Power restored after Hurricane Irene - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Power restored after Hurricane Irene

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - On the 10th day without power after Irene, the wait is over. As of Monday evening, fewer than 15 customers in the Richmond Metro Area remain powerless. Virginia Dominion Power says they have crews working at each of those remaining sites. Dominion brought in thousands of workers to tackle this project, in addition to their own.

Dominion had an impressive 35,000 sites to repair. Crews from 20 agencies came in to help Dominion. Don Fry works for Appalachian Electric Power. After ten 16 hour days, his work is finally done- the power restored- and he's glad to be heading home.

"You just get kinda punch drunk after a while," said an exhausted Fry. "You get done with one job and you just fly into another and it's just the way it works. You just kind a get numb to it after a while."

But the crews say the reaction of Virginia customers, made the long hours worth it.

"Usually hear people cheering, clapping, bringing food out to you, drinks out to you, all kinds of good stuff," described Monte Smithson, another AEP employee.

"We'd plug a cut out in and it would sound like football stadium, just everybody cheering and it was pretty funny it was good. Makes you feel good," added Fry.

Dominion officials say they had crews working every hour of every day.

"They never stopped until we got everybody's lights turned back on," said Chet Wade of Dominion Virginia Power.

He says their company's response has quickened since Isabel. Still, Dominion leaders say there's still room to grow. They'll start reflecting on this storm now.

"We'll make sure what we learned from Irene can be applied to the future," said Wade.

Dominion officials do warn customers- even though the restoration effort is complete, it's important to watch any nearby limbs or trees that may have been affected by the storm.

If you do have a power concern, you can contact Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP.

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