SEC thanks all involved in Hurricane Michael aftermath restoration
CONTACT: Ronald O. White
CREWE, Va – Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) would like to recognize all those that provided assistance during storm restoration efforts following Hurricane Michael’s impact on its service territory. SEC thanks its members for their patience during the storm restoration process that followed.
On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 11, remnants of Hurricane Michael moved through the majority of the counties served by SEC, bringing extremely high winds, heavy rains and flooding -- leaving devastation in its wake.
Additionally, the National Weather Service confirmed that at least two tornadoes touched down in SEC territory during the storm: in Amelia County and Nottoway County/Burkeville. The extensive damage and subsequent member impact have made this event the Cooperative’s most significant outage event since Hurricane Irene, which left 26,000 members without power in 2011.
The devastating event left more than 165 broken poles in its wake. At the peak of the storm, more than 40,000 SEC members lost power -- approximately 70 percent of SEC’s system.
“During major power restoration, SEC takes an approach of re-establishing service to the masses first. This process is necessary since larger feeders must be energized to supply the smaller feeders, tap lines and services. These efforts are often complicated by compromised infrastructure," Brad Furr, SEC’s vice president of operations, explained.
“Following Tropical Storm Michael, power crews had to stop multiple times to cut trees from roadways as well as rerouting crews due to flooding and other hazardous road conditions while on the way to outage locations. These extra steps add significant time and complexity to the overall restoration effort. We always seek to find the most efficient and expeditious restoration strategy without ever compromising the safety of our crews. These are some of the significant factors that make power restoration restrained and challenging following a major outage event,” Furr added.
Mutual aid and contract crews assisting SEC with restoration were: A & N Electric Cooperative, Albemarle EMC, BARC, Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, Choptank Electric Cooperative, Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative, Delaware Electric Cooperative, Halifax EMC, Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation, Jones Onslow EMC, Lee Electrical Construction, Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, Pitt & Green EMC, Rocky Creek Tree Services, Santee Electric Cooperative, Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, Surry-Yadkin EMC, Townsend Tree Service, Tri-County EMC, Wake EMC and West Kentucky Rural Electric.
SEC wishes to sincerely thank its members for their patience during the extended outage event. It was a team effort of Cooperative employees, mutual aid crews and contract crews to restore electricity to SEC members.
Due to the significant amount of cleanup and infrastructure restoration across the service territory, there will be isolated cases over the next few days where some members may experience brief, temporary outages.
Southside Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that serves more than 56,000 homes and businesses in portions of 18 counties in central and southern Virginia. Headquartered in Crewe, SEC has district offices in Altavista, Crewe, Dinwiddie and Powhatan. For more information, visit www.sec.coop.