NORFOLK, Va. — Dominion Energy crews are on standby and are prepared to work overtime in the case Tuesday night's storms cause outages.
Dominion Energy spokesperson Bonita Billingsley Harris said Dominion's power crews are prepared for the worst, and they anticipate the common challenges severe weather brings.
"Weather is a huge threat. You never know what can happen with the weather," she said. "The biggest challenges for us are wind, lightning; If we have a lot of rain and the ground is saturated - that can make poles topple over, trees topple over, branches land on power lines. All of those things can cause power outages."
She said crews are never caught off guard and they carefully monitor weather patterns, year-round.
She said managers put crews on notice so they're ready to respond quickly, and safely.
"We keep an eye on the forecast way in advance to make sure that we can monitor the storm and determine where we might need the most resources and right now it's looking like we're expecting the biggest threat to our peninsula offices, Williamsburg, as well as Roanoke Rapids in North Carolina," she said.
"We've already asked crews to stay over late, and be prepared to stay as long as necessary in case there are power outages they need to restore."
Tuesday's storms come after Dominion Energy had to grapple with a string of outages in Hampton Roads, over the past two days.
“Crews have just been working around the clock these last few days and now it’s looking like more severe weather in the forecast,” Billingsley Harris said.
On Monday, crews dealt with a pole fire near The Roebuck Apartments in Norfolk.
“That knocked out power to nearly 60 customers – but that included WVEC, PETA, Red Cross, EVMS, even the midtown tunnel was affected by that power outage,” Billingsley Harris said.
Crews were out all day replacing that pole and the transformers to get the lights back on.
“Just when they think they can catch their breath a little bit, just after 5 o’clock in the evening a tree limb fell on a power line near Oscar Smith High School in the River Walk community," Billingsley Harris said. "That knocked out power to over 2,000 customers.”
She said Dominion got everyone back online with 30 minutes.
“[But ]It wasn’t over yet," Billingsley Harris continued. "Last night in Greenbrier at about 9:30 p.m. we had equipment failure that knocked out power to all of Greenbrier area include the mall, many businesses, churches, streetlights in that area. That was over 4,000 customers affected.”
Power came back online in Greenbrier early this morning.
Last week, a circuit breaker caught fire in Virginia Beach, knocking out power to around 25,000 customers - including several businesses in Town Center.
Billingsley Harris said there's no real link between the recent issues as power losses are caused by any number of things.
"You just never know where there could be trouble and when," she said. "Sometimes it's right after a storm. Sometimes equipment can be weakened by the storm and then maybe have an aftereffect. Sometimes animals get into our equipment and they build nests."