What to Do to Report Power Outages or Downed Trees

Posted at 7:30 a.m.

ice covered treeAn increasing number of power outages are occurring this morning as a result of the freezing rain and icing overnight. In addition, there are multiple reports of downed trees. In all cases, you should stay away from downed wires near downed trees. Electricity can travel through tree limbs. Never remove tree limbs or other items that are touching or near a downed wire.

If a Tree Hits Your Home

  1. Get everyone safely out of your house. Go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
  2. Use your cellphone or go to a neighbor and call 9-1-1.
  3. Stay away from the home until public safety employees can access the home for structural stability and ensure utilities are controlled.
  4. Only after all of these safety measures have taken place should you call your insurance company.

For downed trees near roads or not into a home:

  • Adjacent to Public Roads: Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.
  • On County Parkland: Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988.
  • Posing Hazard to Public Areas: Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.
  • On Private Property: Removal is the property owner’s responsibility.

Power Outages

If your power goes out report your outage; never assume a neighbor has reported it.

  • Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), TTY 711; view outage map.
  • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC): 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500, TTY 711; view outage reports.

In addition, follow these safety tips:

  • Use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
  • Unplug electrical equipment until a steady power supply returns.
  • Practice proper generator and surface heater safety.
  • Leave one light turned on so you know when power is restored.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion. If you come upon a non-working traffic signal, treat each traffic light as a four-way stop, with the driver on the right having the right-of-way. Proceed with caution only when traffic permits and enter intersections only when it is safe to do so, using your turn signals to let other motorists know your intentions.
  • If traffic lights are on flash, treat a flashing red as a stop (treat it like a stop sign). For flashing yellow, proceed with caution.

You also can find information from the Virginia Department of Transportation and Fairfax County detailing various road issues on our new emergency road maps Web page.

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