Power Could Remain Out Until Saturday, For Some

by ARLnow.com January 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm 2,706 30 Comments

It has been about 16 hours since the snow stopped falling, yet firefighters are still responding to non-stop calls of wires and trees down around the county. The workload speaks to just how widespread the damage from last night’s snow storm really was.

Dominion has been out in force, working furiously to restore service to the thousands of customers who lost power last night. As of 3:45 p.m., the number without power in Arlington has been cut to 6,700 — down from 16,700 last night.

Most Dominion customers in Arlington should have their power restored at some point tonight. Still, Dominion says 10 percent of affected customers will have to wait until Friday night for the lights to come back on. And the company doesn’t expect to have power restored to all Northern Virginia customers until Saturday.

“We have about 2,000 workers engaged in our restoration effort, including crews from Eastern and Central Virginia and North Carolina assisting in Northern Virginia,” Dominion executive Rodney Blevins said in a statement. “Please stay clear of downed lines and use extreme caution if you must be on the roads where snow, abandoned vehicles and downed trees could be affecting traffic patterns.”

More than 300 bucket trucks are working to restore power to the nearly 192,000 Northern Virginia customers who lost power last night, Dominion said.

  • Lou

    That is awful. I feel lucky mine was only out for about 5 hours.

  • ARLal

    About to go home to find out if I am one of the lucky ones whose has been turned back on.

  • Arl-Lady

    Our’s went out at 12:50pm last night and is still out. Last I heard, Dom Power is in the neighborhood. Sending good thoughts so that our neighborhood gets power back before dark as well as a quick return for other NoVA Residents.

    • ArlLady

      An hour later and we have power!!! Hope it stays!

  • Sal

    power is out again in arlington forest. Not sure dominion is keeping ground on this one.

  • Arlwhenever

    Crews were working our neigborhood all morning fixing multiple breaks, power back at 1:30 pm, with crews moving on to help others. And most importantly, nobody is rolling their eyes anymore at the oversized pile of firewood in my backyard.

  • Bury the Damn Power Lines

    Now that we are losing power three times a year on average, when are the powers that be gonna start burying all of the damn power lines. I know, it cost money, but “hey stupid” so does fixing the downed lines, so does replacing your spoiled food, so does having to clean up the water in your house after the frozen pipes burst, so does having to clean up the water in your house because your sum pump needs power to work, so does losing valuable work time when you can’t telework since your Internet does not work without power, so does having to take time off of work to watch your kid because their school has no power, so does having to replace tree that were improperly cut by Dominion crews to keep the branches away from the above ground lines, etc…

    I know there are naysayers that will say it can’t be done, but they are fools that have no faith in the American spirit. There are also naysayers that say it is not technically possible, but the R-B corridor has most of its utility lines buried, as does Fairlington.

    It can be done, it should be done. Bury the Damn Power Lines!

    Thank you.

    • mehoo

      Do you know just how much it would cost to bury the lines though? The average is about $7 million per mile.* Your electric bill will go up to pay for that. It’s probably alot cheaper to just do things the way we do now. And it means digging trenches in every single street in the county.

      Also, undergrounding doesn’t solve everything. It makes it harder to fix problems when they do occur or to do maintenance, and it makes lines more susceptible to other problems, like flooding.

      *http://www.eei.org/ourissues/electricitydistribution/Documents/UndergroundReport.pdf, page 24.

      • Bury the Damn Power Lines

        Yes, of course it costs money. So what? I mean, is anything free? I would pay more for buried lines, because over time, it would help improve the quality of life.

        Really people, it costs money to do that. Yes, of course, but when our power does not go out, when we can grow trees on every street, when Dominion does not have to call power companies from other states to help, when we can telecommute without worrying about losing power (and therefore our paychecks), when all that is factored in…is it worth it, even if it costs a bit more? You’re damn right it is.

        The same argument can be made for replacing bridges. It costs money to replace them so don’t do it (unless it falls down and kills people). While we are at it, don’t buy healthy fresh food cause it costs more, buy the less healthy cheaper food. It does not costs as much. The it costs money argument goes both ways and your argument does not factor in any opportunity costs, safety considerations or environmental factors. Money is money and nothing is free.

        Come on mehoo, just say you don’t want it. The money argument doesn’t fly. And please don’t flame me. I respect those that say they would rather have our power go out three times a year, lose the food in their refrigerator, have broken pipes, etc… as long as you recognize those ‘costs’ too. I am not trying to flame you (or Chris Zimmerman or southies or brown flip-floppers or towing guys or the CADH lady) just trying to make people realize that money is not the only cost associated with action or inaction.

        • mehoo

          Let’s just build a giant glass dome over Arlington so we won’t have to deal with snow in the first place! That will fix the problem! Only a few trillion dollars!

          Get real. Cost matters. Resources are limited. If there is a cheaper alternative that makes more sense, use it.

          “Come on mehoo, just say you don’t want it. The money argument doesn’t fly.”

          Why would I not want underground lines other than the cost?

          You’re welcome to argue that it’s worth the money. Don’t pretend like money isn’t an issue. I wonder if you own a McMansion you can’t afford.

          • Bury the Damn Power Lines

            No, I own a reasonably sized home which my spouse and I can afford. What the hell kind of statement is that?

            As mehoo says, hyperbole is the way we handle these debates. Nice.

            OK, ignore him. I am not arguing about a bubble, I am arguing what to do to avoid Dominion Power failing us. It cost money but so does all the repairs. mehoo likes power outages, but I don’t. It will take time, it will take money, it will be better.

            go ahead and say something ridiculous mehoo. I have addressed your money concern, you have yet to counter it logically and in a mature manner. Go ahead, we all await your next ‘sky is falling’ response.

          • mehoo

            You’re the one who thinks money is no object – I was just wondering about your house. Lot’s of people these days finding out that money isn’t unlimited.

            Yeah, it was totally ridiculous of me to simply state that undergrounding may not be worth the cost. How dare I?

          • Bury the Damn Power Lines

            You really are sensitive guy, are’nt you? You used an outrageous idea to attack my proposal, then questioned my income and ability to manage money. You really think that is mature? I never said money is no object. Those are your words. Nice.

            Again, you completely fail to counter that all the repairs, lost opportunity costs, and environmental damage, cost money too. You think this is an out of the blue idea. It is not. It is a response to the very expense imposed on Dominion Power, which is ultimately passed down to us to make the repairs. We also pay for food damage, home repair (if pipes burst or sump pumps fail), and the cost of cutting down the trees or not being able to plant trees due to overhead power lines. Also, a dark and cold house is not my idea of money well spent.

            You know, if the country, not just the county, upgraded the nations infrastructure, it would create a hell of a lot of jobs.

            I see zero evidence from you that undergrounding utility lines costs more, over time, than doing nothing. I have proposed a solution. You advocate to keep the problem. More power (outages) to you.

            Enjoy the cold and dark.

  • mehoo

    Oops, maybe I got the wrong number – looks like it is 700,000 per mile average, but with a wide variation. Virginia reported an average cost of 1 million per mile. (pages 26-27) Still alot.

    • Bury the Damn Power Lines

      $700k a mile. Ok, not cheap. So, how much does it cost to make all of the repairs from this storm? How about the thunderstorms over the summer that make us lose power?

      How much does it cost Dominion Power to hire tree trimmers to cut the trees?

      How much did it cost Arlingtonian’s in lost wages when their power cut their Internet connection and they could not telework and had to use their personal leave instead of working?

      What is the value of the productivity lost do to power outages?

      How much money was lost when people had to throw out their refrigerated items?

      How much did it cost homeowners that had pipes burst or sump pumps fail to repair the damage?

      How much environmental damage occurs when the pole top transformers explode and spill their toxic contents on to the ground?

      Doing nothing still costs us money and we remain powerless and in the cold.

      • mehoo

        All excellent questions, which was my point all along.

        • Bury the Damn Power Lines

          Actually, you never really made a point, other than –

          “Let’s just build a giant glass dome over Arlington so we won’t have to deal with snow in the first place! That will fix the problem! Only a few trillion dollars!”


          “I wonder if you own a McMansion you can’t afford.”


          “You’re the one who thinks money is no object”


          “You freaked out.”

          Silly me, you are totally correct, I forgot I am advocating building a bubble over Arlington, from my McMansion, as I burn money while freaking out. Thanks for pointing that out.

          Well played sir. Now go back to work.

  • mehoo

    “I see zero evidence from you that undergrounding utility lines costs more, over time, than doing nothing.”

    Me neither. I just suggested the possibility. You freaked out.

    You want to make a case for it, go ahead. Do the math. Don’t get all panty-bunched because I pointed out that it’s really expensive. You seem to think you are entitled to have whatever you want, damn the costs, so that’s why I asked about your personal finances.

    You do the math, and I’m happy to listen. I’m not going to listen to foot-stomping.

    • Bury the Damn Power Lines

      I don’t wear panties. Please grow up and debate like an adult.

    • Bury the Damn Power Lines

      I am entitled to my opinion. I never said damn the costs, I said the costs are already there. It is you that is choosing to ignore what I wrote.

      You cannot hear feet-stomping on a blog.

    • Bury the Damn Power Lines

      Proposing a possible solution to a problem is not freaking out.

      • mehoo

        Freaking out is freaking out though.

        All I said is that it might not be worth the costs. I don’t know if it would be, but neither do you, so don’t assume it is.

        • Bury the Damn Power Lines

          Why not? I do not want to lose my power. I do not want my trees cut. I do not want my pipes bursting. I do not want my sump pump failing. I don’t want to throw out all of my perishable food. I do not want to be able not to telecommute.

          Does that make me a bad person?

          • mehoo

            Sigh. You’re doing it again.

          • Bury the Damn Power Lines

            Wanting something is freaking out? You are a strange little man.

          • mehoo

            No, insisting that you should have your way without justifying it rationally is. It’s immature. Just like you stalking me. Seriously, grow up.

    • Bury the Damn Power Lines

      Why do you reply to every single blog post? Instead of assuming you are unemployed or just wasting your boss’s time, I just want to ask. You comment on just about every posts, numerous times. What is up with that? You seem either very young or very old, but I could be wrong. I just want to know if you own a home, rent, are married, have kids and such (since you know that info about me).

      • mehoo

        I love it when someone who is posting lots of posts complains about someone else who is posting lots of posts.

  • Bury the Damn Power Lines



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