Warming stations are open; food is coming

Published 2:13 pm Monday, February 15, 2021

A major ice storm over the weekend froze most of Southside Virginia, including Charlotte County, leaving an accumulation of ice on trees and downed power lines leaving more than 5,000 without power.

Monday morning, Feb. 15, 80% of Charlotte County residents remained without electricity while crews from Southside Electric, Mecklenburg Electric and Dominion Energy worked to restore 5,492 customers.

County Administrator Dan Witt said Sunday evening, Feb. 14, he had been coordinating with the Department of Social Services, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Red Cross. The following is the latest updates from the county concerns response to the storm and resulting loss of power.

  • All fire stations are open to dispense bulk water – bring your own containers.
  • Only Keysville and Phenix fire stations are open as warming stations.
  • Bottled water will be delivered Monday afternoon by God’s Pit Crew to the Charlotte Court House fire station and will be delivered to the other stations from there. They are also delivering bulk Gatorade and protein bars.
  • Charlotte County Schools has donated food that is currently available at Charlotte Court House, Phenix, Keysville and Bacon District fire stations.
  • The Red Cross is on the way from Lynchburg with 314 ready heat meals, 244 snack packs, 15 cases of bottled water and 100 blankets. Sari Goff, Director of the Department of Social Services, is coordinating within her department and with Meals on Wheels for delivery.
  • God’s Pit Crew is sending a crew of volunteers to cut up trees in yards and stack at the side of the road. They will be in the area for two weeks, staging from the Charlotte Court House fire station. Any citizens needing assistance with tree cleanup on their property, may contact the County Administration Office at (434) 542-5117 beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16, during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to be added to the list.
  • Department of Social Services is coordinating with local churches to provide meals for these volunteers to include one meal in the morning and one in the evening. Any churches or other groups that would like to volunteer to assist with these meals are asked to contact Sari Goff at (434) 547-6368.
  • Food Lion in Keysville is now open for business as well.

At 7:40 am Monday, Southside Electric was reporting 40,087 members without power from the ice storm.

Director of Community Relations Lloyd Lenhart said about 70 percent of the system had been affected by the powerful winter storm.

“Reports showed 154 broken poles, 125 broken cross arms, and 221 reports of wire down,” Lenhart said.

Mecklenburg Electric crews are continually assessing the widespread damage in their service area and, as of Monday morning, were reporting 80 broken poles with 9,285 members still without power, 210 of those customers are Charlotte County residents.

More than 6,000 workers and more than 700 bucket trucks are repairing damage and restoring power Monday in Dominion Energy’s service area.

Work at more than 3,500 locations has been completed, with approximately 2,600 projects remaining.

According to a Dominion Energy press release, officials said crews worked through the overnight hours and more than 75% of customers impacted have their lights back on.

“Most customers that are still without power can expect to have their power back on by Tuesday,” officials said.

Phenix Volunteer Fire Department Chief Walt Bailey said Monday afternoon that residents could expect power to be restored Tuesday evening between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. “The power company is telling me that most homes inside the town limits will be restored tomorrow,” Bailey said. So, residents should plan accordingly, if you need fuel Canada’s is open under generator power and they have gas and are cooking.”

Dominion Energy serves 2,357 customers in Charlotte County. As of noon Monday, 2,140 remain without electricity.

To sign up for the Charlotte County CodeRed Alert system visit https://www.charlotteva.com.