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Thousands still in the dark after severe storms

Power companies are still working to restore service to thousands of Virginia residents who have been off the grid since a wave of powerful storms blew through the Commonwealth Friday night.

More than 271,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers were without power as of 9:30 a.m. Monday, including 52,000 in the Shenandoah Valley.

As of 4:15 a.m. Monday, 9,458 Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative customers were still without power.

Dominion said it expects to have service restored to 80-85 percent of its customers by Tuesday night, and to have 90-95 percent of its customers powered up by Thursday night.

It is expected that those in areas of most severe damage could be without service through the weekend, though.

In parts of Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, where the damage was catastrophic in many cases, many poles and cross arms need to be replaced, and other infrastructure needs to be rebuilt, Dominion reported.

“Unlike a hurricane, this storm could not be forecasted well ahead of time by the National Weather Service,” said Rodney Blevins, vice president-Electric Distribution Operations. “That is complicating restoration efforts because crews and supplies could not be positioned in advance.”

Blevins also noted that the large scale of the storm damage – extending over many states and affecting more than 3 million customers in all – means there is a large demand for outside help. Further complicating the situation are communications infrastructure problems, especially in Northern Virginia.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press