Why did the lights go out in Mount Rush on Sunday?

Published 8:10 pm Sunday, January 14, 2024

You can blame the weather for the lights going out in part of Buckingham County. That’s what officials from Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) say, as neighborhoods around their Mount Rush substation were in the dark for more than three hours. 

The Mount Rush substation gets its energy from Dominion. Beginning around 2:50 p.m., CVEC officials said they noticed the feed had been dropped. That’s also when they started fielding calls from upset customers. But since the energy came from one of their partners, CVEC couldn’t just send a work crew out to get it fixed. Instead, they had to put in a call to Dominion and ask for a serviceman to track down the problem. 

That took almost two hours, as the serviceman had to find the source of the lost power. It turns out there was a broken electrical cross arm in the vicinity of the Mount Rush substation. Now that’s exactly what it sounds like. We’re talking about a power pole or light pole cross arm, a piece of equipment that helps support power lines. According to CVEC, it appears this weekend’s round of storms had caused problems, with high wind gusts on Sunday finally causing the piece to break. 

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This was about 4:30 p.m. The good news, CVEC told its customers in a social media post, is that they identified the problem. The bad news is that it would take at least another hour and a half to get everyone’s lights back on. That happened right on schedule, with almost all of the homes getting power back by 6:05 p.m. 

More problems for Mount Rush? 

With snow possibly in the forecast for Friday and low temperatures expected in the teens for the remainder of the week, CVEC officials warn that the lights could go out again across its coverage area. They ask that residents stockpile things like blankets and flashlights, as well as wood if you have a wood-burning fireplace, just in case the power does shut down overnight at some point. For example, Wednesday’s low is supposed to be 15 degrees, as is Saturday’s. Then on Sunday, the temperature will drop even lower, down to 12 degrees.