met with emergency managers to talk about the derecho and improvements they're
making for the next major storm. It was
part of a three day conference of emergency managers in Hot Springs.
says it's increasing the tree trimming budget by $10-million as part of a new
pilot program in southwest Virginia. BARC Electric says it's looking at cutting
trees back more than the 30 feet distance it cuts now.
APCo, BARC and
Dominion Power agree communication with customers and emergency managers needs
APCo says its working
on a new website where you can track your power outage, similar to tracking
package you're shipping from UPS.
"A customer can log
on and see a little bit better when their outage has been assessed, when there
maybe work and when they'll finally have power" said Scott Chambers with APCo. "We've been working on that very hard,
improving our communication."
with emergency management coordinators like Roanoke's Mike Guzo who shared his
concerns along with others across the state.
"The information that
was coming out was good but vague for public safety and emergency management"
said Guzo. "We resorted to working with some of their technicians on actually
just recording the outage map on a paper towel in the parking lot there at
their office we did that multiple times a day."
Guzo wants to see
more live, electronic updates from power companies and shared information.
communication needs improvement and is also talking about cutting trees back
further from lines, hoping to prevent damage the next time a storm rolls
"As far as calming
the public fears, it's mother nature and we have no control over mother nature.
We try to be prepared" said Jamie Lowry from BARC.
Recent storms since have
caused more outages, linked to the derecho.
"Mainly it's about
trees that were damaged during the wind event still breaking, they're dying. Also
some equipment that was damaged that we did not see. It may not have caused an
outage but there are some long lasting implications there" said Chambers.
All of the electric companies say they'll continue to look for ways to improve and make things better, working together with local government and agencies.