Dominion Virginia Power has launched a new interactive map on its web site www.dom.com.
Widespread power outages can happen in a flash. Six years ago, when Hurricane Isabel toppled trees, many people were without power for weeks.
To help answer the question: how soon will the power be restored, Dominion Virginia Power has launched a new interactive tool called Outage Viewer.
"We would count on people who have laptop computers with batteries maybe you want to step out for a cup of coffee bring your laptop with you and go to a place where there's free WIFI," said Dominion Spokesperson Karl Neddenien.
"If you call it up you can look at different things," said Neddenien including your own address.
You can also zoom in on a specific area with a known power outage. You'll be able to see how many people are affected and an estimated time for when power will be restored.
"The old map was just static it showed things that had taken place this new map shows you things actually taking place now," said Neddenien.
For people without laptops or cell phones with internet capabilities, Dominion has enhanced its call center. Customers will find it easier to report outages and can choose to receive call backs from Dominion. When severe weather does strike, Dominion expects strong interest in the web site.
"It's designed to handle hundreds of thousands of inquiries at the same time it's been ruggedly tested we found it stands up to a lot of use," said Neddenien.
If you don't have a laptop and need to get in touch with Dominion Virginia Power to report or check on an outage, the toll-free number is 1-888-667-3000.