RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power has restored power to more than 220,000 customers affected by Hurricane Sandy even as storm conditions linger. Crews are conducting detailed damage assessments and restoring power to critical services. The company is working closely with state and local officials to protect public safety and health during the multi-day effort.
"Dominion employees, retirees, contractors and crews from other companies are fully engaged in this effort, and work will continue around the clock until power is restored to every customer affected by this storm," said Rodney Blevins, vice president of electric distribution operations.
"We applaud Dominion Virginia Power not only for an unprecedented level of collaboration and cooperation with the state and localities during this storm, but also for already having restored power to more than 68 percent of the Dominion customers affected by outages," said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.
The powerful storm system consisting of Hurricane Sandy and a severe winter storm brought hurricane-strength winds and heavy rain to the eastern United States and much of Virginia. Heavy snowfall affected western sections of the commonwealth.
Weather is expected to continue to be a challenge today for much of the company's service area, posing a potential for additional outages to develop and affect restoration progress. Dominion is now conducting a complete assessment of storm damage to accurately understand the scope and duration of work to be done.
"We have made substantial investments in our electric distribution system, and we are pleased with how well the system has performed during this challenging event," Blevins said. "Our significant investments in infrastructure and our tree-trimming program are helping minimize the storm's impact on our customers."
Safety remains paramount
"Please stay away from downed lines and anything touching them – assume they are energized, and report them by calling 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357)," Blevins said. "We also ask that you help protect our linemen when you see them on the roadside making emergency repairs by moving over from the lane nearest the workers or by slowing down until you pass the site of the repairs."
Customers should call toll free 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report outages. Customers may also report an outage through the company's mobile website at www.dom.com by typing in the account number or phone number on record with the company and the last four digits of the account holder's Social Security number, PIN or federal tax ID number. Reporting an outage promptly – even if neighbors have done so – speeds the restoration process.
Follow safe operating procedures for electric generators. Never operate one inside your home or in an enclosed space, such as a garage. Do not connect portable generators directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backward onto Dominion's power lines and endanger lives.
Either have a qualified electrician perform the work or plug appliances directly into the generator using the proper-sized extension cords. Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can be deadly, so run your generator outside with proper ventilation. Store the fuel for your generator safely.
The highest priority for power restoration is always given to public safety and emergency facilities such as hospitals, emergency 911 call centers, and municipal water pumping stations. A video description of the storm restoration process is available online at https://www.dom.com/dominion-virginia-power/customer-service/power-outages/restoring-your-power.jsp .
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,400 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
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SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power
For further information: Media: Karl Neddenien, +1-804-771-6115, Karl.R.Neddenien@dom.com; Le-Ha Anderson, +1-703-796-9308, Le-Ha.Anderson@dom.com; Bonita B. Harris, +1-757-857-2700, Bonita.B.Harris@dom.com