March 11, 2014
Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative had about 200 homes without power at 6:00 Friday morning. That total rose to about 2,600 as ice coated the power lines.
Company officials say it isn't because of ice on the lines themselves, but because of ice on the trees around them. When the ice melts on them, the trees or branches can break and fall on lines, causing the power outages.
Locating the outage is another problem.
"It's not just you drive up and there it is. You have to find what's caused it, you have to fix the line, sometimes you have to take segments of the line off," says Bill MacNulty, Vice President of Public Relations for Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative. "You might actually restore power to part of the customers for a little while and then have to take them back off."
MacNulty says another difficulty in restoring service is getting to where the outages happen in bad weather.