Northern Neck Electric Co-Op prepares for high winds as winter storm hits

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 11:34 PM EST
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NORTHERN NECK, Va. (WWBT) - More than 75 million people from the southeast to New England are expected to be impacted by Friday’s winter storm.

The snow started falling around 6 p.m. in parts of central Virginia, but parts of the Northern Neck are expecting up to six inches of accumulation, along with high winds.

Kyle Allwine, with the Northern Neck Electric Co-Op, says the company has been taking cues from recent snowstorms and already has most of its personnel prepositioned to ensure the lights stay on for the company’s 16,000 customers.

“We’ve also done the due diligence of calling our tree trimming contractor to be...on standby as soon as they already prepped and ready. So, from our line workers all the way to our contract crews, everybody is ready for a potential wind event that may cause tree issues,” Allwine said.

Allwine says NNEC prepares year-round, maintaining its 21,000 feet of power lines throughout the Northern Neck.

If the impacts from the storm are more significant than anticipated, Allwine says the company is prepared to get assistance from neighboring electric Co-Ops from Maryland, Delaware, or even further out.

“This is not something that catches us off guard - this is something that we prepare for day in and day out,” Allwine said. “From safety to actually delivering power to homes; we’re ready to go A to Z.”

Allwine says anyone experiencing power outages should report it as soon as possible through the NNEC website.

Kelly Hannon with VDOT’s Fredricksburg District says they are also preparing for high winds. In addition to their more than 730 trucks on standby, tree contractors will be assisting VDOT with its road clearing operations.

“We do have tree contractors that have been deployed with our VDOT crews, just so they can very quickly go with our crews, clear down trees if we do get them,” Hannon said. “They can work with utility crews if needed; if we have places where we have wires down entangled with debris.”

Since Thursday, the VDOT Richmond District has been mobilizing more than 1,400 pieces of equipment and salting the interstates to help melt the snow and ice that sticks once temperatures begin to drop.

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