Dominion explains inaccurate information on outages

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Frustration is mounting for those of you still in the dark. Many have called NBC12 or posted on our Facebook page about inaccurate information on Dominion's restoration efforts. We brought those complaints to Dominion Virginia Power.

Officials are offering apologies to customers and at the same time asking for your patience. That patience, though, is wearing thin for those customers who have flooded our newsroom with complaints.

With each ring of the phone, a ray of hope appears for Jessica Gentry. She thinks: "Maybe the Dominion recording on the other end will report good news and this time it will turn out to be true!"

Twice now in the six days since Hurricane Irene devastated the power grid she's been told electricity to her West End home had been restored. And twice, she said, she's been toyed with.

"You're like, 'Ok we'll go back tonight. We'll go back tonight!' and then you get there and you're like 'nope,'" she explained.

It's a concern repeated among the more than 100,000 customers still in the dark.

"It's a miscommunication is what it is and in the early stages of the restoration effort we're not as precise as we wish we could be," explained Dominion spokesman David Botkins.

That's part of the ongoing saga for Gentry, whose estimated restoration time changes by the hour.

"We'll get a morning estimated time and then I'll call at noon and we'll have another estimated time," she told us.

Botkins said starting Wednesday, he believes they've been able to provide more realistic figures.

"We just don't have precise estimates right away," he told NBC12. "It takes time for those estimates to evolve and get better. That's why they're called estimates."

To put it in perspective, this is the second biggest weather event in the company's 100 year history. During Hurricane Isabel it took 14 days to get 1.8 million people back on line. 1.2 million lost power during Irene and we are only on day six of restoration efforts.

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