RICHMOND, Va., July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Dominion Virginia Power today said it is completing restoration work from last weekend's severe storms that disrupted service to more than 1 million customers.
All known outages in Northern Virginia and the Richmond area related to the storms should be repaired by tonight. For customers in the Charlottesville area and most of the Shenandoah Valley repairs should be completed by Saturday night. Repairs are expected to be completed by Sunday night in the Rockbridge and Covington/Clifton Forge areas, where the storm damage was especially severe and access is often difficult.
Customers who remain without power because of the storms and wish to check the status of their repairs should call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). They either will receive an estimated time of restoration (ETR) or information about when repairs in their area will be completed.
"We recognize this has been a trying week for many of our customers, especially given the extreme heat," said Rodney Blevins, vice president-Electric Distribution Operations. "We thank them for their patience as well as their messages of support and the acts of kindness shown to our workers in the field. We will not let up until every customer has service.
"We also want to thank the men and women of Dominion, company retirees, workers from other utilities, contractors, suppliers and vendors who are working long hours in harsh conditions to get the lights back on. And, special thanks to the emergency responders and public works employees who are making it safe and possible for our crews to do their jobs."
Power has been restored to all but about 3,200 customers as of 4:30 p.m. today. Virtually all work is complete in Northern Virginia and the Richmond area. About 900 of the remaining outages are in or around Charlottesville, Staunton and Waynesboro. Another 1,900 customers remain out in the Rockbridge and Covington/Clifton Forge areas.
Dominion restored service to more than 1 million customers in less than seven days since the first of two waves of severe storms crossed through Virginia. By comparison, the company restored service in just over eight days to more than 1.2 million customers whose service was affected last year by Hurricane Irene. After Hurricane Isabel in 2003, Dominion restored service to 1.8 million customers in 15 days.
Blevins noted that unlike the hurricanes, these storms came with little warning. There was no chance to position crews and supplies ahead of the storm or make advance arrangements for outside help.
About 5,600 Dominion employees, retirees, contractors and utility crews from 18 states and Canada have worked on the restoration. More than 1,000 bucket trucks have been employed.
Repairs have been completed at more than 25,000 repair locations. Another 380 repair locations remain to be completed
Safety remains paramount
Even as restoration work nears completion, Dominion urges all customers to use caution.
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). Also, please stay away from areas where linemen are at work.
When calling Dominion, please have your account or phone number that is listed on your account so you can move through the automated system to report your outage or receive an update. The calls will be answered by an automated voice response system, which is the quickest way to report an outage or downed power line, or by call-center representatives.
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.
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,500 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 Web site at www.dom.com.
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SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power