Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions:

What should I do in a power outage?

Be Prepared:

Trees and electrical wires with ice on themHave an emergency outage kit and supplies accessible and easy to find in the dark.

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Stock up on canned and non-perishable foods that require no cooking, baby supplies, and pet food
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water; plan on a gallon of water per person per day
  • First aid supplies and medicine
  • Candles and matches (never leave candles unattended, and keep them away from combustible materials)
  • Extra fuses
  • Clock, either battery-powered or wind-up
  • Extra cash; bank machines may be out of service
  • If you have a laptop computer, it's a good idea to have a spare, fully charged battery on hand
  • Keep your vehicle's tank full

When the Power Goes Out

Watch for downed power lines. Stay back and consider all lines energized. Call 911 and New River Light and Power at (828) 264-8621.

Turn on your battery-powered radio for news.

Turn off lights, heating and cooling systems to prevent overloading circuits as power is restored.

Unplug some of your major appliances. Appliances can create a drain or power surge when the power comes back on which could harm sensitive equipment.

Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer, food inside should stay cold for hours if the door remains closed.

DO NOT USE kerosene heaters, BBQs, charcoal, natural gas range, or any outdoor type heater inside. They create poisonous carbon monoxide that could kill. A regular wood stove or fireplace is appropriate to use for heat.

Dress warmly (if applicable). Wear layers; sweater, jacket, gloves and a knit hat. If your home gets too cold, head to a heated shelter.

Only use a properly installed generator that disconnects your power from the main power grid when it is operating.

Drive carefully; traffic signals could be out as well. Consider each intersection to be a four-way stop and drive defensively. Make sure you know how to operate your automatic garage door opener manually (refer to product manual).

A small flow of water from your tap will help keep your pipes from freezing.

Check on neighbors who may have medical conditions or use medical machinery that operates on electricity.

Once Power is Restored

Give the electrical system 10 to 15 minutes to recover before reconnecting electric appliances.

Check for electrical damage inside your home, such as frayed wires, sparks or the smell of burning insulation. If you find damage to your meter box or weather head, don't turn your power on until an electrician inspects your system and makes necessary repairs.

Check refrigerator and freezer for signs of spoilage.

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Do LED bulbs help save money?  The answer is yes!

Compare Bulbs

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Why are the trees being trimmed?

Picture of electrical lines near treesWhen trees grow into the power lines, they create a safety hazard. New River's tree trimming crew will only trim trees that are infringing within the 10-foot radius of the primary lines. Those lines are located about 30 feet high. Typically New River will trim trees in the spring and fall.

New River will also trim trees around service lines going to a residence upon request. For more information or to schedule trimming, call 828-264-8621.


When selecting trees to plant under power lines, consider trees that grow no larger than 20 feet high for primary lines and smaller trees under service lines.  For more information on types of trees, please contact your local nursery or arborist.

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