Contact: NOVEC Public Relations, 1-888-335-0500, firstname.lastname@example.org
MANASSAS, Va., July 18, 2019 -- Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative crews worked through the night and will continue to work around the clock to restore power to all Co-op customers affected by a powerful thunderstorm that tore through the Washington, D.C., region on Wednesday just after 4 p.m. More than 11,000 NOVEC customers lost power as strong winds blew trees and branches onto power lines and broke utility poles.
The storm knocked out power to more than 53,000 customers just in Northern Virginia and thousands more in Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
“NOVEC line techs, contractors, tree crews, and spotter teams went to work right after the storm hit,” says Dan Swingle, NOVEC vice president of system operations. “Additional contractors and crews from other co-ops are helping us today.”
Swingle estimates that most of NOVEC customers will have power restored on Thursday.
“We know all affected customers want air conditioning, especially during this week’s heat wave, but we ask for their patience,” Swingle requests. “Cutting trees off lines with chainsaws, replacing broken poles, and putting electric lines back up -- especially when wearing and carrying heavy gear in extremely hot temperatures -- is difficult and dangerous. Nevertheless, we’re working to have power back on today for most customers.”
NOVEC’s outage map at www.novec.com/stormcenter provides estimates for power restoration. Customers can also follow what is happening on social media, but should never report an outage there.
What to do if a Power Outage Occurs
- Report an outage by calling 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500, using NOVEC’s text-reporting system, or reporting the outage at www.novec.com. Have your account number ready.
- Warning: Stay away from downed power lines and poles and the area around them. Be aware that even metal storm debris hiding a live downed power line can shock or electrocute anyone who comes in contact with it. Notify NOVEC immediately about down lines at 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.
- Use flashlights, lanterns, or battery-powered candles instead of real candles. If you use real candles, keep them away from children and flammable household furnishings.
- Open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary. Put needed perishable food in coolers with ice or ice packs.
- Warning: Only use a portable generator, camp stove, or charcoal grill outdoors to prevent creating deadly carbon-monoxide fumes indoors. Hire a professional to install a whole-house generator because an incorrectly installed generator could back-feed electricity onto the grid and seriously harm line techs who are trying to restore service.
- After power is restored, please wait five to ten minutes before turning on major appliances, including the air conditioner.
Learn more about storm preparation and outages on NOVEC’s website.
NOVEC, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a not-for-profit corporation that provides electricity to more than 170,000 metered customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the City of Manassas Park, and the Town of Clifton. The utility is the largest electric co-op in Virginia and one of the largest electric cooperatives in the United States. For more information, visit www.novec.com or call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.