Icy Weather Keeping Power Companies Busy

Appomattox Co., VA - Power companies stayed busy Monday, restoring electricity to tens of thousands of customers.

Workers say patience was the name of the game.

As power crews pulled trees off of power lines Monday morning, anxious homeowners waited for their lights to turn back on.

Chainsaws screamed through remote areas of Appomattox County. It was the first sign of hope to residents stranded in the dark.

"I'm used to this," George Adams said. "This is mild."

Virginia officials were prepared for an ice storm of historic proportions.

The winter storm has been blamed for several deaths and car accidents across the country, including a 20-vehicle pileup in Connecticut. Nearly 5,000 flights were also canceled.

"I think this is about a quarter inch of ice. If it had been closer to a half inch, then I'd expect we'd have a lot more people out," explained Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) Line Technician Jamie Terry.

In Pamplin, more than half of CVEC customers lost power because of icy tree limbs falling onto power poles.

"It's more than just cutting the tree off. There are other things that need to be done before we actually get to the problem," Terry explained.

Since last week, crews have been stocking up on bucket trucks, four-wheelers, and safety equipment to protect themselves from the dangerous electric currents the lines can carry.

George Adams has been waiting patiently for his lights to come back on.

"They deserve all the thanks they get cause this is nasty weather and they really need everybody's help," Adams said.

"We are working as safely and efficiently as possible. And we won't rest until we get everybody back on," Terry said.

With another wintry system possible early Tuesday, crews may have more work ahead of them.