A powerful thunderstorm with extreme winds caused extensive damage to Wood County Electric Cooperative’s (WCEC) distribution systems, as well as to one of our transmission providers’ transmission lines. Outages began in the Mount Vernon region around 7:30 p.m. and rapidly moved south with the storm. They affected the entire service territory, and at peak there were just over 6,700 outages.
The largest concentration of outages was in the Hawkins community and affected 1,236 meters. The primary cause of that outage was the transmission provider’s downed line. This line fed WCEC’s substation, and the line required heavy construction to replace broken cross arms and power poles before the substation could be reenergized.
All WCEC crews, along with two contractor crews, worked throughout the night Tuesday and all day Wednesday to restore power as quickly as possible. WCEC linemen encountered numerous downed trees, which required removal before reconstruction could begin. Outages impacted the following areas: Mt Vernon, Winnsboro, Quitman, Yantis, Alba, Mineola, Hawkins, Big Sandy, Lindale, Van, Ben Wheeler, Grand Saline, Sandfield, Winona, Hoard, and other smaller communities. In all, miles of line needed to be restrung and 14 transformers, 14 poles and 5 cross-arms were replaced, with equipment costs alone totaling around $23,000.
About the storm, Debbie Robinson, GM & CEO at WCEC said, “We are very grateful to have members who understand the challenges that our linemen face when storm systems of this nature cause such destruction. We know that electricity powers the necessities and comforts, and our members can rest assured that our first priority, is to safely restore power to as many meters as possible, as quickly as possible:”
Wood County Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a not-for-profit electric cooperative with the mission of providing member-customers reliable electric service at a reasonable rate. WCEC serves over 33,000 meters in parts of nine counties throughout northeast Texas, including Camp, Franklin, Hopkins, Rains, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood.
Contact: Paige Eaton, Director of Communications