Gusty winds take down icy trees, causing widespread power outages

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FREDERICK COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (Feb. 13):

A day of wind following a day of ice means a lot of downed trees and power lines in the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley and in West Virginia.

Especially concentrated in western Frederick County, the Shenandoah Valley Electric Co-op reported over 6,100 outages as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

They're primarily caused by trees that fell onto power lines.

Sustained winds throughout the Valley on Wednesday are expected to be between 15 and 35 mph., with gusts up to 50 mph. Across the Alleghenies, snow showers are expected to bring between 1-3 inches of accumulation, and the strong winds could blow some flurries into the Valley.

Thousands in Frederick County are without electricity, but so are about 50 near Cherry Grove in Rockingham County, as well as 18 in Shenandoah County.

In West Virginia, several hundred are without power near Rig. Far more are affected in the northern parts of the state, like near Capon Bridge in Hampshire County.

For Dominion customers, 240 households remain without power in the area of Afton due to a damaged power line.

Crews are working overtime, with help from neighboring districts, to restore power amid widespread reports of trees, poles, and wires down.

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Accumulating ice has led to a large number of power outages in the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley Tuesday afternoon.

While most of the Valley has been dealing with rain, the northern section, especially up to Frederick County, has been facing an icy slush that's caused significant problems.

As of 4:45 p.m., over 5,800 customers with the Shenandoah Valley Electric Co-op were without power. The vast majority were north of Front Royal, primarily in Frederick County. About 300 households are without power just west of Mount Jackson in Shenandoah County.

Customers of Dominion saw noticeably fewer outages, but 394 households just east of Waynesboro were without electricity as of 4:45 p.m., as were 86 in Middlebrook and about 80 just north of Edinburg.

The SVEC reported that crews from all districts were called to the north, and they're getting assistance from the Southside Electric Cooperative and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative as well.

Due to ongoing rain, sleet, and ice, they were unable to provide an estimated time of restoration.

Wednesday could cause even more problems with strong winds expected throughout the day.

You can report an outage to them by entering and tracking it on the MySVEC mobile phone app or calling 800-234-7832.

Never attempt to clear trees or other debris from power lines. Downed power lines are extremely dangerous. Note the location, and any other important information regarding these situations, and contact your electric company.

They say, in a Facebook post, that some outages "could last an extended period of time." Video shows heavy ice build-up on some lines as crews work to restore power.

You can track the latest outages for SVEC customers here and for Dominion customers here.