Source: Dominion Viriginia Power
Dominion Virginia Power has been preparing for the arrival of the 2010 hurricane season, which begins June 1, by working closely with local, state and federal emergency response organizations. The company also is providing storm training for key responders, conducting emergency response drills, and strengthening its service restoration processes.
"Dominion Virginia Power employees throughout the company work around-the-clock to keep the lights on," said Rodney Blevins, vice president – Distribution Operations. "Equipment inspections and maintenance are important, as is our program of preventing trees and other objects from coming into contact with electric lines.
"When severe weather brings extreme conditions and causes outages, we strive to be ready to respond. Without a doubt, we have many opportunities to practice and refine our outage restoration program," Blevins said.
Within Dominion's 30,000-square-mile service area are more than 800,000 utility poles, 500,000 transformers and 62,000 miles of distribution and transmission lines. This area is affected by anywhere from 250 to 500 thunderstorms and more than 200,000 lightning strikes in a typical year. Moderate hurricanes that cause up to 200,000 power outages occur about every two years, while major hurricanes affecting 800,000 or more customers take place every four to six years.
"We encourage our customers to be prepared and keep themselves safe during significant weather events, just as our crews are ready to work safely in restoring power," Blevins said. "It's best for both our company and customers to understand the severe challenges summer thunderstorms and hurricanes can present."
In-house weather forecasters in Dominion's Weather Center in its Richmond office constantly monitors all approaching weather systems to enable the company to prepare for potential operational problems before inclement weather strikes.