Ice Storm

By: Amy Gleason
By: Amy Gleason

"There were these two bangs, explosions really that woke us up and the transformer was sparking and the lines were sparking," said Mike Riddel a Staunton resident.

Mike Riddell's rude awakening was lines on the ground and fallen trees.

"There has been some spectacular fire works like July the Fourth fireworks as the lines have arced," added Riddell.

The Staunton Fire Department had to be brought in to keep traffic away from the lines. They've been working since it all began.

"We've been running non stop since 7-30 this morning with power lines down, trees into structures, and not that many accidents," said Aldo Grandi, Staunton Fire Department.

The fire department isn't the only crew working overtime. Dominion Power has reported up to 18-thousand homes without power at some point during the storm. And keeping the lights on isn't easy.

"We maybe able to get someone's lights on very quickly, but as soon as those lights go back on, we have another location where a tree has fallen into a power line," Le Ha Anderson of Dominion Virginia Power.

For Riddell, he'll keep his doors closed tight and keep an eye on his elderly neighbor...and try to keep warm.

"This is my first experience with a really good ice storm and I'm not looking forward to anymore," said Riddell.

If you have a power outage, don't assume someone else has reported it. Call Dominion Virginia Power at 1-888-667-3000. Extended Web Coverage

Power Outage Safety Tips

  • Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from furniture, draperies, and other flammable materials. Remember to keep children away from open flames.
  • Don’t open freezers and refrigerators any more than absolutely necessary. Refrigerated food should be safe for about four hours, but milk, dairy products, eggs, meats and all cooked foods spoil quickly. A full, freestanding freezer will stay at freezing temperatures about two days without power; a half-full freezer can remain at freezing temperatures for a full day.
  • Listen to local radio stations for status reports from CILCO about affected areas and restoration activities.
  • Please consider turning off your heating and air conditioning systems and consider unplugging sensitive electronic appliances such as TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens, and home computers. Be sure to wait five to ten minutes before turning on appliances and heating systems when power is restored.
  • Don’t leave electric ranges or space heaters on during a power outage. This may prevent possible damage from a fire to your home in case you are away when the power is restored.
  • If a generator is connected to a household breaker panel or fuse box, you must turn off or disconnect the main breaker to your house. Electricity produced by a generator can feed back onto Entergy’s power lines, which can cause severe injury or death to CILCO line technicians or anyone who might touch a downed power line. If is important to remember that the danger still exists even if you do not see any downed power lines in your yard or neighborhood.

After Power Outage
  • Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food items and firewood in preparation for future storms.
  • You can safely refreeze food if it still contains ice crystals, has not exceeded 40 degrees for two hours or more, or if it has been held at 40 degrees no more than two days.
  • Don’t taste food with odd odor or color. Also, if it isn’t safe for you, it’s not safe for your pet.

Source: contributed to this report.

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