince Edward County has the sixth most outages of any county in the SEC coverage area. Dinwiddie has 3,929 still without power. Lunenburg has 3,003 followed by Charlotte County at 2,896.