Dominion Virginia Power said Tuesday afternoon that it had restored power to more than 220,000 of the 320,000 customers affected by Hurricane Sandy as storm conditions lingered in some parts of Virginia.
While Virginia fared better than expected during Monday night’s storm, the Richmond-based power company said crews are conducting damage assessments and restoring power to critical services. “Dominion employees, retirees, contractors and crews from other companies are fully engaged in this effort, and work will continue around the clock until power is restored to every customer affected by this storm” said Rodney Blevins, vice president of electric distribution operations. The company expects all power to be restored by Thursday night.
The powerful system consisting of Hurricane Sandy and a severe winter storm brought hurricane-strength winds and heavy rain to the eastern U.S. and much of Virginia. Heavy snowfall also affected western sections of the state. Snow continued to fall in that region Tuesday, where Appalachian Power Co. said nearly 30,000 homes and businesses had lost electricity.
At a press briefing Tuesday, Gov. Bob McDonnell said Virginia escaped the storm with little damage, but warned that the state remains at risk due to heavy snow in the western mountains, roads that could freeze overnight and flooding rivers.
President Obama approved major disaster declarations for New Jersey and New York, and also signed an emergency declaration for Virginia. This will allow federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the hurricane.
In other storm-related news, McDonnell announced that Virginia will provide a penalty waiver to individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. The waiver applies to late returns filed or payments made by affected taxpayers between Oct. 29 and Nov. 9.
To qualify, taxpayers must be unable to meet filing obligations because the financial books and records needed to file taxes were unavailable because of hurricane damage or power outage.
The penalty waiver applies to individual and fiduciary income tax returns, withholding returns, forest products tax returns and returns on agricultural products, such as corn, cotton and soybeans.
The penalty waiver also applies to filers who use electronic funds transfer (EFT) for payment.
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