RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Energy Virginia crews are working to restore power after more than 48 hours of freezing rain and ice accumulation brought significant damage to parts of Central and Southern Virginia yesterday, including broken poles and hundreds of downed power lines. Restoration efforts are underway and the vast majority of customers can expect to be back online between now and Tuesday.
Crews are working as safely and quickly as possible to make the remaining repairs, which include replacing broken poles and crossarms, and repairing downed power lines.
- More than 290,000 customers have lost power since 4 a.m. Saturday.
- As of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, crews have restored service to more than 175,000 of those customers.
- More than 5,700 workers and over 600 bucket trucks are dedicated to this storm restoration effort. Crews from Dominion Energy's South Carolina service area are also engaged to support restoration.
- Damages have been reported at more than 4,700 work locations, and as of 3:30 p.m., crews have made the necessary repairs at more than 2,000 of those locations.
Ice storms pose a unique challenge to power restoration efforts because ice continues to weigh down tree limbs and power lines even after the storm has passed; additional outages may occur as the ice begins to melt and tree limbs snap back into place.
"This is the most damaging and widespread ice storm we have seen in Virginia since January of 2000," said Charlene Whitfield, senior vice president of Power Delivery for Dominion Energy. "Fortunately, our storm restoration plan brings together resources from across our system and beyond to allow us to safely respond to our customers – even in the most difficult conditions."
An accumulation of ice on trees and power lines caused by several days of freezing rain brought significant damage and power outages to areas around Richmond and throughout southern Virginia. Snow and ice have caused hazardous travel conditions and made some areas more difficult to access. As soon as patrol teams get to a work site, the first thing they will do is assess damage and gather data – a critical step in establishing estimated restoration times for customers. Dominion Energy is committed to sharing more specific restoration times as soon as it has enough information to provide an accurate estimate.
As assessments are made, crews work first to restore power to facilities critical to public health and safety, such as hospitals, fire and police departments, and public water systems. Next, they work to return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time. Once major repairs are completed, restoration efforts will then focus on smaller groups of customers and individual homes and businesses.
Customers can stay up to date on the status of a power outage using the Dominion Energy app or online at DominionEnergy.com.
To ensure the fastest response, Dominion Energy asks that customers report their power outages. The fastest way to report or track an outage is using the Dominion Energy app or online at DominionEnergy.com. Customers may also call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report an outage.
Here's how customers can stay safe:
- Beware of downed power lines and remember that they could be covered by snow. Assume they are energized and dangerous. Please remain at least 30 feet away and ensure that others also avoid the downed line. Virginia and North Carolina customers should call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) right away to report a downed power line.
- Ensure generators are properly connected. Be sure they are fueled, tested and connected in a well-ventilated area outdoors. Improper use of a generator could be life-threatening for customers and crews working to restore power.
About Dominion Energy
More than 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and to achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.
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SOURCE Dominion Energy