Utility companies prepare for local impacts from Hurricane Dorian


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Utility companies are getting ready for Hurricane Dorian, anticipating potential disruption to services.

Dorian is forecast to move along the U.S. East Coast and pass near Hatteras along North Carolina’s Outer Banks late Thursday through Friday. The storm is forecast to bring tropical storm conditions to Hampton Roads.

Virginia Natural Gas said in a news release it is implementing an emergency response plan and will have crews ready for the storm.

The company released an extensive list of steps residents can take to stay safe during the storm.

This includes not turning off the gas supply at the main meter. Leaving it on helps to keep proper preasure in the home or business and can keep water from entering fuel lines, the company said.

Jim Kibler, president of Virginia Natural Gas, said in a statement, “As we continue to track the storm, our team members are ready to respond as safely and quickly as possible to any gas-related event due to Hurricane Dorian.”

Dominion Energy, meanwhile, is anticipating power outages from this storm.

Hundreds of crews from other companies and states are headed to Hampton Roads and Dominion Energy’s service area in North Carolina to restore expected outages. 

“You’ll see stuff, trees just coming over pulling whole sidewalks and driveways up it’s really sad, it’s really scary actually,” described Dominion Energy overhead lineman Noelle Young.

However, Dominion says their linemen are on top of it.

“Our line crews make sure their trucks are gassed up and stocked with all the equipment they may need and we have a plan for who’s going to work so we can have people around the clock so they can keep working hard until the last persons lights are on,” said spokesperson Bonita Billingsley Harris.

Workers are coming from 15 different states and other regions over Virginia to team up to keep people safe and the power restored.

“It could be a multi-day outage event because it’s slow moving, it may be a while before crews can get out and restore power so we are asking our customers to be prepared at home,” said Billingsley Harris.

She says charge up your devices and have patience with Dominion. Young says it can be a scary time for them too, but they wait until conditions as safe as possible.

“It does add a little bit of a challenge because everything is moving, you’re moving the poles moving and the material is moving,” Young said.

Crews will be working 24 hours a day, with 14 hour on and off shifts. Young worked through Hurricane Mathew and says she’s as prepared for what’s to come.

“There are multiple challenges some of them are just walking up to a job site all that devastation and trying to figure out where to begin,” stated Young.

Dominion officials say to report any outages as soon as possible on their website.

In the event of a power outage, Dominion recommends customers have an emergency kit ready, that includes:

  • Batteries and flashlights
  • Cash (power outages can affect ATMs)
  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Non-perishable food
  • First aid kit
  • Prescriptions

If you have a generator, make sure it is fueled and tested before the storm arrives.

During the storm, be aware of downed power lines. Stay at least 30 feet away. Call Dominion Energy at 1-866-DOM-HELP to report a downed power line.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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