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    Snow causes power outages, more expected

    Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Crystal Owens An Aldie neighborhood continues to get pummeled by snow Wednesday. Forecasters have called for as much as 18 inches of snow, in a worst case scenario, to hit Loudoun County.
    As the “snowquester” continues to pound Loudoun County, a small amount of residents are currently without power.

    The two primary power providers in the area, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative and Dominion Power, are reporting modest power outage numbers compared to other surrounding counties.

    Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is reporting widespread power outages throughout Northern Virginia, although Loudoun County has only proved to be minimal on the unofficial outage numbers.

    Priscilla Knight, spokesperson for NOVEC, noted that as of 12:15 p.m. there are more than 2,700 power outages reported by NOVEC customers in Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford counties. Only 102 of those outages have been reported in Loudoun.

    “Loudoun County hasn’t been affected as much as the other counties and is only reporting 102 people affected at this time. Most of the outages can be attributed to trees hanging down over the power lines,” Knight said. “We fully expect to have all the outages fixed in a reasonable time frame.”

    One of the largest outages in Loudoun runs along the Route 15 corridor just north of Aldie and has affected 44 NOVEC customers. Other than that report, outages are widespread throughout the county.

    “We’ve got all crews out in the field working,” says Larry Shaffer, vice president for System Operations at NOVEC said. “They’ll work until all customers have power.”

    Dan Genest, spokesperson for Dominion Power, acknowledged that Loudoun has not been affected too much by the storm.

    “Right now we are showing Loudoun as having only 267 customers without power and they are scattered all throughout the county and are primarily a result of low hanging tree limbs and things of that nature,” Genest said. “We are expecting more outages as the storm continues this afternoon with the wind expected to pick up and the snowfall continuing to accumulate.”

    As the snow continues to fall, both companies are encouraging all customers to prepare for additional outages by charging cellphones, developing a plan for elderly or disabled family members, stock up on firewood for a wood-burning fireplace or stove and having an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, flashlights with fresh batteries, battery-operated radio, lanterns, canned fuel, matches and first aid.

    Should the power go out be sure to open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary. Open exterior doors only when necessary. Run portable generators, camp stoves or grills only outdoors to avoid carbon- monoxide poisoning. Alternatively, heat food in a chafing dish or fondue pot over canned fuel.

    If you are a NOVEC customer, call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 to report an outage. Outages can also be reported online at

    “Snowquester?”  Seriously??  Grow up.

    Being “essential personnel” is so lame :(
    Enjoy your day off folks, stay safe!

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