After the fierce Derecho winds that swept through our area, aren’t you glad that you live in Virginia and not Maryland or D.C.? Dominion Virginia Power’s response to the destruction from the storm was head and shoulders above that of utilities in surrounding jurisdictions.
Dominion rated the storm as catastrophic. Almost a million customers lost power that Friday night. The winds were hurricane strength but without the 7-10 day warning where resources can be placed for quick action after the hurricane. There were almost 40 power poles snapped by the winds.
Dominion power crews responded promptly and effectively restoring power as quickly as possible. They deployed almost 500 bucket trucks and 3,000 people out in the field to restore power. Once the main lines were restored there was a careful neighborhood by neighborhood effort.
One of our chamber members, Randy Bennett, owner of Bennett Plumbing & Heating told me that his cul-de-sac didn’t get power back until almost a week after the storm. The power came on Sunday morning and he was in his garage doing some work when the power crew came by. They stopped to make sure his power was working and everything was all right. The crews had been working long hours under difficult circumstances and they were professional and courteous.
Randy said he shook their hands and thanked them for their work. We would give Dominion Power a collective, congratulatory handshake and thank them for their service to our community in this time of need.
Speaking of power, Covanta Energy, who operates the waste-to-energy facility in Lorton, is also doing a tremendous job. They continue to take our garbage, which no one wants, and turn it into electricity, which everyone needs. Whoever thought of the idea was really smart. I put some extra newspaper in the garbage last week so Covanta had more fuel to generate a little more electricity we could all use in the extreme heat.
And as a parting thought, maybe it’s time to start seriously thinking about wireless transmission of electricity. The phone companies have figured out how to provide mobile phone services without transmission lines. The technology is fast becoming available to recharge electronics without cords. The next step may be wireless transmission of electricity to power our homes and businesses. Future storms may be far less destructive to electrical transmission systems.