Some in Virginia may be powerless until weekend - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Some in Virginia may be powerless until weekend

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Officials with Dominion Virginia Power have estimated that 80-85% of their customers will have electricity restored by Tuesday, and 90-95% will have power by Thursday, but some customers may not be reconnected to the grid until next weekend.

A powerful line of thunderstorms mowed through Virginia, Friday night, knocking out electricity to millions during a heat wave.

Gov. Bob McDonnell told reporters that seven people in the state were killed during the storm.

Ken Barker, a vice president with Dominion, said all long-distance transmission lines are now repaired, but the work on secondary circuits and in neighborhoods will be slower. "I refer to it as hand-to-hand combat," explained Barker. "We're going to be out in those areas pulling large trees off these smaller lines, picking up debris, hauling it off... getting new poles (and) wires built -- literally rebuilding part of the system in [some] areas."

South 6th Street in Arlington illustrates why progress in some areas will be slow. On the 4600 block, a lightning strike brought down a tree limb, which knocked over a huge tree. The larger tree crushed utility lines, and brought down two utility poles. The street was a tangle of electric, telephone, cable, and support wires.

An eight-man utility crew worked on the block for most of Sunday. And that was just one block. Hundreds of other locations need similar attention.

On the positive side of the ledger, Dominion Virginia's outside workforce swelled from 2,000 on Saturday to 3,000 on Sunday. Some linemen came from as far away as Quebec, Canada. Managers with the company say more workers are on the way.


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