Dominion Resources Inc., which generates 28,200 megawatts of electricity and operates 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England, said Monday nearly all customers who suffered Hurricane Irene-related outages will have power restored by the end of the day Friday.
The company said 90 percent to 95 percent of affected customers will have power back by the end of business Friday. It also said 75 percent will be restored by the end of the workday on Wednesday. In Northern Virginia, where Irene had lesser impact, restoration will be completed Tuesday.
Nearly all customers in the remaining areas, which suffered the most extreme damage, will have their electric service restored by the end of the day Saturday.
Our goal is to restore power to our customers, particularly those that provide critical services, as quickly and as safely as we can, said Rodney Blevins, vice president of distribution operations for Dominion Virginia Power and Dominion North Carolina Power. As of noon today, we have restored power to about 600,000 of the 1.2 million customers affected by Irene-related power outages. We are working to help ensure that our customers have power for the Labor Day weekend.
More than 6,000 people are helping restore power, including more than 2,000 workers from utilities in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina. An additional 800 workers will arrive today and bring the total number of bucket trucks on the job to 1,100.
The damage caused by Irene was widespread. Trees and limbs brought down power lines and poles, and storm debris and flooding made it difficult to reach some work areas, Blevins said. The Irene restoration effort is the company's second largest in its history, behind only Hurricane Isabel from 2003, when 1.8 million customers were affected and restoration took two weeks.
Irene's greatest impact was along a swath from Roanoke Rapids to Richmond and over to the middle peninsula -- Gloucester and Northern Neck. The winds were more prolonged, if not as powerful at their peak, than those that affected Eastern Virginia, according to the National Weather Service, and the area is more heavily wooded.