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Virginia braces for Sandy

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Virginians are braced for today’s impact from Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to bring flooding and wind damage throughout the state.

In anticipation of the storm, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Sunday that all state agencies would be closed on Monday. The federal government is closed as well, and school districts and businesses across the state followed suit in anticipation of the storm. Metrorail is closed, as is VRE train service. The Port of Virginia announced Sunday it is closed to all traffic today.

Sandy’s wide berth is expected to affect communities across Virginia. The Eastern Shore, some parts of which have been evacuated, is expected to see more than 10 inches of rain. Meteorologists expect Northern Virginia could see the brunt of the storm on Tuesday as the storm turns inward.

Sandy’s sustained high winds are expected to knock out power to as many as 1 million people. Dominion Virginia Power said its crews will begin to work to repair major outages as soon as it is safe for crews to proceed.

“When customers lose their electric service during a major storm, their primary question is when their electricity will be restored,” Rodney Blevins, vice president-Distribution Operations said, said in statement. “They expect our bucket trucks and line crews to be in the field as soon as the storm ends, or sooner, but strong winds may make working conditions too risky to proceed while the storm lingers.”

Customers who lose their power should call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) in the event of outages or downed lines. Customers may also report an outage through the company’s mobile website at http://www.dom.com

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Pepco said it has activated all of its field personnel, including those as far away as Alabama and Louisiana, to help with restoring power after Hurricane Sandy.

“Because of the magnitude of the storm, we will not be issuing estimated restoration times until the storm has passed and a preliminary damage assessment has been conducted,”  said Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco Region.  “At that time, a global estimated restoration time will be released indicating when we expect to have 90 percent of customers restored.”

The most effective way to report an outage or downed wire is to call Pepco’s Call Center at 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662).

To report downed trees or hazardous road conditions, residents can contact the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).


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