This afternoon I had the opportunity to speak with representatives at Dominion to better understand our current power situation in Virginia and what we should expect for the days ahead. As of 2 pm today, 85% of power has been restored in Virginia. The last 15% however will be the most difficult to restore as it involves fall trees, downed poles and other damage.
This storm presented a number of unprecedented issues for Dominion and the state of Virginia. While most people compare this storm and its outages to past hurricanes, this situation was much more severe and cannot be used to gauge restoration efforts. In hurricanes, Dominion has a number of days to prepare trucks and crews for possible outages. This was not the case this time. Our state had little knowledge of the severity of this storm before it happened. Friday night, it left 900,000 Dominion customers without power. The tornadoes that followed Saturday and Sunday night brought these numbers to 1.1 million. This is hundreds of thousands more than those affected during Hurricane Irene.
As of 2 pm today, about 38,000 customers were still without power in Northern Virginia. Dominion expects 95% of customers to be restored by Friday. Yesterday 300 bucket trucks were working to fix power lines in our area. Today 470 trucks were in our area working to restore power.
You can visit Dominion’s website to view an interactive outage map showing areas that are still without power ranked by customer density. Some may have noticed that trucks in their area are working on lines but still don’t have power. This is because these crews have been assigned to first fix mainline damage and tendency return to restore power to local neighborhoods.
If you know of a home that still needs power, contact 1-800-DOM-HELP to report the outage. However, Dominion strongly advises to not wait around for power to return. This week has been a scorcher and everyone should seek air-conditioned areas whether it is a friend’s home or a hotel. Hopefully by Friday most will have power restored.
Dominion has been working around the clock and doing all that is possible to help return our state to normal. They deserve a big round of applause for their efforts.