While the potential for damage has significantly improved since Friday, severe weather is still expected to impact the Blue Ridge Energy service area, according to cooperative officials.
The cooperative advises members to be on alert especially from 8 pm Monday through noon Tuesday, when the chance for severe weather is strongest. To report an outage, call the cooperative’s PowerLine at1-800-448-2383. Or, report it directly using the Blue Ridge mobile app, available for free in app stores.
High winds and heavy rain will especially impact Watauga and Ashe counties. “While high winds are not unusual for the mountains, the combination of sustained high winds gusting up to 55 miles per hour with up to four inches of rain in a short period of time could cause trees and limbs outside of the rights of way to fall into power lines, leading to outages,” said Blue Ridge Energy Chief Operating Officer John Coffey. “Our line technicians and additional crews as well as all employees are prepared and ready to respond if outages occur,” he added.
Because electric cooperatives like Blue Ridge Energy are based in the communities they serve, they can quickly address any impacts and begin restoration efforts quickly.
Line crews have stocked their trucks with materials needed for repairs, including chain saws for tree removal if needed to reach affected areas. Additional contractor crews are on standby if needed. And, cooperatives across the state and nation are coordinating to assist one another.
As a safety reminder, if high winds or rain lead to fallen trees and power lines, remember to stay far away from downed lines! Downed power lines can be dangerous, even deadly. Report downed power lines to Blue Ridge Energy at 1-800-451-5474 or call 911 immediately.
Blue Ridge Energy serves some 75,000 members in northwest North Carolina. For more information, visitwww.BlueRidgeEnergy.com.