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Thousands left without power

A major ice storm over the weekend froze most of Southside Virginia, including Charlotte County, leaving an accumulation of ice on trees and downed power lines leaving more than 5,000 without power.

Tuesday morning, Feb. 16, 71% of Charlotte County residents remained without electricity while crews from Southside Electric, Mecklenburg Electric and Dominion Energy worked to restore 4,900 customers.

County Administrator Dan Witt said Sunday evening, Feb. 14, he had been coordinating with the Department of Social Services, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Red Cross.

Witt said the Red Cross would let county officials know what food and water supplies they have to offer.

According to the county’s CodeRed system, which citizens can enroll in to alert them of weather issues, each county’s seven fire departments have been set up as warming and charging stations.

At 7:40 a.m. Monday, Feb. 15, Southside Electric was reporting 40,087 members without power from the ice storm.

Director of Community Relations Lloyd Lenhart said about 70 percent of the system had been affected by the powerful winter storm.

“Reports showed 154 broken poles, 125 broken cross arms, and 221 reports of wire down,” Lenhart said.

Mecklenburg Electric crews are continually assessing the widespread damage in their service area and, as of Monday morning, were reporting 80 broken poles with 9,285 members still without power, 210 of those customers are Charlotte County residents.

More than 6,000 workers and more than 700 bucket trucks are repairing damage and restoring power Monday in Dominion Energy’s service area.

Work at more than 3,500 locations has been completed, with approximately 2,600 projects remaining.

According to a Dominion Energy press release, officials said crews worked through the overnight hours and more than 75% of customers impacted have their lights back on.

“Most customers that are still without power can expect to have their power back on by Tuesday,” officials said.

Dominion Energy serves 2,357 customers in Charlotte County. As of noon Tuesday, 1,466 remain without electricity.

To sign up for the Charlotte County CodeRed Alert system visit https://www.charlotteva.com.