Winter storm packs holiday punch

Published 8:30 am Thursday, December 29, 2022

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By Rachel Austin,

Brian Carlton and

Crystal Vandegrift

The Charlotte Gazette

The winter storm on Friday, Dec. 23, brought many power outages across the area, starting the holiday weekend off to a rocky start.

Starting early on Friday morning, Southside Electric Cooperative responded to numerous outages across its 18-county service area. Winter Storm Elliot brought gusting winds up to 50 miles per hour, falling temperatures into the teens and single digits.

By 1 a.m. on Christmas Eve, the temperature dropped to 7 degrees in Charlotte County, with a feel of -4 thanks to the wind. That wind, gusting on Friday to 50 mph at times, knocked down trees and pushed over power lines.

SEC officials said that as of 2 a.m., on Christmas Eve, 5,418 homes remain without power in their coverage area.

In Charlotte County, there were still 230 people without power, with 197 still out in Lunenburg County and 124 in Nottoway.

“I know that being without electricity is inconvenient and difficult at any time, but even more so during this special time of the year,” said President and CEO Jason Loehr. “The entire SEC team is here for our members, and we appreciate their patience and understanding.

Dominion Energy reported thousands of power outages across Virginia Friday as an arctic front brings very cold and windy conditions to the Commonwealth.

As of about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, power was out to more than 7,654 homes in Central Virginia, according to Dominion Energy. In total, more than 43,600 Dominion Energy customers were without power in the Commonwealth.

On Friday, by 11:30 p.m., Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative reported throughout the course of the day, power had been restored to 5,308 accounts and crews continued to work to restore 143 services remaining without power.

By 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve overnight, crews continued to restore service and got those without power to less than 100. According to Mecklenburg Electric, all remaining 79 outages were complete by midday today. That included repairing or replacing two damaged poles.

“As we address our last broken pole/outage and retire Storm Elliott to the MEC history books, I want to, once again, reach out to our outstanding employees and express my appreciation to them for their response to yet another significant outage event…this one right here at the Holidays when our members’ homes are full of family and friends ready to enjoy the holidays,” said Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative President and CEO John C. Lee Jr.