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June 25, 2014

SVEC responds to storms Sunday evening

Live Oak —

Submitted by Baynard Ward, SVEC community relations manager

Severe weather passed through our area Sunday afternoon similar to the storms several weeks ago that caused so much damage in the southern ends of Lafayette and Suwannee counties. Strong winds, heavy rain, and lightning caused damage in areas around White Lake east of Live Oak and further south toward Branford. With widespread ground saturation, heavy winds are causing trees on and off right-of-way to uproot, many of which fall across power lines. Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative incurred 62 separate outages, resulting in a total of 2,469 members that lost power. The average restoration time was two to three hours. This type of damage, unfortunately, takes longer to restore due to the repairs involved.  

During a severe storm, it is not uncommon for SVEC to receive hundreds of reported outages per hour. The total number of calls received can easily enter into the thousands during the course of a storm like the one on Sunday. 

“Ideally, we would like to speak with every member that reports an outage but that is not possible due to call volume,” said SVEC Community Relations Manager Baynard Ward. “SVEC has an automated system in place to handle call overflow and log member outage information. Members are encouraged to follow the instructions of the automated system, leaving a message with pertinent information such as name, phone number and address; as that allows the dispatcher to expedite the power restoration process. We understand that when people call they want to speak with someone, but we want members to know that leaving a message through the automated system gives us the information we need to process the outage.” 

SVEC’s Outage Number is 386-364-5200. Additionally, SVEC uses Facebook to post severe weather alerts and areas affected by outages for members that utilize social media. Members with questions or concerns can call Ward at 386-362-2226 x. 5662.

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