YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Blue Ridge Mountain EMC (BRMEMC) experienced widespread outages resulting from a winter storm that blew through our service territory Monday, Jan. 3. BRMEMC began experiencing outages around 12 a.m. At the peak of outages 7,755 members were without power.
Most of the damage came from strong winds that toppled snow-covered trees and snapped limbs on power lines. This also caused 12 broken utility poles throughout the system. Snow accumulations varied from a dusting to several inches throughout the counties we serve. By 11:30 p.m. that evening, BRMEMC had restored power to all members that could be reconnected.
The total number of outages by county were as follows:
BRMEMC’s first step in restoring power in a situation like this is to get the greatest number of members possible restored. This means we start at the substations and work our way down main line three-phase circuits, paying particular attention to feeds with critical infrastructure attached, such as hospitals, county facilities and the like. BRMEMC then works to repair taps leading off the mainline circuits, and finally service lines to individual homes. Broken power poles take the longest to repair and are the most time consuming.
“It can be perplexing for our members to understand the process of power restoration and how a storm can cause so many outages in a relatively short period of time. We serve a territory the size of Rhode Island that is approximately 60% forest land,” said General Manager Allan Glidewell. “I’m very pleased with the effort our employees put forth. Our people offered another example of dedication by performing in adverse conditions efficiently and safely. And thank you to our membership for their patience and support. Your kind words through phone calls and on social media are very encouraging.”
On Tuesday, Jan. 4, BRMEMC sent a crew to assist Tri-State EMC with their power restoration efforts. The crew will be there for a couple of days to ensure Tri-State has the help they need.
For more on Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, visit brmemc.com or follow BRMEMC on social media.
About Blue Ridge Mountain EMC
Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC) is a member-owned electric cooperative headquartered in Young Harris, Georgia, serving over 55,000 member-customers in Cherokee and Clay Counties in Western North Carolina, and Towns, Union and Fannin Counties in Northeast Georgia. Organized locally in 1937, BRMEMC has invested well over $300 million in physical infrastructure in its mission to provide reliable electric and broadband services to its members where those services would not otherwise have been available.