11/16/2018 7:10:00 PM - by SMECO
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) crews headed to Front Royal, Virginia, to assist Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) with restoring electric service to co-op members. Ice and snow that fell Wednesday night and into Thursday left thousands without power. As of 5 p.m. Friday, November 16, nearly 1,400 REC members were without electric service.
“Our SMECO crews know how important it is to provide assistance to our sister co-ops, because sometimes linemen are the only ones who can do the job. They take on the responsibility of making sure customers get their lights back on, whether they are SMECO members or members of another co-op,” said Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO. SMECO sent 22 employees, including two construction crews, each with six crew members, a digger derrick, two buckets and a pick-up truck; four two-member service crews, each with a bucket truck; and two supervisors. The crews left Hughesville, Maryland, at 6 p.m. Friday, November 16, 2018.
According to Casey Hollins, Director of Communications and Public Relations at REC, “The ice and snow that fell during the night Wednesday and into Thursday caused trees and limbs to fall, damaging power lines. Thousands were affected along the Blue Ridge mountains from Winchester to Charlottesville. REC crews and contractors are being joined by crews from neighboring cooperatives so that together we can get power restored as quickly and safely as possible.” She added, “Mud, steep terrain, and slippery surfaces have made it challenging to access damage. REC is using tracked equipment, specialized ‘bigfoot’ four wheel drive bucket trucks, and other resources to reach damage sites and make repairs.”
SMECO crews assemble before leaving Hughesville, MD, to assist Rappahannock Electric Cooperative on November 16, 2018. Crew members (in alphabetical order): Robbie Abell, Steve Cook, Scott Cox, Stephen Crim, Chris Drury, Brent Garner, Josh Gragan, Wayne Gray, Steve Guy, Brent Hancock, Jimmy Herbert, Daniel Hutchins, John Meade, Kila Mills, Jason Murray, Dennis Norris, Zach Reynolds, Will Robertson, Tim Russell, Kenny Sebring, Philip Swales, and Chris Swann.
A convoy of SMECO construction crews and service crews heads to Front Royal, VA, to help restore service to REC members.