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Dominion: Outage may continue through Thursday

By Stephen Faleski

Nearly 1,000 still without power in Isle of Wight

Some Dominion Energy customers who lost power as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias may see their electricity restored as early as this evening. Others may be out until Thursday or Friday.

As of 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 2,637 Dominion customers in Isle of Wight County, another 1,506 in Southampton County and 110 in Surry County were without power. Twenty-four hours later, nearly 1,000 Isle of Wight customers, another 1,100 in Southampton and over 100 in Surry remained in the dark. In Suffolk, 3,905 of the 10,129 customers reported to be without power as of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday still haven’t had their power restored.

According to Dominion’s outage map, nearly half of the Isle of Wight customers who remain without power — 609 households — are in the Walters area just south of the town of Windsor. Crews are currently working and anticipate power being restored sometime between 6 and 11 p.m. this evening.

The same estimate is given for repairs in downtown Smithfield, and for the 582 customers without power in the Courtland area of Southampton County, where an EF-2 tornado is confirmed to have touched down.

In the Eagle Harbor area of Carrollton, however, where just under 100 households are still out, Dominion crews are still assessing the damage and have yet to given an estimated repair time.

“The vast majority of impacted customers should have power by end-of-day Thursday, with those impacted by more severe damage restored by end-of-day Friday,” said Jeremy Slayton, a Dominion spokesman.

Community Electric Cooperative, which also serves the Western Tidewater region, reports no known outages in Isle of Wight County and 484 customers without power in Southampton County, primarily clustered in the Courtland and Sedley areas. Community Electric is estimating restoration by 10 p.m. tonight for its Courtland customers, but no time has been given yet for the Sedley outage.

The city of Franklin, on the other hand, which operates its own municipal electric company — Franklin Power & Light — made out fairly well in terms of storm damage compared to its neighboring localities.

“We had everybody up by 5 p.m. yesterday,” said Zach Wright, FP&L’s interim spokesman.

In some cases, downed trees or other storm-related damage could be preventing power crews from approaching an area.

Prioritization also plays a role in determining repair times. The top priority is always critical infrastructure, meaning 911 emergency communication centers, hospitals and other first responder agencies, he said. Once those are restored, circuits with the most customers become the priority.

“Our crews will continue to work around the clock until we have restored service to all our customers who remain without power,” Slayton said. “We want to remind our customers, particularly those in the hardest hit areas, that this is a multi-day restoration event and they should plan accordingly.”

“The storm brought heavy rain, high winds, and at least seven tornadoes, causing catastrophic damage and outages for 508,000 customers across the company’s service territory,” Slayton added. “The hardest hit areas remain eastern North Carolina and pockets of Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck, and the Middle Peninsula in Virginia. In these areas, downed lines, broken power poles, tree and tornado damage and flooding have caused significant damage and obstructed roadways. Local and out-of-state crews continue to work in these areas to expedite restoration.”

Assisting Dominion with the repairs are personnel from the company’s South Carolina division, as well as crews from as far away as Oklahoma.

“We have more than 7,000 dedicated individuals working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible,” Slayton said.