SEC restores power

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) completed restored electricity for its members impacted by last week’s snowstorm on the morning of Friday, Jan. 7.

According to a press release SEC crews and their mutual aid and contract partners finished restoring all members’ electricity Friday around 2 a.m.

“It was a difficult way for our members to start 2022, facing cold days and frigid nights without electricity. We know not having power is frustrating and disruptive for everyone. I appreciate our members’ patience through this ordeal,” said Jeff Edwards, SEC’s president and CEO. “I also appreciate the efforts of our SEC employees and our partners from other cooperatives and contractors working so diligently to get everyone’s power back on.”

The Sunday night into Monday morning storm blasted much of Virginia, as well as parts of neighboring states. The storm started as rain and as nighttime temperatures plummeted, turned to mixed precipitation before changing to heavy, wet snow. Gusty winds made the conditions worse. At one point Monday, Virginia had more than 435,000 without power, according to poweroutage.us.

For SEC, the number of members without electricity topped 20,000 Monday. The release noted crews worked through the falling snow as they began the chore of bringing that number down. It had been cut in half by Tuesday morning and reduced again by 50% by Wednesday morning. The army of those working on outage restoration grew to more than 200, and outages decreased further to 1,238 by about 8:30 Thursday morning. They were bolstered by SEC’s well-stocked warehouses and supply yards.

Virginia and out-of-state crews that provided help in the restoration effort include: Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, Carolina Power and Signalization, Community Electric Cooperative, CW Wright, Groves Electrical Service, Kenergy, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation, Pitt and Green Electric Membership Cooperative, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, Rocky Creek, Townsend Tree Service, Virginia Timber Services Inc. and Warren Electric Cooperative.

More storms may sweep through SEC’s 18-county service area before spring. The Cooperative will be prepared with personnel and equipment, and it encourages members and the public to also be prepared. One of the best tips is to prepare a storm kit, including such items as food that does not need to be heated, manual can opener, water for drinking and hygiene, first-aid kit, flashlight, battery or hand-crank radio, blankets and towels, cell phone and charger, extra medication, cash and pet supplies. See sec.coop for more tips on preparing for stormy weather.

SEC wants to remind everyone: Never move tree limbs or debris from downed power lines. Stay away from those lines because they could still be energized. Call SEC at 1-866-878-5514 to report any Cooperative line that is down. SEC members who have outages should report them at the same number or email sec.coop/contact.

Southside Electric Cooperative, a not-for-profit, member-owned electric distribution company, has 57,600 services across 18 counties in central and southern Virginia. Headquartered in Crewe, SEC has district offices in Altavista, Crewe, Dinwiddie and Powhatan. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.