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Power finally restored to all Halifax County homes

SoVaNow.com / February 22, 2021
After a trying week for customers without power, the lights were turned back on Saturday for all households and businesses in Halifax County.

Elsewhere in the region, however, power outages remain in the wake of a Valentine’s Day weekend ice storm that severed utility lines and broke trees and limbs. Some homes may go without power for most of the coming week, according to Crewe-based Southside Electric Cooperative, which lost service to an estimated 80 percent of its customers at the height of the storm.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative reported Saturday that it had restored service to the last of the homes stricken by the icy deluge. Early Saturday morning, MEC vice president of Member and Energy Services David Lipscomb said 121 accounts were still without electricity, a number that the cooperative brought down to zero by the end of the day.

“These accounts are scattered across Pittsylvania and Halifax counties and crews will complete restoration today as we work in smaller neighborhoods and on individual accounts,” wrote Lipscomb in an email update to members.

Overnight Friday and Saturday, MEC line crews restored power to nearly 300 homes, Lipscomb said.

Service has now been restored to all MEC and Dominion Energy customers in Halifax.

In neighboring counties served by Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC), the misery continues for thousands of people who are still without electricity. As of Sunday evening, 1,718 SEC customers in Charlotte County and 247 in Mecklenburg County were waiting for their service to be restored 10 days after the storm first hit.

Lunenburg County continues to be one of the hardest-hit areas of Virginia. In the aftermath of the winter storm, Dominion and MEC reported widespread outages in Lunenburg, but while those problems have been resolved, SEC still has 2,688 customers out in the county, the cooperative reported Sunday.

SEC officials said the icefall dealt unprecedented damages to the cooperative’s transformers, towers and lines, most of which were crushed by falling trees and heavy tree branches. ““Nearly 80 percent of our electric infrastructure, which we have built and maintained over the last 80 years, has been destroyed all at once. This is the worst storm I have seen in my 14 years at Southside and 36 years in the industry,” said SEC president and CEO Jeff Edwards.

SEC is being assisted by outside line crews from fellow member cooperatives and Dominion, as well as contract crews. Crews from 28 electric co-ops from six states have traveled to Virginia to help restore power to our members, the cooperative reported.

Despite the efforts of these line workers, more than 13,000 customers in SEC’s 18-county service area remained without power Sunday, and the cooperative says it will take this week for the full restoration of power after the initial storm and a second heavy precipitation event Thursday and Friday.

In the aftermath of the Valentine’s Day icefall, service was cut to some 48,000 customers, SEC reported.



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