Hurricane Sandy Information & Updates

Early morning, October 30, 2012 update

Before you head out this morning, consult Virginia Department of Transportation's Road Conditions website, VA511, at Many roads west of Crozet are snow and ice covered.   By yesterday evening, Wintergreen was already reporting six inches of snow.

Latest county news about this storm is posted at 
As of 5:00 AM October 30, 2012, it reports there are not any major roadways in the region that are currently blocked due to downed trees or power lines.
There are 5,471 homes without electricity in our area.

Numbers to Call for Information  from the state

2-1-1 Virginia is serving as the public inquiry number for Virginia residents.
5-1-1 is to be used for the latest in road conditions. Only call 9-1-1 in a true emergency.
#77 on a cell phone to report a traffic crash or traffic emergency
Residents should call their locality’s non-emergency number for updated storm-related and shelter information. 
Only call 9-1-1 in a true emergency.

Subject: Sandy update from Dominion, 10/29/12 17:50

There are two critical points to mention.
1.       First, please keep safety paramount in your mind.  Always assume that any downed wire and anything it is in contact with is energized.  Do not approach it.  Report downed power lines and power outages to Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).  Also exercise care in the use of portable generators.  Dominion’s web site has helpful tips on safe use of portable generators:  As part of our commitment to safety, Dominion crews will only be in the field restoring power while it is safe for them to do so.  At the height of the storm, safety concerns may limit our restoration activities.

2.       Second, I wanted to review the general process that we use in all large-scale restoration efforts.  In addition to focusing on public safety issues, we will initially target restoration of our transmission lines, the largest power lines that carry the power across our system to several substations.  This effort will restore the most possible customers in the shortest time and it is critical to allowing us to focus on restoring the rest of our system.

Generator safety precautions can help prevent poisoning

Richmond, Va. – As Virginians experience power outages related to Hurricane Sandy, many people will begin using gas-powered appliances and charcoal or gas grills for electricity and cooking. Carbon monoxide exposure from these sources can be deadly.
The Virginia Department of Health reminds people to take precautions when using alternate sources of power.  Carbon monoxide exposure is a silent killer and the number of carbon monoxide poisoning cases and fatalities typically increases following severe weather events.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas and is highly poisonous.  Depending on the level of exposure, carbon monoxide may cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Chest pains for those with heart disease
  • Shortness of breath upon exertion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Impaired vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • In severe cases, death

VDH recommends the following precautions to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Do not burn charcoal or gas grills inside a house, garage, vehicle, tent or fireplace.
  • Never use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. 
  • Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home.
  • Always locate the unit outdoors on a dry surface, away from doors, windows, vents and air-conditioning equipment that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • Follow the instructions that come with your generator.  Position the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, vents and air conditioning equipment that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

The CDC has prepared many card-sized carbon monoxide resources that can be printed and placed on generators and other emergency response sources of carbon monoxide. These resources are available at

For more information about how to protect yourself and your family before, during and after natural disasters, visit or the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s Web site at

Noon, October 29, 2012 update.

At 10:30 am, the Regional EOC participated in a conference call featuring updates from the National Weather Service and Virginia Department of Emergency Management:

  • Hurricane Sandy is still strengthening and is expected to continue strengthening and to make landfall late tonight or early morning in Delaware Bay.
  • Our area is located between the 1-3 inches of rain and 3-6 inches of rain gradients, at this point the National Weather Service is predicting 1-3 inches for Albemarle County and Charlottesville.
  • There is the potential for 3-5 inches of snow along ridge tops (including Rockingham County and Augusta County including Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg) this evening, so motorists who are driving to and from those areas should be alert to that possibility.
  • While there may be some flooding associated with the rainfall, the major anticipated impact to our area is the wind threat – predictions are for sustained winds of 30-55 mph with 60-70 mph wind gusts overnight toward dawn and into early Tuesday morning.
  • Along with the winds comes the potential for falling trees, flying debris and power outages.  Residents are encouraged to be aware of danger posed by falling branches and trees and to stay inside as much as possible during the high wind times mentioned above. 
  • Residents are also encouraged to secure items around the outside of their homes and property before early afternoon when the winds are expected to pick up.If we begin seeing downed trees and power lines, resident are reminded to stay away from downed lines and to call the power company to report outages. (1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357))

(From Ann Mallek).

As we head into this storm,  please pay close attention to safety for yourself and your family.

For all local issues related to this emergency, please contact our Local Emergency Managers,
Kirby Felts is our emergency services manager in Albemarle.  (434-971-1263)
This link will take you to a list of local emergency managers and contact information for each

The governor declared a state of emergency Friday, Oct. 26, to help quickly get supplies, equipment and staff to those who need it.

Crozet Town Hall meeting tonight is POSTPONED

Because of the uncertainity surrounding the potential impacts of Hurricane Sandy, the Monday, October 29 Crozet Town Hall meeting is postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.

What should residents be doing now?

The storm will have a strong wind impact.  The eastern third of Virginia could experience sustained tropical storm force winds (39-73 mph) for more than 48 hours.  Flooding in low-lying coastal areas is expected. Downed trees and extensive power outages are likely.   Residents in western and southwestern Virginia could experience high wind gusts and snowfall.  All areas will have colder temperatures.

Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for instructions and information. Make sure your family members, friends and neighbors are prepared for an extended weather event.  Jim Duncan at, NBC29 and other local stations will be using Twitter and Facebook to push information as it develops.

Have flashlights and extra batteries, a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries in case power goes out.  Have food that does not need refrigeration and one gallon of water per person per day.  Other important items are a first aid kit and medications, blankets and other supplies (
Traffic Information

  • Real-time road closures and traffic conditions are available by dialing 511 or visiting
  • Local weather conditions may cause bridges and tunnels to become unsafe.  Based on weather conditions, many bridges and tunnels may be physically closed to restrict their use.  If a facility is not barricaded, gated or otherwise closed to traffic, this does not mean the bridge or tunnel is safe for passage.  Motorists should consider their personal safety before using these facilities during severe weather.

Update Sunday, October 28, 5:00 PM,

From Dominion Virginia Power.

In our continuing effort to keep you informed, I wanted to share with you some additional information about Dominion’s planned response to Hurricane Sandy. Attached is a press release with further details.
As I have communicated to you previously, we expect significant impacts from this storm over a protracted period of time as the storm lingers over our service territory.  Safety of the public and our crews is our top priority. As always, we will work to restore service even during the storm, but the nature of this event may mean we will not be able to begin most of our response in the field until the storm itself has passed.
It is important for customers to remember that we do not know if their power is out unless they call us to report the outage. When an outage occurs, customers should call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report an outage. The same holds true when they see a public safety situation, such as a downed power line. Customers should stay a safe distance away and report the situation as soon as safely possible.
Once the restoration begins, we will follow the same general process we use in all large-scale restoration efforts.  In addition to focusing on public safety issues, we will initially target restoration of our transmission lines, the largest power lines that carry the power across our system to several substations.  This effort will restore the most possible customers in the shortest time and it is critical to allowing us to focus on restoring the rest of our system.  Once our transmission system is restored, we focus on our substations, which serve multiple circuits, whether whole communities or major parts of larger communities.  Once these two steps in restoring the critical building blocks of our system are completed, we can begin restoring critical facilities such as 911 centers, water treatment facilities, public safety facilities, and certain health care facilities.  Given the ongoing election, we will also be focusing at this stage on restoring sites for in-person, absentee voting.
After critical facilities, we then prioritize the main circuits, which bring power from substations to individual communities or industries.  Only after completing these four steps (transmission lines, substations, critical facilities, and main circuits) do we begin focusing on individual neighborhoods.  That said, many residential customers will find that their power is restored as a result of the work on transmission lines, substations, critical facilities, and main lines.  However, it is important that all of our customers prepare for the potential for prolonged loss of power.
For more information, here is a link to the answers to frequently asked questions about power restoration on our web site (
All of us at Dominion understand the frustration and inconvenience that power outages bring our customers.  We will be working around the clock until all of our customers are restored.  We urge you and all our customers to keep safety as your paramount concern during both the storm itself and the ensuring restoration.  For example, please treat all downed power lines and anything touching them as if they are energized.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or any member of our government affairs team.
F. Scott Reed

From: F Scott Reed (Services – 1)
Friday, October 26, 2012
Since writing earlier today, there have been slight modifications to our storm prediction, but the anticipated impact to our customers has not changed.  Simply put, this is a very dangerous storm and we anticipate Hurricane Sandy causing significant state-wide damage to our electric distribution system.   Accordingly, we are running radio ads and using other communication channels to urge our customers to prepare for the storm and to take steps to remain safe afterwards.  I would like to briefly summarize these steps for you and urge you to share this information with your constituents.
Before the storm, assemble critical emergency supplies such as water, flashlights, radios, extra batteries, medicine, cash, and other critical items in an emergency kit.  Have a plan for how you and your family will remain safe during the storm itself, which may well be protracted, how you will evacuate if necessary, and where you will go.  It is further a good idea to fuel your automobiles.
If power is interrupted, call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report the outage.  If you prefer, you may also report the outage through our web site (  Additionally, if your smart phone is registered as your primary phone number for your account, you may report an outage on that device (also  To assist you in updating your primary phone number in our records, we have established a dedicated line at 1-800-222-0401 that will allow you to register your preferred phone number.
After the storm, please keep safety as your top priority.
·         Treat all fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized and stay away from them.  Report the fallen wire to Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP.

·         Follow safe operating procedures for generators.  For example, never operate a generator inside your home or in any enclosed space (such as a garage).  Do not hook them directly into your electrical system; instead plug directly into the generator with properly-sized extension cords.

I need to emphasize that this may well be a very significant outage with a protracted time required to restore power.  With this in mind, we have already identified more than 2,000 additional personnel to assist our Dominion team in the restoration effort.  As always, our team will be working around the clock until power is restored to every customer.