2,500 in Southampton County to be without power until Thursday evening

Published 7:39 am Thursday, January 31, 2013

Strong winds flutter the flags that Steve Webb has on the porch of his on Lee Street home in Franklin on Thursday. From left are the Bonnie Blue, the U.S. flag today, the Virginia flag and the first national flag of the Confederacy. The Bonnie Blue is the flag first used by South Carolina when it seceeded from the Union in 1860. STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS




COURTLAND—Since 2 a.m. Thursday, Claudie Boykins of Courtland has been left in the dark.

The earliest Boykins and another 2,500 Southampton County residents can expect power back is this evening.

A blown transformer is the reason for the outage, primarily concentrated in the Courtland area, said Dominion Power spokeswoman Bonita Harris.

Harris doesn’t expect power to be restored until 8 p.m. Thursday to most of the 1,500 customers the utility serves in Southampton County. Another 1,000 served by Community Electric are also without power; Community Electric gets it power from the same transformer.

“The Courtland outage is going to be most of the day,” said Jean Thrasher, vice president of operations and engineering with Community Electric.

Thursday’s wind gusts resulted in a tree falling on a circuit, which caused the transformer off General Thomas Highway at Watkins Corner to blow.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Proch said winds gusts averaged over 45 mph in Western Tidewater early Thursday morning.

“That’s a pretty strong for a gust for an extended period of time,” Proch said.

“It sounded like a tornado,” said Boykins, whose home is surrounded by pine trees. “It scared me.”

The Virginia Department of Transportation placed stop signs at the Route 58 signalized intersections at Story Station and Jerusalem roads, said Southampton County Sheriff’s Major Gene Drewery. Courtland was also without cable or Internet service, he said.

Southampton County Public Schools and Southampton Academy were on two-hour delays this morning. Southampton County Government Center was closed.

Food Lion, Dairy Queen, 7-Eleven and other businesses along the Route 58 corridor remained dark.

Franklin had no power outages, downed trees or damage, said Police Lt. Tim Whitt.

Thirty-mph winds are expected throughout the day Thursday, but will subside by 7 or 8 p.m. as temperatures drop into the 50s.