Utility Companies Prepare for Potential Power Outages

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

Heavy snowfall and winds may cause power outages in the area, according to the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative manager of external affairs.

SVEC's Mike Aulgur said this type of weather is the worst for electric companies. He said trees could also knock down power lines, which could lead to extended power outages.

Aulgur said employees have been preparing for storms like this all year by clearing power lines from objects or vegetation. On Tuesday, some crew members will stay in area hotels close to the place they will be working tomorrow.

In addition, SVEC has 56 extra workers on standby, in case they need more people to repair power lines.

Aulgur advises members to prepare for the worst.

"For example during the Derecho we had some members that were without service for five days. We certainly hope that's not the circumstance during this storm but we would like to remind our members to be prepared for an extended outage," said O'Dell.

The Harrisonburg Electric Commission has also prepared for the storm by checking equipment in the last few days. Brian O'Dell said some employees will stay in nearby hotels in order to repair lines quicker. He said customers should be prepared for outages.

"Just exercise patience. My guess is if you're without power, the odds are pretty good that others are without power and we will try to restore power to the largest number of customers first if it's a major event," said O'Dell.

He said if the snow damages circuits and transformers, which usually serve a large number of customers, those would be repaired first. The rest of the outages would be repaired after that.

If you have a downed power line, you should call your electric company for repair. You should not touch downed power lines for safety.

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