NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Dominion Energy is preparing for possible power outages during the storm. The company is moving crews and trucks to Northeastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks.
Dominion is proactively reaching out to customers with medical needs on file to advise them to make arrangements for possible outages, warehouses are fully stocked and the company is in communications with neighboring utilities and contract companies to secure additional resources if needed, according to a release.
“We’ve moved staff, we also have extra bucket trucks and extra equipment, and then we also have a number of contractors on hold,” said Dominion Energy Communications Specialist Cherise Newsome.
So far, Hampton Roads and North Carolina have already begun experiencing some of these outages, particularly Norfolk and Dare County. However, numbers could easily fluctuate throughout the weekend, so to see a full list of outages click the button below.
Martin Hardison, a lineman who’s been working in storms for 15 years told WAVY, “Over the years, I think we’ve gotten a lot better getting prepared for storms.”
In an effort to reduce outages, he said they’ve been hardening the grid.
“Past couple years we’ve been putting bigger poles in the ground so they can withstand the storms a little better,” Hardison said.
The new poles are wider in diameter and go deeper into the ground. They also have fiberglass cross arms that can withstand higher wind speeds and won’t deteriorate like the older wooden ones.
“One of the lessons from hurricane Isabel 20 years ago is we want to make sure we are strengthening our poles and our power grid all year long,” Newsome told us.
She told us another lesson learned from Isabel is the importance of forecasting.
“We plan farther in advance now our meteorologists are working around the clock now and they give us forecasts about how our crews should move about as well as the type of equipment they may need based upon the weather conditions,” Newsome said.
It won’t stop all outages, but Hardison said it should cut down on the time it takes to make repairs — which in a storm is much safer for workers like him and, of course, gets lights back on quicker.
If you do lose power during the storm Dominion wants to remind you to report the loss using their free app or call it in and if you see a downed line stay away from it.
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