Power companies on standby for outages following Sunday’s winter storm

Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 10:15 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2022 at 11:04 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Dominion Energy, Rappahannock Electric, and Southside Electric (SEC) are making sure they’re prepared for potential outages resulting from Sunday’s winter storm

During the last storm, all three companies experience widespread outages totaling hundreds of thousands across the commonwealth.

In the days leading up to the storm, all three major power companies have been assembling crucial manpower and supplies ahead of Sunday’s snowstorm.

SEC Community Relations Director Lloyd Lenhart says the power company brought in additional power poles should any poles snap under the weight of snow and ice.

“At this point, we’ll prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Lenhart said. “We have restocked four warehouses and supply yards with the materials needed for the upcoming storm.”

Lenhart said in addition to the 100 personnel from its company, it also has 300 additional workers coming in from co-ops North of us.

“We’ve got crews as far away as Arkansas, Illinois, and Maryland,” Lenhart said.

REC says it has about 300 personnel and 200 mutual aid workers pre-staged in areas they expect to be the hardest hit from Sunday’s storms

“We do expect the storm to have the hardest impact as we get later into the evening,” REC Communication’s Manager Casey Hollins said.

“What we’re prepared to do is if some of the areas where we have crews who don’t get as much impact, we’ll be able to move those crews over to the areas that are hit hardest.”

So far Dominion Energy hasn’t seen much impact in the Richmond area and has focused most of its attention on the more rural parts of its service areas.

Like the other two power companies, Dominion is encouraging customers to report power outages the moment they happen.

“In about a third of our territory, we have something called smart meters which does a better job of telling us when power is out, but we’re still largely reliant in most of our territory on reporting,” said Dominion spokesperson Craig Howell.

“We have a good idea that your power may be out if several of your neighbors have reported, but that’s not always guaranteed so the more you report the better off we’ll be from a data standpoint.”

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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