A&N Electric Cooperative crews continue restoration efforts on Friday hours after Tropical Storm Michael passed through the area.
The cooperative’s service territory experienced some significant damage to power lines and poles as a result of fallen trees and limbs battered by Michael’s high winds. That damage has led to some prolonged outages. As of 4 p.m. about 900 members remain without power as a result of 80 individual outage events.
Cooperative crews have worked around the clock to restore power to co-op members as quickly and safely as possible.
“Our crews are committed to restoring electric service to each and every one of our cooperative members,” said Brian Charnock, ANEC Director of Operations and Construction Services. “Some local areas experienced extensive tree damage from high winds, which left downed power lines all across our service territory. We’ve also replace nearly a dozen broken utility poles, which is a time consuming process. As we have fixed broken poles we have discovered more broken poles down the line.”
One of the hardest hit local areas was southern Northampton County. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel recorded wind speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour, prompting officials to close the facility to all traffic for a period of time.
At the height of the storm about 4,000 A&N Electric Cooperative members were without power, but the area was spared from the worst of the storm.
“Michael took a slightly different path than forecasts anticipated,” said Charnock. “That saved our area from some of the worst sections of the storm. Communities in Hampton Roads and some of our sister co-ops in the central and western part of the state have experienced some very extensive damage.”
Because the remaining outages are scattered around the two counties, the cooperative is anticipating the restoration effort will likely last until midday Saturday.
Families who have special medical needs or elderly members should make plans for alternate arrangements until all power can be restored.
Members are urged to report their outage information by calling 757-787-9750 or by using the SmartHub app.
“We encourage our members to report their outage information by phone or through the app so that it is properly logged into our system,” Charnock said. “Please don’t assume that a neighbor has called in an outage. The more information we receive from more of our members, the better prepared we can be and the quicker we can work to restore power.”