Utility companies keep close watch over power outages

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - Tuesday’s sunny skies stood in stark contrast to the intense storm planning to take place inside the Herndon regional headquarters for Dominion Virginia.

The power company has a team closely watching the forecast, along with current outages and the locations of electrical crews. There is even an in-house meteorologist monitoring the smallest details – like the texture of precipitation that will fall.

Wet snow is different than a powdered snow, because wet snow -- while it's not as difficult as a quarter inch of ice -- lays on tree limbs and power lines just as ice does, so it could be particularly problematic," says Chuck Penn with Dominion Virginia.

One major challenge for Dominion and other utility companies with this storm is getting mutual aid. Companies on the east coast and in the south are usually our first responders – but they will all be tied up.

"We'll get them from wherever we need them at -- the Midwest, the Southwest -- during Hurricane Isabel we had utilities from twenty different state," says Penn.

Over at VDOT, the plans call for 4,000 trucks to start hitting the roads in Northern Virginia by early Wednesday night. The Department has mobilized almost 18 times this winter already for different snow events, so this storm will be nothing new.