Power crews get better view of Virginia's snowstorm damage with drones

By now, most have seen the damage a major storm left behind in northern Virginia this week. But workers with Dominion Energy are getting a bit of a different view using drones.

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"It’s quicker, it’s safer, and it gets you access to areas that you might not otherwise get to until further into the restoration effort," explained Kevin Curtis, Dominion’s vice president of electric transmission.

With heavy, wet snow knocking down trees and power lines and making some areas especially difficult to get to, crews are relying on drones to get their first look at what they’re dealing with.

Curtis talked to FOX 5 from Charlottesville where he – and a drone – surveyed damage Wednesday.

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"Some of the rights of ways we saw today, you wouldn’t have been able to walk down it and get access to the facilities until the tree crews got in and got the trees out of the way. You know, the drone can navigate over top of all of that," he said.

Altogether more than 400,000 Dominion customers were impacted by the storm.

"Everybody was staged up and ready to go," Curtis added. "There’s just no easy way out of a storm and damage like this other than brute force, and you just have to get in the trenches and move the trees and get access to facilities and put them back up."


A spokesperson said Dominion hopes to have power back for almost everyone Thursday. She said it could take until Friday for some.