Dominion Power crews prepared for possible outages

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -  With the fluffy snow last weekend, very few problems were reported -- but that's likely to change.

This time around, officials at Dominion Virginia Power anticipate the expected snow and ice will knock trees and limbs into power lines and create widespread outages.

Dominion's storm center is up and running at full staff.

Meantime, crews all throughout the state are on stand-by, prepared to be deployed for storm restoration duty.

Officials say it helps them to keep a close eye on the path of the storm.

David Botkins, Media Relations Manager says, "We're already getting folks into position, resources into position so that wherever the outages end up occurring, we can respond right away."

Dominion officials are ready for more challenges this time around.

Botkins says, "Heavy dense snow is more of a problem that the lighter snow you just mentioned, but what really is a problem for us is ice. When ice or freezing rain gets on the lines or accumulates on tree branches and wire and poles, that's where we have our biggest problems. That combined with wind is the special challenge we need to be ready for. "

Dominion says crews will use their training and past experiences with heavy snow and ice and downed lines to quickly get those without power back up and running.  They respond to critical services like hospitals and 9-1-1 centers first.  Remember to stay away from fallen wires and debris.  If you're able though, clear away snow and ice from exterior heat pumps so it can function to the best of it's ability.  And if you wind up using a generator.

Botkins says, "Don't use it inside. It needs to stay outside, it needs to stay away from the crawl space, don't put in underneath the house, keep it outdoors so that the fumes and other emissions that are coming from a generator are not accumulating inside the house. "

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