Dominion Energy provides update Wednesday, Jan. 5

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 5:33 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE CO. Va. (WVIR) - Thousands of people in central Virginia are now on day three without power following Monday’s snow storm.

Dominion Energy is responsible for turning the lights back on for many.

Roughly 16,000 Dominion customers in Albemarle County were still waiting for their electricity to be restored. as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5.

The utility company is now using drones to help zero-in on the trouble spots that are keeping so many in the cold and dark.

“We can get an aerial, above-ground view, cover more ground rather than just walking, and then we can direct the ground crew to where they’re needed,” Nate Robie, a drone operator from Dominion, said.

Finding the problem is one thing, getting to it is another.

“Access was very difficult at the beginning. Certainly now it’s much better. I mean, the road we’re on now is clear and passable, so much more access, and that’s really helped us accelerate the restoration effort,” Electric Transmission and Power Delivery Vice President Kevin Curtis said.

The work from this storm - with so much heavy-snow damage - is more complicated than simply restringing lines.

“A lot of it is broken cross arms. So, broken cross arms and poles and wire on the ground, and those take a lot longer to restore,” Curtis said.

Also, the worst damage often happens far off the main road.

“In some areas you don’t see it initially, but back in the woods the trees have fallen and the damage is extensive,” Curtis said.

There’s no one simple answer about when power will return.

“There’s going to be some areas that have extensive damage. They’re going to linger into the next day or two, but there’ll be very small numbers,” Curtis said. “I’d say the large majority will be restored by the end of the day or early tomorrow.”

Now, with more snow possible Thursday evening, Dominion is trying to safely out-race more bad weather.

“This new storm that’s coming this way, we are prepared for it. Crews are mobilized and out in the field already, but the real push is to get lights restored so everybody can get their heat and their lights back and get back to normal life,” Curtis said.

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