Reporting Power Outages and Downed Trees

Posted at 4:20 p.m.

ice covered treeSporadic power outages have been reported in the county. Heavy snow could cause downed trees and power outages. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

If a Tree Hits Your Home

  1. Get everyone safely out of your house. Use your cellphone or go to a neighbor and call 9-1-1.
  2. Go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
  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:

  • 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.

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One response to “Reporting Power Outages and Downed Trees”

  1. Alexa J. says :

    Just one thing to keep in mind with power generators: not necessarily the best idea to run them inside a home or a garage! Some may release carbon monoxide fumes. Another useful tip would be draining your pipes so that the water in them doesn’t freeze and you don’t end up having to call the plumbers. I follow @TorontoHydro as well as @OntarioWarnings on twitter so that I know right away when power’s going down. It helps a lot to know in advance, one can charge their phones and laptops, look for the always-misplaced flasgliht and so on. I also found an interesting article on this December’s whims of the weather, which also includes some tips on how to survive long-term power outage. Pretty useful!

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