The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
DOMINION MOPS UP REMAINING OUTAGES
BY LINDLEY ESTES
About 300 Dominion Power customers in the Fredericksburg area remained without electricity Thursday evening, nearly a week after the “derecho” thunderstorms barreled through the region, leaving more than 100,000 in the dark.
The three other electric companies that serve the area reported about 100 outages remaining.
Jen Latendresse is one of the 40 people in Fredericksburg who remained powerless Thursday.
Latendresse said being one of the last ones without power is frustrating.
“I have spent a lot of time at my mom’s house in Stafford in the pool,” she said. “I’m trying to stay away from my house, which is a pain. I’m visiting a lot of friends and family. They all have power. But I’m ready to go home.”
The apartment building she lives in at the corner of Grove and Franklin streets was damaged by a tree that fell through her neighbor’s roof. The tree has been removed from the residence but remains in pieces in the yard.
“I can’t go out of my front door,” she said.
Latendresse is packing up her apartment.
“I’m moving in a month,” she said. “It’s really hot. I didn’t realize how much you use it [electricity], so packing had to be put on hold.”
She said that Dominion has her scheduled to get power back today.
Other pockets of residences still without power were reported in College Heights, where 17 homes waited for the lights to come back on, and on all of Marshall Drive off Lafayette Boulevard in Spotsylvania.
In a press release about this topic, Gov. Bob McDonnell stated, “It is vital that Virginians continue to heed warnings about health concerns and tips for safely removing debris from storm-impacted areas to keep all citizens safe as this recovery continues. Virginians always rise to meet challenges created by Mother Nature, and that perseverance will continue in the wake of last week’s severe weather and this week’s ongoing heat wave.”
Dominion expects to have all customers back on by Saturday. And that’s when forecasters predict that temperatures will peak.
The National Weather Service says that today’s high could reach 99 degrees. The prediction for Saturday is a high of 102, followed by 97, with a chance of thunderstorms on Sunday.
Monday, if projections for a high of 87 are accurate, will be the first day below 90 since the heat wave started.
Stafford is still leading the area in outages with 448 homes without electricity. The county’s local state of emergency will remain in effect until everyone has power again, according to a press release.
Though Stafford’s cooling center closed Thursday, the county is still offering water by the gallon for residents without power. It is available at Fire and Rescue Station 12 on Sebring Drive off U.S. 17 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The limit is 3 gallons per family member.
Stafford is also asking that all water customers voluntarily discontinue outdoor water use. According to the press release, county reservoirs are full, but customer demand is straining the capacity to treat and distribute water.
Orange follows Stafford in outages with 297 and Culpeper had 78 outages.
The town of Culpeper’s light and power department is asking its customers to be frugal with use of electricity because of the high temperatures.
Town light and power director Mike Stover said customers should unplug all nonessential appliances when not in use and avoid using high-energy appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers during the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
King George had only 35 outages yesterday but sent out an alert from Animal Control. Because of the extreme heat, county officials asked that all residents keep animals inside, if possible. They also advised that animals outside should have water, and under no circumstances should animals be left in cars.
Spotsylvania had 20 without power to the area.
Dominion reported no outages in Caroline yesterday.
However, a powerful, isolated storm caused 3,200 outages early Thursday morning around Quantico, which was already damaged from last week’s storm. The storm hit around 3 a.m., uprooting trees and cutting off power to the Marine Corps base and customers in Dumfries and the Triangle.
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976