Blue Ridge Energy Crews worked through the weekend repairing severe storm damage to powerlines and getting power back on to its members.

Blue Ridge Energy crews were assisted by sister cooperative Blue Ridge Electric in South Carolina as well as contractor Sumter Utilities to restore power after the windy weekend impacted 12,203 members beginning Thursday evening, with 173 different locations on the electric system damaged.

The single largest outage was Thursday evening when a high voltage transmission line was damaged, affecting over 5,000 members in western Watauga County for 4 hours. The area of damage was the cooperative’s most difficult to reach transmission line, on a rugged ridge top that line crews had to access by all-terrain vehicle. 

Winds atop Grandfather Mountain reached over 100 mph on Friday. The official reading of 101.9 mph occurred on Friday morning, according to data from the North Carolina Climate Office. According to Watauga Online,  the all-time record wind speed in 58 years of weather observations is 120.7 mph which occurred in December 2012.