A&N Electric Cooperative completed its local outage restorations associated with Winter Storm Elliott late Friday night.
Heavy wind gusts produced a number of fallen limbs and trees, which caused outages throughout the cooperative’s service territory. Cooperative personnel began responding to storm-related outages earlier in the day and worked quickly through severe cold and heavy winds. Peak wind gusts for the Eastern Shore in the mid to high 50s were recorded by the National Weather Service.
The cooperative began receiving outage reports at about 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 23. Crews responded immediately and worked through the day and into the night restoring power to co-op members affected by the storm.
About 4,500 total members experienced an outage during the storm’s duration, with a peak of about 2,500 co-op members affected at the height of the storm. Cooperative personnel were able to complete their restoration efforts by 11:30 p.m.
“Our crews worked quickly and safely through bitter cold and gale force winds to restore power to our members affected,” said Joe Cataldo, the cooperative’s vice president of operations and construction. “Power outages are never convenient and in this cold environment are even more frustrating. I appreciate our co-op members’ patience while we worked to repair storm damage as quickly as we could.”
The massive winter storm affected large portions of the U.S., bringing heavy winds and subfreezing temperatures through the midwest and Atlantic coast in what weather experts dubbed have labelled “bomb cyclone.” Media reports estimate the heavy winds from Winter Storm Elliott knocked out power for over 1.1 million people.
While the storm has passed, cooperative personnel have begun responding to outages and “blinks” associated with subfreezing temperatures.
“The load on the system is causing intermittent operations on equipment,” said Cataldo. “This is not unexpected. We’re seeing our load increase dramatically as the temperature drops.”
Members experiencing blinks are urged to report the issue to the cooperative. Please report when the issue started and how frequently the blinks are occurring. It is also recommended that those co-op members who are experiencing blinks, unplug any sensitive equipment until the issue is addressed.
“We will be responding to these and any other events throughout the weekend,” Cataldo said.
The cooperative also urges members to report any remaining storm damage or hazardous situations that did not create an outage but could lead to one or serious injury. These issues include broken limbs on or over power lines, downed or low-hanging lines, and any damaged equipment. Please keep a safe distance from any of these hazards and report them immediately by using the cooperative’s SmartHub app or by calling 757-787-9750.