Dominion says extra crews, year-round preparations key to restoring power to thousands of Midlands families following storm

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Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 8:15 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2022 at 8:33 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The winter storm that hit the Midlands on Sunday left many in the dark for large portions of the day.

According to Dominion Energy, at its peak Sunday morning 17,000 customers were without power in the company’s service territory. They say the majority of customers had their power restored by Sunday night.

“We will always prepare for the worst when a storm like this comes through especially with ice,” Dominion Energy spokesperson Matt Long said.

Early Monday morning, the company was working to restore power for the last remaining customers who had lost it during the storm. At that point, there were reporting only 60 outages, which Long says is normal.

In addition to the 2,000 Dominion employees who responded on Sunday, they deployed 400 out-of-state workers from Florida and Mississippi to help with outages and damage assessment.

Moving these crews to areas of need was key to their response, Long said.

“Over the course of Sunday when it became clear that most of the damage to our system was going to be in Fairfield and Richland counties, we even started rerouting some crews from areas where power was restored a lot more quickly because there was less damage to the Columbia area,” he said.

Dominion attributed their efficient response to an all-hands-deck approach, and year-round preparations.

“In this case the preparation paid off,” he said. “We do prepare year-round, whether it’s maintaining the line, making sure that vegetation doesn’t grow too close to the line because the number one cause of an outage for most storms is trees and limbs falling into power lines.”

With the potential for more winter weather later this week, Dominion says they’ll continue to monitor the system, and adjust their crews accordingly.

“They will be ready to go whatever the situation is later this week,” Long said.

While the majority of power has been restored in Dominion’ service territory, more than 1000 were without power on Monday in Kershaw, Newberry and Lancaster counties, where there was significant storm damage. According to Duke Energy, power is expected to be restored for those customers by 11:45 p.m. on Monday.

Dominion says to be mindful of downed power lines in the coming days. If see one on the road, do not try to drive across it.

“Always stay well clear of downed power lines,” Long said. “You do not know if it’s energized or not.”

To report a power outage or downed tree in your area, Dominion says the easiest way is to download their app to your smartphone.

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