CBS 6 out in the field with Dominion Virginia Power

Posted at 9:33 PM, Jul 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-02 21:33:28-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—CBS 6 reporter Jake Burns spent the day in the field with Dominion Virginia Power, as they work to restore the massive outages caused by weekend storms.

Marty Drummond has worked for Dominion for 25 years. He is the supervisor of one Dominion’s power line crews charged with restoring power to thousands in Central Virginia still without it.

"It was an unpredictable storm,” said Drummond. “It’s been challenging. We try to be strategic with what we do.”

Nearly one million customers statewide were without power at some point this past weekend, according to Dominion officials.

Drummond and his crew have battled triple digit heat while working 16 hour days; making the task of fixing snapped transformers and downed lines even more difficult.

Power crews from 12 different states and even Canada have made there way to Virginia to assist Dominion in restoration efforts.

Dominion prioritizes the order of the circuits they fix by the number of customers affected.  They start with lines that power vital centers, like hospitals or fire stations, then move to fixing main circuits that affect thousands of customers.

Dominion said most of the main lines in Central Virginia are back up.

“That is the best, safest, and most efficient way of getting people's power restored," said Richard Zuercher, with Dominion Virginia Power.

Dominion officials said they have begun the process of what is called "neighborhooding." Crews have started to focus on areas where only a couple hundred customers lost power. 

However, the effort it takes to restore areas with only limited outages can be equivalent to the resources needed to restore areas where thousands of outages occurred.

“It's a time consuming, methodical thing you have to go through when you have this kind of damage,” said Drummond.

Drummond said he knows people can get frustrated when the electricity is out, but he and his crew have been approached by numerous customers wanting to thank them.

“They know what we're going through, and they appreciate it,” Drummond said.

If you have a power outage and have not contacted Dominion, they ask that you call 1-866-DOM-HELP as soon as possible.