When will lights be back on? More than 2,000 homes remain dark

Published 7:47 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

We need more time (and less wind) to fix power outages. That was the message Wednesday morning from multiple power companies, as more than 2,000 people in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties remain in the dark. 

Work crews from Dominion, Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) are still going at it this morning, trying to repair damage left behind from last night’s multiple storms. 

“Overnight crews have worked to successfully restore 94 outages and 3,600 service locations,” SEC officials said in a statement. “Approximately 20 crews, in addition to contract crews, will continue to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore the remaining 45 outages caused by broken poles, cross arms, and downed lines.”

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Those 45 outages, covering Farmville, Prince Edward, Cumberland, Charlotte and Lunenburg counties, add up to several hundred homes. SEC officials estimate from their side, it will take until 5 p.m. today to finish getting the lights back on for all homes. That’s assuming “strong winds refrain from creating new outages,” they added.

Dominion, meanwhile, has the largest number still in the dark. In Buckingham County alone, there are 1,582 residences without power. They’re also dealing with damage in Worsham, Farmville and Hampden Sydney. There’s no timeframe yet for a fix.

On the CVEC side, officials say they expect to have everything cleared up by noon. The main issue for them has been the landscape.

“Flooded and overly saturated terrain have been challenging to safely navigate, and stronger wind speeds hinder our ability to use buckets to access higher pole elevations,” CVEC officials said in a statement. “These factors contribute to a longer restoration time. All available crews will work until the lights are back on for each impacted member with our goal to have overnight outages restored by noon.”

Call in power outages 

One thing officials have asked is for people to report outages as fast as possible. For SEC customers, you have two options, either report by texting #out to 866-878-5514 or call that same number to use the automated service. For CVEC customers, you can call 800-367-2832, use the MyCVEC app on your cell phone or report it through mycvec.com

Meanwhile, the majority of the area remains under a flash flood warning this morning. VDOT and Virginia State Police are both asking drivers to use common sense, as they haven’t been able to clear every secondary road. Some are still flooded. Both groups also urge people to steer clear of downed power lines. Please do not try to move them, even if they’re blocking the road, officials say. 

And the weather hasn’t left yet. According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts are expected to stick around through this afternoon, with speeds reaching up to 36 mph. That’s raised concerns of more power outages to come. But officials from all three companies said they’ll just take each outage and deal with it as it comes.