VIRGINIA (WDVM) — One of the biggest snowstorms Virginia has seen in recent years left thousands of residents without power. Now, Dominion Energy is saying certain customers should be prepared for a “multi-day effort” to restore power in the hardest hit regions.
390,00 customers lost power after Monday’s snowstorm, and while crews have restored power to many, over 100,000 residents are still waiting.
“The biggest question that we’re hearing from our customers right now, as you would imagine, is, ‘When are my lights going to be back on?’ It’s going to take a little bit longer for us to give them a more precise answer,” said Rayhan Daudani, Dominion Energy spokesperson.
Daudani says the energy company is prioritizing circuits that serve the most people. That means customers in the most hard-hit and rural areas will be the ones who will have to wait the longest.
Residents like Stafford resident Sean Mathews are frustrated.
“We wound up letting our children sleep with us last night, just to keep them warm,” said Mathews. “I just really don’t understand how this has happened in this day and age. It just doesn’t make sense that it would go down this bad.”
Mathews says the company should have been “more prepared.” However, Dominion Energy says they have all hands on deck, now recruiting crews from states as far away as Florida to assist with the efforts.
“We were monitoring the storm and the forecast late last week. We had our crews on standby so that we could respond as quickly as possible,” said Daudani.
The power restoration efforts are being delayed by the road conditions, making it difficult for crews to reach rural neighborhoods.
“What complicated things further was a lot of the roads weren’t passable and weren’t safe to travel on. That made it hard for our crews to gain access to the locations they need to reach,” said Daudani.
Customers took to social media to express their frustrations, saying they can’t get through to Dominion representatives, as the energy company tackles an influx of calls.
“We would love to speak with them one by one, or respond to every tweet, but right now, our best opportunity is to get the word out through the news media and our social media channels,” said Daudani.
Dominion Energy says they have crews surveying the damage to provide customers with a better estimate as to when they can see their power return.
Customers can see power outage updates on Dominion Energy’s website.