Tropical storm knocks out power

Published 8:10 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

The damage from Tropical Storm Michael was minimal, but Suffolk still experienced a number of power outages across the city.

As of 5:30 p.m. Friday, 3,240 Dominion Energy customers were without power, and there were 54 projects to help restore power. This was a vast improvement from 1:30 a.m., when 6,272 customers were without power.

The majority of customers will have power by the end of the day Monday, according to Dominion spokesman Jeremy Slayton.

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Dominion sent out patrol crews early Friday morning to assess the damage, and crews have been working all day to begin restoring power.

The power gets restored methodically, with their own power plants and substations coming first. After servicing critical infrastructures like police stations, hospitals and water treatment facilities, Dominion starts to work on mainline circuits that feed power to large blocks of people.

Smaller sections of people or individual customers will get serviced as soon as possible, and Dominion will have crews working around the clock for the restoration project.

Suffolk has the fewest outages in the area, contrasted with Virginia Beach, where more than 20,000 customers were without power Friday afternoon.

When storm damage began, more than a half-million Dominion customers were without power, according to a Dominion press release.

“As we begin this multi-day restoration effort, we appreciate the patience of our customers and urge them to stay safe and mindful of electric wires that may be hidden by downed trees or flooded streets,” said Ed Baine, senior vice president of electric distribution. “We are dedicated to restoring power as safely and quickly as possible and will work around the clock until all of our customers are restored.”

Wind and rain ravaged Suffolk, but according to city spokeswoman Diana Klink, there have been no reports of damage resulting from the tropical storm. The main issue was power outages.

Creekside Elementary School was closed Friday due to power outages, but the rest of Suffolk Public Schools resumed after a two-hour delay.

Tropical Storm Michael caused five fatalities in Virginia, four of which were due to drowning and one was a storm-related traffic accident. The deaths occurred in Charlotte County, Pittsylvania County, Hanover County and the Danville area.

The storm slammed into Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a strong Category 4 storm, causing widespread devastation and many deaths.