Crews continue efforts to restore power following Friday storms
More than 71,000 Dominion customers in the Shenandoah Valley and 451,000 customers statewide were still without power as of 10 a.m. Sunday.
“Given the damage, number of customers affected and extreme heat, we are concerned about the health and safety of our customers,” said Rodney Blevins, vice president of electric distribution operations for Dominion. “We urge anyone with special needs to seek out a cool location. We also are asking families and friends to assist those with special needs.”
A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia and cooling centers are being opened by local governments in affected areas. A list of locations is available at www.vdh.virginia.gov/OEP/ExtremeHeat/index.htm. Tips on staying safe in extreme heat are available from the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov/OEP/ExtremeHeat/index.htm.
The storm brought sustained winds in excess of 80 miles per hour along with intense lightning. Most damage to the company’s lines came about as a result of falling trees and tree limbs. More than 3.5 million homes and businesses from Indiana through Ohio and Virginia have been affected.
As of the most recent update from the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, at 4:45 a.m. Sunday, approximately 18,864 members were without power in the SVEC service area. An SVEC press release reported that the co-op will be unable to provide any specific estimated restoration times due to the damage caused by the storm system and the large number of outages being experienced, and that given the severity of the weather and the amount of resulting damage, the outages could last an extended period of time, possibly days.
“Currently, the situation our members face has the potential to turn quite serious,” SVEC President & CEO Myron Rummel said in reference to the extreme temperatures and possible extended outages. “We encourage our members to take necessary steps to protect their health during the next several days until power is restored.”