Power back on at Richmond SPCA after lightning strike

Posted at 1:20 PM, Sep 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-13 18:06:50-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The community rallied to help the Richmond SPCA after it was without power for around 20 hours after a lightning strike Thursday night.

Friday morning the organization posted on Facebook that “estimates to restore power to our humane center range from 12-36 hours."

A later update via Twitter was more optimistic.

"Our electricity went out immediately. It was out all night and out all day today," said SPCA CEO Robin Starr.

The center, whose power and phone service was down, noted that Dominion Power was on the scene working to restore power.

Dominion crews removed the charred and ruined transformer while working all day trying to restore power. Inside, despite no power, it is business as usual as SPCA workers keep about 300 homeless animals comfortable.

They needed to be able to run fans, refrigerators and other essential equipment.

A Facebook comment this afternoon said that someone would deliver a generator by 2 p.m. A comment by the organization indicated they are doing all they can to work with the odds.

"Our staff have donned headlamps and are pulling together to care for all the animals. Without the ability to do laundry, we could really use the public's help. If you're able to take a bag of dirty laundry to wash and dry at home, please stop by our front desk anytime before 3 p.m."

Power was restored around 3:30 p.m. Friday.

"We've gotten through it very well. It's been harder than a normal day. It also does something where we all pull together and that is a good thing," Starr said.

The veterinary staff at the SPCA spent the day making sure the health of the animals wasn't endangered.

Starr said the SPCA loses power once or twice a year, but has never for this long. Despite the obstacles of having no power, the SPCA had a banner day for adoptions. Lots of animals found homes.