Preparing for power outages this winter - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Preparing for power outages this winter

By Ros Runner - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Dominion Virginia Power starts preparing well in advance of an impending snow or ice storm so that when the weather turns bad, they have a plan in place to respond to the worst that Mother Nature has to offer.

Dominion's storm center is located on the 11th floor of 1 James River Plaza in downtown Richmond. The staff of meteorologists is constantly looking ahead to anticipate weather conditions that threaten to knock out your power.

"This is where we make the critical decisions about how we plan and prepare for restoration efforts as well as the response to it, making sure that we get crews to the places we need to get customers lights restored as quickly as possible," said Rodney Blevins of Dominion Virginia Power.

When outages occur, the priority of restoration starts with a damage assessment.

"We have to get out and see how much work we have to do to get the lights on so we can give customers great information about when their lights are going to be on," Blevins said.

When it comes to getting your lights back on, top priority is given to locations the community needs to thrive such as hospitals, 911 centers, police, fire departments and pumping stations.

Next, it focuses on areas where the largest blocks of customers are experiencing an outage.

"In a matter of efficiency, it makes sense if we make one repair and get a 1,000 customers back on, that's better than making one repair and getting 100 customers back on regardless of how severe the damage is at that location," he said.

So, how important is it for you to report an outage?

"Very important for customers to report their lights out, our system analyzes the incoming calls to assess what device is out so that we can predict where the damage is on the system," Blevins said.

Once they isolate where the damage is on the system, the more quickly they can get a crew out to see how much work needs to be done.

To report an outage, you can reach Dominion Virginia Power at 1-866-DOM-HELP or www.dom.com.  There you'll find an interactive outage map that can provide you with estimated restoration times.

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