“My neighborhood looked pretty much dead this morning,” says Jake Condra.
Blacked out traffic lights and make shift closure signs marked the cold hours without power for people throughout Waynesboro on Saturday.
“It's one of the coldest days of the year, which totally stinks,” says Melissa Allen. “It was really early that the power went out, so you don't really have the day to heat up.”
Dominion Power blames a small fire at a substation in Dooms for cutting off electricity to 19,000 customers around 7 o'clock Saturday morning.
The blaze damaged transmission lines, not only leaving Dominion's customers in the dark, but also 13,000 customers connected through cooperatives, including Wintergreen Resort.
“That's really changed everything,” says Jay Roberts, vice president of resort operations at Wintergreen. “If you think about our business, everything we do relies on power.”
With the ski lifts at a standstill, resort staff and guests got creative, looking on the bright side until that magical moment when the power turned back on.
“Most of the time, we've just been climbing over near the lifts, and just like digging and making random snow things,” says Jessica Parker who was visiting Wintergreen on Saturday.
“You adapt and overcome,” Roberts says. “The challenge for us in delivering a great product is this is totally outside of our control.”
Power was restored at Wintergreen shortly before 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon.
Dominion says crews worked to bring back service in phases to avoid overloading the system.
Sign up to receive NBC29 news and weather updates in your inbox daily.