13,515 out: Power outages skyrocketing (5:29am update)

news-electric-power-down5:23am Saturday update: As snow- and ice-coated tree limbs crash down on overhead electric wires, 13,515 customers in the Central Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley find themselves withou electricity from Dominion Virginia Power, the area's largest utility company.

7:26pm Friday update: At least 250 (and perhaps as many as 250) households and/or businesses are already without electricity this morning, according to an outage map provided by Dominion Virginia Power. And Snowmageddon has not yet begun to rage.

2:36pm update: When this story was first posted at 11:05am, the map was showing no more than 50 outages, but now it's over 250. Uh, oh.

7:24pm update: Dominion Virginia Power spokesperson Dan Genest just told a radio audience that 5,700 Central Virginia customers are now without power and that the rest of us should be prepared for a potential multi-day outage.

--original headline: At least 50 out: Charlottesville power outages have begun

23 comments

I see the City and County have updated their web-sites, with emergency information relevant to today's conditions. They claim this was done at 12:45pm, but I checked both web-sites at 3:15pm and believe me, there was nothing there.

I believe that I saw on the news that the UVA Aquatic Center has been set up as an emergency shelter. However, I have no idea if it's open right now, or how on earth anyone would get there.

I receive the regular City emails and updates and am a bit surprised that there's no info being sent out on this. Would be good to know BEFORE the power goes out, eh?

It's pointless and heartless to tell people when they're stuck and unprepared to "get a grip" and "make preparations." There could be some people who, unaccustomed to such weather, could be in some serious difficulty and your advice Harry and Tim, is worthless and heartless. You should get a grip.

I'm out of the state of Virginia. It is 12:18 A.M. here on Saturday, 2-6-10. How many inches has it officially snowed back in Charlottesville? Thank you!

Im with Harry. Its 2010. Make some damn preparations why don't ya

You're right- don't get a grip on it......but please do deal with it!

This was not a surprise storm- and I do believe that the MHS shelter was announced Thursday morning.

Need help, no power --it would be difficult to find out where to go. I've checked both the City and County web-sites and there are no updates since yesterday and no information about emergency shelters. With people out of power it would seem, that as part of the declared state of emergency, the localities would be prominently advertising these emergency centers on their web-page. Or do people just have to follow Waldo's advice :
" If you do wind up stranded in your car, or in a house getting dangerously cold without heat, then knock on a stranger’s door and ask for help rather than freeze to death. "

http://www.cvillenews.com/2010/02/04/snowmageddon/

from the City and County web-pages:

this is the only update --how much do we pay this city and county spokespeople?

Thursday, February 4th

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA ââ?¬â?? In anticipation of a heavy winter event Friday and into the weekend, authorities from Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville have declared a local state of emergency to ensure community readiness for the storm. Albemarle County Administrator Bob Tucker and Charlottesville City Manager Gary O’Connell announced the move this morning

Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm shocked by the lack of current information at this, and the ablemarle.org website, given the severity of this storm; I mean this is historic !

http://www.charlottesville.org/

Get a grip on what, Harry? I'm here with two toddlers and an 86 year old. If the power goes out and there is two and a half feet of snow, and the county makes no particular effort to deal with any of it, that's going to be a problem for some people a lot more than for us here. Background to this is that there's a reason why the power goes out here so much: deregulation. In the past, utilities were required to spend a certain % of their budgets on pre-emptive equipment upgrades and maintenance. Now they have no such requirement, and the result is that they only replace things when they break which is most often when the equipment is stressed.

Here is the snow emergency number if you need help getting to a shelter: (434) 970-3337

Get a grip!

please.
someone get a grip on harry.

js

the stony point area in albemarle county have no electric

OK you're right. If they were not prepared for this one, will they be prepared for the next one? Unaccostumed? Let's think about this- Dec 19th and again a few weeks later and all with plenty of "warning" for the unaccustomed. The news media was all over all of this, to the point of many people saying "it's just snow- deal with it!"

OK- here's a clue.

WWW.NOAA.GOV, I repeat WWW.NOAA.GOV

Tuesday: A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 37. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Tuesday Night: Rain and snow likely, becoming all snow after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 25. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Wednesday: A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Add'l information is updated on the NOAA website regularly.

I have friends in Earylsville who have been cold and in the dark since early afternoon Friday. Any idea what's going on out there?

Heard Dan Genest, from Va. Dominion, say yesterday that people should be ready for multi-day power outages. Today Lee Catlin said folks should have supplies for 72 hours, she did say power was being restored faster than in past storms, but that was this afternoon and perhaps the situation has worsened.

I am wondering if the power and/or phone service is out in the Lake Monticello area. I haven't been able to reach my parents since yesterday. If it's out, any idea how long it will be until it's restored? Thanks!

Lake Monticello will take days to restore power. The power lines got tangled with trees. I have a friend who lives there who is already at the local shelter.

Oh! Thanks for letting me know.

Oh Tim, Hello, oh Tim.......Check www.noaa.gov for the next round mid week............

don't say you were not informed or are not accustomed to, this type of weather- regardless of where you are from

Very interesting, Harry. I went to the link to see what is forecast for Albemarle County two days from now (Tuesday) and this is what they are reporting:

"There are no active watches, warnings or advisories"

does anyone know where the local snow/weather shelters are set up in the Palmyra area?