Power crews prepare for storm's impact - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Power crews prepare for storm's impact

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Power crews are monitoring the first major storm of the season that could Central Virginia this weekend. Crews are assembling in case ice becomes a major factor for electric lines. Because we've had a mild hurricane season and a mild fall, this winter weather system is of serious concern. Crews want to make sure they're doing all they can to keep your lights on.

It's the realities of the winter season - storms and the aftermath that come with them.

"Were looking at a possibility of some ice buildup, freezing rain reaches wires, reaches trees, causes tree limbs to come down into wires. This can cause power outages," said Karl Neddenien with Dominion Power.

These are scenarios utility crews are all too familiar with - especially when the storm impacts their ability to help you.

"It also makes it extremely challenging for crews to get to locations if streets are slippery, the driving conditions are rough," he said.

So they're planning in advance.

Previous winter weather systems like a very memorable ice storm in 1998 taught valuable lessons. It produced an inch of ice over wide areas of Central Virginia - knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of families.

Right now power crews are monitoring this storm before it hits.

"Preparing for the need to possibly move crews into locations so they can be on site before the storm arrives," Neddenien added.

If you do find yourself without power, there are some things you can do while you're waiting.

"If it looks like it's going to be a big storm, and it's still too soon to see how it's going to affect Richmond, we suggest you make sure you have prescriptions filled, have water on hand, especially if you live in an area where wells are being used, fill the gas tank in your vehicle," he said.

Perhaps, most importantly, be patient. Utility crews will be working to win the battle.

"We have the bucket trucks fully stocked, we have people where they need to be and were prepared when the storm gets here to keep the lights on," Neddenien says.

Dominion workers say when you lose electricity, report it by calling 1-866-dom-help. They'll always try to give you an idea when power will be restored. Also if you're out and about and see a downed line, assume it's active and steer clear.

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