Dominion Virginia Power A Day Ahead Of Target In Storm Restoration
RICHMOND, Va., July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power is a day ahead of its original targets in restoring service for customers affected by last weekend's severe thunderstorms.
Service for virtually all customers in Northern Virginia and the Richmond metro area who lost electric service because of the storms should be restored by Friday night. In a few instances, work may continue into Saturday where there was extreme damage.
Restoration work in Southside Virginia and Gloucester should be completed by Wednesday night.
Significant progress also has been made in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville areas, where damage was particularly severe and access is often difficult. Dominion is on track to complete restoration efforts in those areas by Sunday.
"We have more than 5,000 employees, retirees, contractors and utility crews from 18 states and Canada who will continue to work straight through the July 4th holiday and will not stop until we get the lights back on for everyone," said Rodney Blevins, vice president-Electric Distribution Operations. "In some cases, such as the lower Shenandoah Valley, the work will require cutting roads and using helicopters to gain access to damaged equipment. Catastrophic damage in Hanover and New Kent from Saturday's tornado and storms also is providing particular challenges."
Restoration work for other areas that suffered lesser damage from the storms is essentially complete, although some isolated outage repairs are being worked.
As of 4 p.m. today, Dominion had restored power to nearly 90 percent of the 1 million customers who lost electric service because of the storms. The storms caused the largest non-hurricane outage event in the company's history. The company's initial targets were to have 80-85 percent of customers restored by tonight and 90-95 percent by Thursday night.
Estimated restoration times
General estimated restoration times (ETRs) have been established for the areas served by each of Dominion's 35 distribution offices. Customers may hear these updates by calling the customer service number at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). They should have the account or phone number that is listed on the account so they can move easily through the automated system.
Customer-specific ETRs will be available starting Thursday morning for those customers who have service restoration work scheduled that day. Individual ETRs will be established on Friday for all remaining customers without power.
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.
Storm-related damage has been affecting telephone service and other forms of communications, especially in Northern Virginia. Customers who encounter delays or problems when calling 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) are asked to keep trying. Reporting an outage promptly even if neighbors have done so speeds the restoration process.
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 (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.
SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power