Sagging tree limbs due to ice and snow and icy power lines led to nearly half of Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative’s meters going offline Sunday afternoon.
The company, which is headquartered in Franklin and provides service to Robertson County and eight other counties, saw 9,587 of its meters fall out of service at its peak outage around 5 p.m. Sunday. That amounts to 47% of its meters, general manager Steve Jones said.
By its 6 p.m. update Wednesday, there remained 32 outages affecting 95 meters, according to the company’s website. On Wednesday afternoon, Jones said he hoped the company would have 100% restoration by the time its 19 crews completed their work for the night.
“I can assure you the snow storm overwhelmed us,” he said. “I’ve been here 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
In addition to Navasota Valley Electric crews and contractor crews, he said, the company got help this week from other cooperatives, such as MidSouth Electric and Heart of Texas Electric.
The primary cause of the loss of service was tree limbs weighed down by ice and snow. There were about seven or eight instances, he said, where the trees broke poles or lines.
The challenge with the restoration, he said, has been finding and replacing blown fuses and resetting breakers. In total, Jones said, the company has 6,530 miles of line throughout its nine counties.
“We get the main line back on, and then we have to ride down that main line and find the fuses that are blown,” he said. Then, they have to investigate to find what caused the blown fuse.
The area the company services can also pose a challenge, he said, because most of its territory is rural, with lines going through trees, pastures and over ponds and creeks.