Dominion Virginia Power braces for big snowfall

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WJLA) - Virginia's largest utility is girding for a heavy, wet snow that has the potential to bring down trees, limbs and power lines.

Dominion Virginia Power is bringing in utility crews from Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio to supplement its own crews as it prepared Wednesday to respond to what is expected to be the biggest winter storm this season. It's also shifting resources to regions expected to be hit hard, such as central Virginia.

With snow from the last storm still hanging around, people in Loudoun County are ready for whatever the next one might deliver:

“I love snow days and if it snows enough I won't have to go to work tomorrow," says Brenda Duce, who just got done stocking up and is now taking her second strip to the store today.

"[Gonna] hunker down and eat all the food I bought all day," she says.

In downtown Leesburg the streets are full of action, but residents like Kawika Infiel know it’s going to get very quiet very soon.

"Got some business over here and then [I'll] go home and stay home the next two days," he says.

Approximately 12 inches is just what VDOT is planning for, and approximately 4,000 trucks are being checked then filled with sand in preparation for the mass mobilization to come.

According to VDOT, pretty much every truck in Northern Virginia will be on the road starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the gas lines at the Fairfax Costco are a mad frenzy. But for good reason, according to local Nana Chettiar, who says acting now stops the worrying later:

"I don't plan on going anywhere, but in case I have to give somebody a ride somewhere, it's better to have a full tank than no gas at all."

Dominion spokesman David Botkins says the utility uses its own in-house meteorologists, and they're predicting snowfall for most of Dominion's service area. He said preparations began Monday.

More than 1,500 field crews are at the ready to respond to down lines and power outages.

Botkins said a winter storm on Feb. 5, 2010, left 341,000 customers without power.