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West End families without power get creative to stay warm — and busy

Posted at 8:07 AM, Jan 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-08 18:15:19-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Nearly 2,700 Dominion Virginia Power customers in Henrico's West End lost electricity Sunday morning.

Dominion's map showed the outage was focused in neighborhoods near and west of Deep Run Park, off Gaskins Road between Three Chopt Road and Patterson Avenue.


The Smiths were trying to make the best out of a bitter situation.

"It's freezing inside. There is no difference between out here and in there,” said Sloan Smith.

They were one of thousands of families in the West End who lost power early Sunday morning because of the snow.

"I have a six year old and a four year old who need power,” said Smith.

A Dominion spokesperson tells CBS 6 because of the freezing temperatures, more people were using their electricity. That increase in load in the system caused equipment to fail at the powerlines by the Henrico County Public Library – Gayton Branch. As a result, a wire came down, knocking out power.

"Coffee poured had already gone off, so we had hot coffee. But of course in this day and age everything is down. No internet so you can't find out what's going on,” said Dan Shaw, who also lost power. "No heat. It was about 6 degrees when I got up this morning. So it's getting cold in there. We just closed off all the rooms. We haven't started a fire in the fireplace yet but that may be next. Just layer up. "

Folks who live in Gayton Forest tried to find ways  stay busy and warm.

"Try to get out to the Tuckahoe Y where they have heat, WiFi and hot showers,” said Shaw.

"We went to Silver Diner and got some chocolate chip pancakes. We needed to kill some more time, so we went to Target [and] went up and down the the kids a toy and now we're here,” said Smith.

It’s an excuse to spend more time playing in the snow -- something the kids didn’t seem to mind at all.