“I literally started crying”: power being restored after ten days in the dark

Local News

DINWIDDIE, Va (WRIC) — Some Central Virginians have now trudged through a tenth day without power from Southside Electric Cooperative following historic ice storms as crews slowly restored service.

As of Monday evening, around 9,000 members of the electrical co-op reportedly remained without power–including many in Dinwiddie and Nottoway counties.

A clear sign of cleanup was still underway Monday afternoon with trees and limbs down, along with impacted power lines. For some homes this afternoon—power returned.

“I literally started crying,” Tracy Watkins of Dinwiddie said.

Watkins said she, her daughter and three dogs have been bearing through ten days without lights or heat. Spending hours in her pickup truck; their “temporary apartment.”

“You have to pay now for all the food that you lost, and the gas [in the truck] to charge everything and to get water. It hurts your pockets really hard,” she said.

On Watkins’ to-do list: throw out all of the food in her refrigerator, and get rid of large water bottles, sitting empty in the bathtub, used to transport pool water to flush the toilet.

“This was not acceptable. You know, losing power this long, and then taking a week to even get other people out here it was just too much,” Watkins said.

Monday 8News interviewed Southside Electric CEO Jeff Edwards, and asked why service outages have prolonged for days.

“I am sorry it is taken so long for us to get the power back on. As the CEO, I don’t want anyone’s power off for one minute, much less 10 days or longer. So, we’re going to stay concentrated on this effort,” Edwards said.

For Watkins, the ordeal produced newfound trust issues, saying “management of Southside really needs to take a little better care of their customers.”

Edwards said 99.9% of people in their service area will have power restored by the end of day Friday.

Thereafter, Edwards said they will review what exactly went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again.

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