Power Restored to Thousands After Substation Malfunction

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va.--- Dominion Virginia Power restored most of the power to nearly 32,000 customers in Augusta County and Waynesboro following a substation malfunction.

As of 8 p.m. only four households were still waiting for power. Dominion Virginia Power spokesman Dan Genest said the company had an equipment failure at the Dooms substation after 7 a.m.

Neighbor David Meek spent part of Saturday in the dark. Meek is a Dominion Virginia Power customer who lives near the Dooms substation.

"The lights went out and we just heard a loud explosion. It sounded like dynamite," said Meek.

Genest said nearly 32,000 were left out without power, including 13,000 customers from electric cooperatives. He said the substation lost connection points to the co-ops.

The outage left businesses in the dark, such as the Village Market in Crimora. Employees at this convenience store only accepted cash throughout the day.

In Waynesboro, a sign asking drivers to stop replaced a traffic light signal.

"It happens and you adjust to it," said Meek.

During the outage, Meek kept warm putting firewood in the wood stove.

Harrisonburg Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Morris said if you have wood stoves,oil and gas furnaces should have a carbon monoxide detector.

"Carbon monoxide is the largest hazard and that is an odorless gas that can easily kill you," said Morris.

He said you should never keep a generator inside your home.

"You don't want to have anything that produces a flame or has combustion inside the home," said Morris.

Something Meek takes into account.

"It wouldn't be running in the house. I know the dangers of that," said Meek.

Morris said when the power is restored, you should also check all your appliances or electric stoves and make sure they are off. He said objects near appliances can catch on fire.

If you do not have heat, Morris also recommends to wear layers, gloves and a hat.

There were no warm shelters open in Augusta County or Waynesboro.

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