Dominion gives update on power restoration

Thousands in the dark after Hurricane Matthew

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- It's become a familiar sight across Hampton Roads neighborhoods: flooded streets, abandoned cars in intersections, and homes darkened due to power outages.

“Flooding is normal in Windsor Woods, but not this bad,” says Sharon Moore of the Virginia Beach neighborhood near Mount Trashmore.

It’s a bad situation made worse, because of massive power outages for hundreds of thousands of residents. 

“I didn't even buy a case of water,” she says. “I just didn't think it was going to be this bad.”

Flooding followed by power outages were especially bad in Virginia Beach, where more than half of all Dominion Virginia Power's customers -- 83,000 -- lost power. A company spokesperson says that crews first need to restore power to places like hospitals and fire departments, then areas with wide-spread outages such as neighborhoods. 

“By tomorrow (Monday) afternoon we should be able to give folks a pretty good idea of how long it's going to take us to clean up after Matthew,” says Dan Genest with Dominion Virginia Power. 

He says by Monday afternoon, the company should also be able to at least tell customers when crews will restore their power. 

Area-wide, Hurricane Matthew impacted more than 340,000 customers, but still about 200,000 less than when Hurricane Irene hit in 2011.

“Irene was really a wind event, and Matthew was a rain event,” Genest says.

That's due to lots of flooding and downed trees, which made it difficult for crews to get out and restore power.

“Hopefully it will come back on soon and we can get back to normal around here,” says Keith Lovell, a Virginia Beach resident.

Until then, power officials urge residents to leave removal of any trees or power lines to power and utility crews.

“We urge them to be extremely careful, because they may not know that we have a line that gotten taken down by that tree and if they make contact with it could be disastrous,” Genest said. 

To report a downed wire call 1-866-DOM-HELP. The best way to report a power outage, Genest says, is by visiting the Dominion Virginia Power web site. Residents can also call 1-866-DOM-HELP. 

Residents are also encouraged to use Dominion's online outage map to report and track outages.

Restoration update

Dominion released an update on outages across the area on Monday morning:

About 16% of customers remain without power in Hampton Roads and northern North Carolina. That's nearly 132,000 customers.  The biggest trouble spots are in Virginia Beach, our northern North Carolina areas, Chesapeake and Norfolk where repairs must be made to broken poles, broken cross arms and downed wire. We hope to have estimated times of restoration by midday today.

More than 445,000 customers have been impacted across all of Virginia and northern North Carolina since 4 pm on Saturday, the majority in Hampton roads Virginia and NC.More than half of customers been restored.

Our crews were limited by extremely hazardous conditions yesterday as they worked to complete damage assessments—many roads and bridges were flooded.  Crews had to be even more mindful of downed power lines, which could be submerged in water, and the high winds for much of the day made it too dangerous to use bucket trucks to make repairs

We had more than 2,300 people working on restoration across our service area. That number has increased today with 500 additional line workers onto our system—our contractors are returning from Florida and our neighboring utilities have provided additional help.

We continue to work with local government and emergency responders to clear roads and make them safe to pass.


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