Crews work through heat to restore power

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The stifling heat is making things worse for people who don't have air conditioning. Dominion Virginia Power said it could still take days to get electricity restored.

NBC12 went to one retirement community with a lot of upset people. Many of them use breathing machines and inhalers to survive.

The last thing they want to worry about is having no air conditioning. Linemen have been out since 1:00 a.m., Saturday, repairing split utility poles and removing trees from lines after strong winds whipped through central Virginia.

Neighbors are glad to hear the progress. But when temperatures approach triple digits, they just want AC. For some, this is the second outage in just one week.

Another strong storm roared through Monday, with winds topping 100 MPH.  Marjorie Henshaw lives in Henrico's Carriage Hill retirement community. She and other neighbors have medical issues — just one reason they need power quickly.

"I have asthma and cannot breath without power or AC," Henshaw said. "It's stifling up there."

After a few minutes at the community, the AC units started to crank up. Neighbors said they're just glad to be able to finally cool off.

"That's a plus. That's for sure," said neighbor, John Wilson. Even though utility crews continue to repair lines, Dominion Power said it could still be days until some people have electricity - bringing flashbacks of last summer's Hurricane Irene.

"This is going to be a multi-day restoration effort," said Rodney Blevins with Dominion Virginia Power. "This is very much like a hurricane restoration without a week to prepare for it."

In the meantime, teams from all around the region continue to make repairs and battle the heat  so neighbors soon won't have to.

If you have an outage to report you can always call the Dominion Customer Service number at 1-866-366-4357. It also spells out DOM-HELP.

Right now crews are overloaded, so it may be a while before they arrive.

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