Crews make progress after strong winds down trees, power lines

Posted at 9:06 PM, Mar 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-04 20:36:45-05

RICHMOND, Va.-- Crews are making major progress restoring power to the thousands of people across Central Virginia who lost power after a nor'easter brought very strong gusts to Virginia that downed trees and power lines on Friday.

More than 7,500 Dominion Energy customers in Central Virginia were without power as of 8 p.m. Saturday. However, that number had dropped to just below 3,000 as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

  • Charles City -- 38 (63 -- Saturday 8 p.m.)
  • Chesterfield -- 417 (1,083)
  • Colonial Heights -- 59 (21)
  • Goochland -- 518 (320)
  • Hanover -- 78 (368)
  • Henrico -- 547 (2,231)
  • New Kent -- 40 (382)
  • Powhatan -- 356 (754)
  • Richmond City -- 836 (2,393)

Additionally, more than 50,000 customers remain without power in Northern Virginia. More than 7,500 customers in the Shenandoah Valley are in the dark as are more than 5,000 customers on the Middle Peninsula/Northern Neck.

Dan Genest, a spokesman for Dominion Energy, said all the company's crews -- as well as 500 linemen from out-of-state -- have been deployed to repair lines.

“It starts with going out and assessing the damage, what’s broken and what needs to be fixed,” Genest said.

Crews plan to first restore electricity to "critical infrastructures."

“Fire department, police departments, hospitals and then after that... we get the most people back on the fastest,” Genest explained.

Genest said he was hopeful many customers would have their power restored by Saturday night. According to Dominion Energy's online outage center, officials estimated power would be restored by 11 p.m. on Tuesday at the latest.

Here are some of the gusts from a few cities.  For reference, severe thunderstorms have winds of 58 mph or higher, and hurricanes have winds of 74 mph or higher.

Woman without power: 'You’ll freeze'

Neighbors in a community off Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond were hopeful their power would be restored quickly since temperatures are forecast at near or below freezing Sunday morning.

“It’s warmer out here than it is in the house, because sitting in the house, you’ll freeze," Pamela Hall said.

Hall, who relies on a defibrillator to monitor her heart rate, said being without power is worrisome.

“With the WiFi being off, if my heart was to stop beating, I’m going to die,” Hall said.

Accordingly, Hall hopes her power is restored soon.

“We’re here and we have to look at our neighbor’s house behind us -- and we see lights," Hall said.

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