Outage puts parts of Suffolk and surrounding area in the dark

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

Parts of Suffolk and the surrounding area were blanketed in darkness for about an hour Thursday night.

About 1,500 Dominion Virginia Power customers – most along the U.S. Route 460, between Suffolk and Petersburg – lost power around 6:40 p.m., said Capt. James T. Judkins, the city’s emergency services coordinator.

The power outage was caused by a transformer that blew after an accident near Petersburg, Judkins said. Apparently a mobile home got tangled up in a power line as it was being moved, he said.

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&uot;Power was out all the way down 460 to Main Street and all the way down Route 58 to Holland,&uot; said Lt. Debbie George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department.

The blackout left several major businesses in Suffolk in the dark, including Wal-Mart and Obici Hospital. The hospital operated by generator until power was restored.

Although no problems with looting occurred because of the blackout, the city’s emergency 911 center was jammed with calls from people who lost

power, George said.

&uot;I understand why people might call the police department when they lose power,&uot; she said. &uot;But either need to use the department’s non-emergency telephone number or call the power company directly.&uot;