By David Rogers. July 11, 2016. LENOIR, NC — While some areas were without power for more than 60 hours, thanks to the overtime work of more than 100 linemen and visiting crew members, the outages from Friday’s powerful storm system that downed trees and flung debris across a large portion of the area’s power system were down from 18,000 to just 94 at 3:00 pm on Monday afternoon, and to just five general locations by 11:00 pm Monday night.
COVER IMAGE: Crews from the Jones Onslow (from Jacksonville, NC) cooperative have been instrumental in providing assistance to Blue Ridge Electric
Most of the remaining outages are in the hard-hit area west of Boone, near Sugar Grove, Bethel and Amantha, with a couple of areas in southeastern Ashe County, near the Obids community close to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Doug Johnson, chief executive officer of Blue Ridge Electric, explained to Blowing Rock News on Monday that an unusual factor in any delays in restoring power to the cooperatives members was the availability of assistance resources. Just as Blue Ridge Electric has sent crews to help restore power in coastal areas impacted by hurricanes, usually other areas of North Carolina and nearby states will send crews to help in the mountain areas in times of need.
This time, though, circumstances were different. “This storm affected much of North Carolina and caused severe outage situations for other utility companies,” Johnson explained. “This led to fewer resources being available to us, but we are particularly grateful for the visiting crews from French Broad, Rutherford, Jones Onslow, Central, Piedmont, and Edgecombe Martin cooperatives who are assisting our lineman and staff in getting power restored as quickly and as safely as possible.”