UPDATE 7:42 a.m. June 3: About 85,000 Dominion customers in Northern Virginia were still without power, along with about 2,000 NOVEC customers. While the majority of Dominion's outages are outside Loudoun, about 1,700 of NOVEC's outages are in the county.
With roughly 16,000 Loudoun residents still without power after a storm that kept Loudoun’s 911 emergency lines buzzing, the Dulles Town Center announced it will remain open again Monday night, July 2, for residents still experiencing outages.
Representatives from the power companies serving Loudoun as well as the county’s public safety delivered an update to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors Monday evening, saying some less populated areas may be without power until the weekend.
“This storm took down trees. There are whole areas that will have to be rebuilt,” said Dominion Virginia Power’s Tim Sargeant, who said winds rose to 90 mph in some of Dominion’s service areas.
Sargeant said the storm was the worst non-hurricane event in Dominion’s history and the third-worst overall in its history “which did extreme damage to our system.”
About 147,000 homes in Northern Virginia were still without power around 6 p.m. July 2, with 14,640 of those in Loudoun. Dominion serves about 103,000 customers in the county and more than 800,000 in the region.
About 1,900 of NOVEC’s customers remained without power at 6 p.m. July 2.
Loudoun’s Fire, Rescue and Emergency Service’s Chief Keith Brower told supervisors that 517 calls were made to 911 services between 9 p.m. June 29 and 7 a.m. June 30, compared a normal daily average of 250 calls, most between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. The department normally dispatches 75 calls a day, but dispatched 271 Friday night into Saturday morning, with 161 coming between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.
“We simply didn’t have resources to handle everyone immediately,” Brower said.
Sargeant and another Dominion representative said the company would continue working nonstop. Sargeant explained that priorities were given to 911 services, water treatment facilities, hospitals, long-term care facilities and cooling centers. Then the company would focus on the largest clusters of homes.
“We are working around the clock,” Sageant said.
Sandino said residents should continue to report outages as they occur, which may be the case as Dominion continues its work. The number to call is 866-DOM-HELP.
“We don’t have an automated system that know when the power’s out,” he said. “In a restoration like this you have pockets that are out and sometimes it requires that we actually turn some people’s power off to re-energize other people’s power. People get frustrated.”
High temperatures and the number of outages have made restoration challenging, Sandino said, but he also realized people are less concerned with challenges and more concerned with results.
“When the power is out, it’s a problem. It’s not an inconvenience,” he said. And we’re very committed to working until the last customer is back with their power restored.”
Sheriff Mike Chapman reported that nearly all of Loudoun’s traffic signals were operational as of Monday evening, with just four remaining off. The signals stopped working when their battery backups ran out of power between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. July 2, he said, with the first deputies directing traffic by 7 a.m.
As many as 40 deputies were directing traffic at one point, Chapman said. Monday morning, 12 Virginia State Police troopers helped out as well.
“I was really amazed with the performance of my executive staff and everybody’s willingness to come and help out,” Chapman said.
He told supervisors that lights on Route 7 were mostly up by Sunday night, with lights along Route 50 beginning to operate Monday. Signals in the Cascades around 2 p.m. were restored Monday as well.
One member of the LCSO command suggested upgrading traffic signals to allow generators, which could reduce staff time and keep lights running.
Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) said he realized while traveling to work to Bethesda that other areas got hit much worse than Loudoun.
“As bad as it is, it could be worse,” he said.
The Dulles Town Center remains open and welcomes pets in carriers. The Loudoun Animal Shelter also has a pet cooling shelter.