Companies work quickly to restore power

Published 9:38 pm Friday, July 11, 2014

CAPRON—Requests for updates after Thursday’s storm confirm there were no injuries, only a couple of accidents, numerous trees broken or destroyed and several hundred homes and businesses without power.

Maj. Gene Drewery, spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, said Friday that not only had there been no one reportedly hurt, but that all roads were cleared of water and debris. To the best of his knowledge, electricity has been restored to all areas.

Sgt. Michelle Anaya, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police also said Friday that she received word from troopers they attended to two accidents involving only property damage on 460 east and 58 west. She added that three state cars were severely damaged by the hail.

Indeed, the windows of a few county-owned vehicles were also cracked or shattered for that same reason, according to Lynette Lowe, deputy administrator and chief financial officer.

“We’re not seeing much in county-owned property that needs to be appraised. For the most part we fared pretty well,” she said that morning. “Most damage seems to be people’s personal property.”

Lowe added there had been no reports of homes that couldn’t be occupied.

“Some had minor roof damage. Most of the problems were trees and power lines down,” said Lowe. “I just got a report a few minutes ago that Mecklenburg Electric [Cooperative] restored 230 homes back to power. Now they’re just looking at 39 on Hicksford and Ivy Tract roads. They’re hoping to have them restored by sundown on Friday.

“They really moved along quickly and have done a great job getting people’s power restored.”

David Lipscomb, vice president of member and energy services for Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, detailed the company’s progress.

There are 376 members in Southampton County, and 355 — 94 percent —were out as a result of that storm, he said. The outages are reported to have begun at 12:42 p.m. Thursday, and by 12:15 to 12:30 Friday all but 45 members had been restored. There had been considerably more damage on Green Plains Road, Route 58 and Adams Grove, he added.

“Crews were brought in from Chase City and Gretna offices to assist,” he said about the company’s response to its members’ situation. Right-of-way crews were also brought in to remove tree limbs and debris, including 10 broken light poles.

Dominion Power’s online outage map showed one household still without power as of Friday morning, and by the afternoon that was cleared off.

Community Electric Cooperative Jean Thrasher, vice president of operations and engineer, said that afternoon there were three customers who needed electricians to reinstall cables before the CEC crews could do their part to restore power. Thrasher anticipated that everyone would be restored by 5 p.m. Friday.