Dominion pleased with restorations, looking at performance

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The last 15 remaining Dominion Virginia Power customers, who reported outages related to Irene, are no longer in the dark!

That's according to Dominion, which said it's extremely pleased with its restoration efforts, but isn't ready yet to talk about lessons learned.

This time last week, Dominion crews popped up in neighborhoods like Westover Hills. Today, the lights are on, and the only remnants of Irene: debris on the road.

Dominion said it's too early to starting giving out grades, so I put that question to customers.

More than a week after Irene, rain from another tropical system pelted city streets lined with storm debris.

Dominion tackled the remaining 15 customers without power and succeeded.

"Getting 1.2 million customers lights back on in under 10 days is a signification achievement. We're very pleased with that," said Dominion's David Botkins.

We asked customers to grade Dominion's restoration efforts.

"I give them an A," said Rusty Farmer.

"It's nowhere near an F, I would go A- for effort and B+ for actual," said Camille Bird.
Bird's relatives are in town for her wedding last week.

They were without power for a week in hard-hit Stratford Hills.

"We are always kind of the first to lose power and the last to get it back," said Bird.

Dominion's David Botkins said compared to Isabel in 2003, they cut restoration time in half.

"It's been a long arduous process. We wish we could have done it faster," said Botkins.

Botkins said they haven't had enough time to reflect on the widespread outages and what can be done to improve restoration efforts.

Rusty Farmer lost power for two days.  He has one suggestion for tree removal.

"Whether they can hire more sub-contractors to help with that situation," said Farmer.

Bird said the notification system for estimated restoration should be reviewed.

"We did get a few phone calls when we knew the power didn't come back so that was shenanigans," said Bird.

Botkins said Dominion attempted early on to give out as much information as possible.

"With that widespread amount of damage it's very very difficult to pinpoint what an estimated time of restoration would be, given the amount of damage collectively across Virginia," said Botkins.

Botkins said it's also too early to speculate the estimated costs.

They'll be totaling that up over the next couple of weeks.

Right now, the numbers on Dominion's web site reflects outages from today's storm, and not Irene.

Dominion said some customers may be returning from vacations and only finding out now their power is out.  

Call 866-DOM-Help to report an outage.

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