To be ready, we monitor the weather forecast and plan our storm response accordingly. When conditions allow, we send field crews to areas most likely to be affected by the storm. We also staff local offices with additional restoration management and patrol teams who assess damage immediately after the weather clears and it is safe for them to work. For large-scale events, we often request assistance from other utility companies and out-of-state contractors.
Restoration work is performed around the clock, so long as conditions are safe to do so. Field crews work up to 16 hours a day following major events, mostly during daylight hours to maximize their efficiency. At night, a smaller number of workers are in the field, handling public safety issues and continuing restoration work. We also have workers analyzing damage reports, organizing the next day’s work and replenishing supplies.
Following a storm, Dominion field crews first assess the damage before work can begin. This is why you may have seen Dominion trucks pass through your neighborhood without stopping to work on power lines. The information they gather is used to identify areas that need repairs, plan repair work, and send out work crews.
Our crews may park while they are waiting for their next work assignments, additional line crews to arrive, and/or information necessary to safely complete repairs. Also, crews traveling in from other areas often assemble at staging areas and perform safety briefings before starting their assigned project. Crews often use computers in their trucks to send status updates or information about storm damage to analysts and field personnel.
Estimated times of restoration (ETRs) are based on information from the field as it becomes available – both from customers calling in to report outages and from our crews.
Using that information, we refine our restoration plan and estimate when service could be returned to individual customers.
After visiting the site, crews may find more damage than was originally thought to exist, or they find additional damage further down the line from the original problem. These additional repairs take time to fix, which creates adjustments for the ETRs.
We do not provide individual restoration times until we are sure of all of the repairs that need to be made. Careful assessment of damage and planning for repairs ensures more accurate times when we do provide them.
Storm damage can affect main power lines, individual circuits or both. It’s possible that your individual circuit may be damaged or you could be on a different main power line than your neighbor.
If your neighbor’s power is back on but yours is not, please report that your power is still out by calling 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) or logging into Manage Your Account and selecting "Outage Information."
While we make repairs in your area, your service may go on and off intermittently so our crews can safely make repairs. Our crews sometimes have to make temporary repairs to quickly restore power, and then service may be disrupted later to complete permanent repairs.
If you’ve reported your outage, you can check the status by calling 1 (866) DOM-HELP (866-366-
4357). Or, you may log into Manage Your Account and selecting "Outage Information."
We are concerned about the well-being of all customers, especially those most vulnerable to being without power. We have a notification program for the elderly and customers with special medical needs. If we know a customer has a certain medical condition, the account is noted and the customer is notified prior to an impending storm to prepare for possible extended outages. Certification by an attending physician is required to enroll in this program. To obtain an enrollment form, you may call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357)or download a printable copy of the form online at www.dom.com/pdf/medical.pdf.
Our primary focus after storms is restoring power quickly and safely. As the crews restore power, they will cut away trees that have fallen on lines or remove trees as necessary to fix the line or equipment. To move as quickly as possible to the next repair location, the crews will generally leave the debris in place.
For debris on roadways, call your local department of transportation for removal.
For debris on personal property or public rights-of-way, contact your local government/county for assistance.
When a storm event causes extensive damage in an area, we must contact individual customers to determine whether power has successfully been restored to the entire line. By verifying that your lights are on, you help us confirm that we have repaired all of the damage necessary to restore power to your neighborhood.