GRETNA, Va. – The storm clouds are long gone from Southside Virginia, but crews are still cleaning up the damage the freezing rain left behind.
Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative estimates up to two-thirds of its customers in Halifax and Pittsylvania County were without power at some point after this past weekend’s ice storm. Lineworkers have since shrunk the number of outages to fewer than a thousand.
“I’ve been here for more than 30 years, but we’ve seen more damage from this storm than most of us here can remember,” said Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s David Lipscomb. “I’m going to be honest, this has been a tough storm for us.”
Some customers remained without power on Friday, including Halifax County resident Willie Eberlein.
“It went out at ten minutes to 7 last Friday, and we’re still waiting,” Eberlein said. “I was in the Coast Guard, so I’m used to hardship situations, but this is ridiculous.”
Eberlein said he is using firewood and a small generator until line workers reconnect his power.
Lipscomb said the ice made it especially challenging to repair power lines, and he’s grateful Thursday’s ice storm did not cause more complications.
“At the start, we’d get a line on, and then 30 minutes to an hour later, another tree would load up with ice and knock it out,” Lipscomb said. “Thursday’s storm had the potential to make us have to start all over again.”
Lipscomb believes Mecklenburg Electric will have all of its customers reconnected by the end of the weekend.