Behind the scenes: Dominion Energy works to restore power after ice storm

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Dominion energy crews Alex photos

Dominion energy crews are working around the clock to restore power after an ice storm hits Virginia. (photo: 8News Reporter Alex Thorson)

(WRIC) — There are about 6,000 Dominion Energy crews statewide fixing damages after an ice storm hit Virginia over the weekend.

On Monday morning, 8News caught up with crews working to restore power in a Matoaca, Chesterfield neighborhood after the area experienced damages from fallen trees. The crew working that scene came from Virginia Beach to help.

Mike Powers with Dominion was out with out with them to oversee safety operations. He says thankfully, no linemen were injured over the weekend and no incidents were reported as of Monday morning either.

Powers and the rest of the crew were working on three broken poles, broken cross arms and conductors that went down. He says people in the neighborhood likely lost power Saturday and should have it back sometime Monday.

Dominion energy
Dominion Energy worker on top of power pole after ice storm hits Virginia. (Photo: 8News Alex Thorson)

Dominion Energy said this is “the most widespread and most damaging ice storm here since January of 2000.”

Approximately 290,000 Dominion customers lost power during the storm.

“It’s how we cook, it’s how we heat our homes,” Powers said. “So we understand that people are depending on us to get these lights back on.”

Workers are clocking up to 14 hours a day trying to restore electricity. Crews came to Central Virginia from as far away as South Carolina to help restore power across the state. Since power outages started occurring over the weekend, Dominion has identified almost 7,000 work locations.

Dominion has sent out more than 6,000 workers and 800 bucket trucks to handle outages.

“These guys are really unsung heroes out here,” Powers said.

As of Monday morning, over 75% of customers who lost power have had it restored. Powers says it will likely be a couple of days until everyone has power.

By 6 p.m. on Monday, Dominion had made repairs at over 5,000 work locations.

It was a difficult start for crews on Saturday. Powers says the storm lodged big challenges into their power restoration efforts. Continuing ice accumulation, trees falling and branches breaking made it tough for crews to make much progress.

“We really got the traction on Sunday when temperatures warmed up a bit,” Powers said.

Dominion energy
Dominion energy crews are working around the clock to restore power after an ice storm hits Virginia. (photo: 8News Reporter Alex Thorson)

If you see a crew working in your neighborhood, Powers encourages you to say ‘thank you’.

“Don’t interrupt them but, at a distance. Just know that they’re doing everything they can to get your lights on as quickly as possible,” he said.

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