Two hundred linemen made headway last night and today to reduce outages from a high of 9,000 last night to 2,869 as of 3:30 p.m. after a major snow storm hit the service area of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.
Days of heavy rains coupled with a heavy wet snow and high winds last night caused soil to loosen and trees to fall onto power lines in some locations, especially in Ashe County where the majority of outages occurred. The heavy wet snow also pulled down power lines, causing system damage that led to outages. Currently, 2,564 remain without power in Ashe County. Due to the extent of damage, full outage restoration in Ashe County may not be complete until late Saturday. Members are advised to take precautions for safety and warmth as linemen work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
Crews are also working to restore 200 members without power in Alleghany County and 105 in Watauga County. Crews expect to have damage repaired and power restored in both counties by this evening.
Crews arrived today to assist Blue Ridge linemen from Rutherford, Union, Randolph, EnergyUnited, and York electric cooperatives as well as contractor crews from Sumter, Carter and Pike utilities. Crews will work throughout the night and tomorrow until all members are restored with power.
If members are experiencing outages and have not reported them, please call the cooperative's Power Line at 1-800-448-2383. If you see a downed power line, please stay far away and call the cooperative to speak to someone about its location by calling 1-800-451-5474.
To check outage status at any time, Blue Ridge Electric provides an online outage map at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com, where news releases and safety tips can also be found. Updates are also available on the cooperative’s social media sites at: www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc and www.twitter.com/blueridgeemc.