September 6, 2008

Dominion Virginia Power Line Crews Working Through Wind, Rain to Restore Power


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RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dominion Virginia Power repair crews restored service to more than 67,000 customers by midday Saturday as Tropical Storm Hanna sped though eastern North Carolina and into Virginia with high winds and heavy rains.

A total of 111,000 customers had been affected by the storm and 44,000 remained without power in both states as Hanna continued its northward movement across the company's service area. Additional outages are expected.

Hundreds of Dominion line crews were working more than 750 repair sites to restore power as quickly as possible. Company personnel will work around the clock and throughout the weekend and beyond if necessary until all customers are restored.

Most of the damage was caused by falling trees and tree limbs, forcing linemen and tree crews to clear debris before restoring power. The outages were scattered from the Outer Banks to north of Richmond.

Crews were mobilized well before the storm and began making damage assessments and repairs at first light.

"Safety is our first priority -- safety of our customers and safety of our crews," said Rodney Blevins, vice president- Distribution. "Driving and working in high winds and heavy rain with storm debris lying all around is not easy. We are asking all customers to stay away from and report downed power lines."

All power lines should be considered energized and extremely dangerous.

Customers should call Dominion toll free at 1-888-667-3000 to report outages or downed lines. They should have their Dominion account number handy to speed outage reporting.

Early Saturday, Dominion crews were dispatched to an area near the Elmont exit on Interstate 95 north of Richmond to repair a power line that was down across both the north and south lanes of the interstate, forcing authorities to close it. Repair crews initially had difficulty reaching the site because of backed-up traffic. The outage occurred around 8:30 a.m. when a tree fell on the line. The line was repaired by 10 a.m. and the interstate reopened.

The highest priority for restoration is always given to public safety and emergency situations. Transmission lines, substations and major distribution circuits that serve large numbers of customers also receive high priority. Customer outages are automatically compiled and worked on in an order designed to restore service in the fastest possible way to the largest number of customers.

Dominion began preparing for Tropical Storm Hanna days ago, mobilizing repair crews and dispatching them with bucket trucks and other equipment to areas expected to be hardest hit.

In addition to focusing on safety around downed power lines, Dominion asked its customers to be especially careful with backup electrical generators. Never overload or operate a generator in a closed environment such as a garage, or plug it directly into a regular household outlet. Improperly connected generators can damage household appliances and injure or kill linemen working to restore power.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,000 megawatts of generation. Dominion serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at http://

SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power

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