High winds and heavy rains struck Virginia on June 22, putting at least 20,000 cooperative members out of power. With the help of mutual aid crews, most power was restored quickly, though the nature of the scattered outages left some without electricity for a day or more.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reported some 180 incidents alone, affecting service to about 11,000 members at peak. The storms brought wind gusts of more than 60 mph and torrential downpours, knocking down more than 40 poles.

“Crews continue to discover broken poles and downed wires, in addition to numerous downed large trees. Crews in the eastern portion of the REC service territory have described ‘tornado-like damage,’ and in the Route 211 area near Warrenton, the storm broke seven poles in a row,” REC said.

Among cooperatives providing assistance to REC were Northern Neck Electric Cooperative, Choptank Electric Cooperative, Community Electric Cooperative, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, A&N Electric Cooperative, BARC Electric Cooperative and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, all of which deployed after dealing with their own outages.

Energy United from North Carolina also sent a construction crew and two two-man bucket crews to REC’s Culpeper office.

Meanwhile. Delaware Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative sent crews to help NOVEC restore power.

The VMD Association team coordinated assistance for affected systems.

—Report by Steven Johnson, Vice President, Communications, VMD Association