RICHMOND, Va., July 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power continued today to make progress in restoring power to all customers who lost electric service because of last weekend's severe thunderstorms.
In the last 24 hours, service was restored to another 50,000 customers – many in areas that suffered the most severe damage. In all, Dominion has restored service to more than 95 percent of the 1 million customers whose service was disrupted in the largest non-hurricane event in the company's history.
"We remain on track to reach our advanced targets to restore service for virtually all customers in Northern Virginia and the Richmond metro area by Friday night," said Rodney Blevins, vice president – Electric Distribution Operations. "In a few instances, work in Northern Virginia may continue into Saturday where there was extreme damage. Work in Southside Virginia and Gloucester should essentially wrap up tonight.
"We are continuing to add additional workers and equipment as they become available and focusing them on the hardest-hit locations. This includes the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville areas, where restoration is expected to be virtually complete by Sunday. We will collapse even more crews into these areas as they finish up work elsewhere."
More than 5,500 Dominion employees, retirees, contractors and utility crews from 18 states and Canada continued to work through the July 4th holiday. More than 1,000 bucket trucks are employed in the effort. Work will continue around the clock until power is restored for all customers.
Blevins noted that more than 3,800 repair locations remain to be addressed. In many instances, the repairs will return service to one or a few customers. Repairs at another 19,000 locations have been 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.
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 (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.
SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power