Jan 27, 2011
RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power crews are working hard to restore electric service to the Northern Virginia customers affected by a winter storm. The company expects to restore power to at least 90 percent of the affected customers by tomorrow night, with the remaining work continuing overnight into Saturday until all customers have been restored.
"We have about 2,000 workers engaged in our restoration effort, including crews from Eastern and Central Virginia and North Carolina assisting in Northern Virginia," said Rodney Blevins, vice president of electric distribution operations. More than 300 bucket trucks are working in Northern Virginia.
"We are focused on getting the lights back on for our customers as safely and quickly as possible while maintaining safety as our first priority – safety of our customers and safety of our crews," Blevins said. "Please stay clear of downed lines and use extreme caution if you must be on the roads where snow, abandoned vehicles and downed trees could be affecting traffic patterns."
Repairs are taking place while detailed damage assessments are being made. Heavy, sticky snow that was twice as wet as typical snow brought tree limbs and trees into contact with electrical lines and caused extremely difficult driving conditions for repair crews. Approximately 192,000 customers were affected by the storm.
An estimated completion time will be available Friday morning for each of the remaining repairs. Customers can request this information after noon tomorrow by calling Dominion's customer service line at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to learn when their homes will have power restored. Additional storm restoration information is available online at http://www.dom.com/storm-center/index.jsp
Travel in Northern Virginia remains hazardous and Dominion's restoration efforts have been hampered by abandoned vehicles. More than 2,200 Virginia Department of Transportation trucks worked overnight clearing roads of snow and downed trees and assisting stranded motorists. Dominion is working closely with VDOT to resolve access issues.
The highest priority for power restoration is always given to public safety and emergency situations such as hospitals, emergency 911 call centers, and municipal water pumping stations. A video description of the storm restoration process is available online at http://www.dom.com/storm-center/how-we-restore-power.jsp.
Dominion reminds its customers to stay away from downed power lines. Customers should call toll free 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report outages or downed lines. The calls will be answered either by call-center representatives or by an automated voice response unit, which is the quickest way to report an outage or downed power line. Customers who have online accounts can report outages online and ask to be contacted by telephone when outage restoration information becomes available.
In the event of severe weather, take these steps to help prepare for possible outages:
If your electricity is interrupted:
After the storm:
Some useful links for the public and media during the winter storm season are:
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
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SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power