Have patience after storm

Published 2:53 pm Thursday, September 13, 2018

While Hurricane Florence was still blowing in as of this writing, it’s a sure bet that the storm will not turn out to be as devastating for Hampton Roads as originally predicted.

The storm originally set a course straight for the Outer Banks, which is the worst-case landfall spot for Hampton Roads, as it puts the most dangerous northeast quadrant of the hurricane directly over us.

However, the storm changed course and weakened from the original Category 4 prediction, and we’re all grateful for that and praying for our neighbors to the south, who will bear the brunt of this storm.

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However, there’s still a good chance folks in Suffolk will see significant effects of this story, including flooded roads, downed trees and extended power outages.

In the aftermath of the storm, we encourage everyone to be patient with local officials and utilities as they work to shake out the damage, reopen roads and get the lights back on.

Nobody enjoys being without power for days at a time, but everyone must recognize that certain places, such as areas with hospitals, fire stations and other facilities and services vital for public safety, will be the first to be restored to power. They also must recognize that main feeding lines must be repaired before smaller neighborhood lines are repaired in order to restore power to the most people as quickly as possible.

Thousands of utility workers from across the United States have responded and are preparing to respond to our area to speed the process of restoring power and other vital services. These folks have taken time out of their lives and away from their families to come do this for us, so please thank them when you see them.

You can help make the process of power restoration speedy and safe by following these tips:

4Beware of downed power lines. Hurricane Florence may cause flooding in areas that have already experienced high rainfall this season. Ground saturation can increase the likelihood of fallen trees and downed wires. Stay at least 30 feet away and make sure your family, pets, and neighbors also avoid the downed wire. Call Dominion Energy right away at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to speak with an agent to report the downed wire.

4If your power goes out, report it at www.dominionenergy.com/hurricaneprep or call at 1-866-DOM-HELP. The fastest way to report or track an outage is online using your phone or other mobile device.