RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Energy Virginia crews are preparing for a second round of ice and freezing rain as they wrap up restoration efforts following last weekend's destructive ice storm. The second ice storm is expected to begin Thursday, and it could potentially be more impactful than the most recent ice event that left more than 290,000 customers without power. Dominion Energy crews and contractors are prepared to respond to power outages and customers should be prepared for the possibility of being without power for multiple days.
More than 6,000 workers – including crews from 12 states, Washington D.C., and Canada – have been working around the clock for the past five days to restore power from the worst ice storm in Virginia since January 2000. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dominion Energy crews have restored service to nearly 99% of the 290,000 customers who lost power. Damage has been reported at more than 9,600 work locations, and crews have made the necessary repairs at more than 9,200 of those sites. Work will continue tonight until all customers are restored.
Dominion Energy is closely watching the weather forecast and preparing for a second ice storm to hit parts of Virginia, including Southside, the Piedmont Valley, the Richmond metro area, and parts of Northern Virginia. The company encourages customers to monitor the weather and prepare for power outages that could last for multiple days. Learn about how customers can prepare.
"We know many of our customers have already endured multiple days without power and we appreciate their patience as our crews work to restore service as safely and quickly as possible. Whether you lost power or not, now is not the time to let your guard down," said Charlene Whitfield, senior vice president of Power Delivery for Dominion Energy. "Unfortunately, this second ice storm will likely bring a new round of power outages. Our crews have been working long hours to restore service and will continue to work around the clock to assist our customers. We ask for your continued patience and that all customers prepare for the possibility of losing power for multiple days."
Major ice storms, like the one approaching, have the potential to cause more damage and more challenging working conditions than a hurricane. A fast-moving hurricane rolls through and the damage is done; but days of freezing rain cause ice accumulation to gradually build up and outages continue to occur even as crews make repairs. Ice also slows down the power restoration process because it causes extremely dangerous travel conditions and makes some areas nearly impossible to access.
To ensure the fastest response, Dominion Energy asks that customers report their power outages. The fastest way to report or track an outage is using the Dominion Energy app or online at DominionEnergy.com. Customers may also call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report an outage.
Here's how customers can stay safe:
Beware of downed power lines and remember that they could be covered by snow. Assume they are energized and dangerous. Please remain at least 30 feet away and ensure that others also avoid the downed line. Virginia and North Carolina customers should call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) right away to report a downed power line.
Ensure generators are properly connected. Be sure they are fueled, tested and connected in a well-ventilated area outdoors. Improper use of a generator could be life-threatening for customers and crews working to restore power.