Dominion Virginia Power Restoration Effort Focusing First On Public Safety, Transmission Lines, Detailed Damage Assessments
RICHMOND, Va., June 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Dominion Virginia Power is working with state and local officials to protect public safety and health while its crews are repairing transmission lines, making detailed damage assessments and restoring power to critical safety facilities.
Nine of 10 affected electric transmission lines have been returned to service and power has been restored to more than 275,000 of the 900,000 customers who have reported outages as of 4 p.m. today. Crews are busy restoring power to police and fire stations, hospitals, water pumping facilities, public cooling locations and nursing homes. A video update is available at: http://youtu.be/9laWF5XxPYY
Separate patrol teams are making detailed damage assessments along the company’s distribution lines to aid the repair efforts and provide an accurate estimate of when the overall outage restoration work will be completed. A video showing the damage assessment process is available here: http://youtu.be/QdTqUalmw3w.
“Given the damage, number of customers affected and extreme heat, we are concerned about the health and safety of our customers,” said Rodney Blevins, vice president of electric distribution operations. “We urge anyone with special needs to seek out a cool location. We also are asking families and friends to assist those with special needs.”
A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia and cooling centers are being opened by local governments in affected areas. A list of locations is available at: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/OEP/ExtremeHeat/index.htm. Tips on staying safe in extreme heat are available from the Virginia Department of Health at: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/OEP/ExtremeHeat/index.htm
The company is asking customers to call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report downed power lines. All power lines and anything touching them should be considered energized and extremely dangerous.
Storm-related damage is affecting cellular telephone, internet and other forms of communications, particularly 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. The company uses all data of this type to plan the safest, quickest restoration possible. The fastest way to report an outage is to use the company’s automated telephone system.
Given the extremely heavy call volumes, the company is requesting that calls not related to the storm be postponed if possible until early next week.
Dominion Virginia Power personnel will be working around the clock until all customers are restored. Storm restoration information is available online at https://www.dom.com/storm-center/index.jsp
Customers with special needs – particularly elderly and ill persons without air conditioning who are most vulnerable to the effects of extreme temperatures and high humidity – should be checked on frequently. It also is important to be sensitive to pets, keeping them hydrated with plenty of water.
The storm brought sustained winds in excess of 80 miles per hour along with intense lightning. Most damage to the company’s lines came about as a result of falling trees and tree limbs. More than 3.5 million homes and businesses from Indiana through Ohio and Virginia have been affected.
Dominion 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