Dominion crews adjust to new COVID-19 procedures in preparation for Isaias

Crew members are wearing masks and washing hands and equipment more frequently

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) —As Hurricane Isaias moves closer to the South Carolina coast Monday night, thousands of people could be at risk of losing their power.

Even after adjusting procedures due to COVID-19 pandemic, Matt Long, a spokesperson for Dominion Energy said their crews are ready to safely tackle any outage.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, crew members will be wearing gloves and masks, wiping down equipment,  sanitizing hands more frequently, and socially distancing whenever possible. 

Even with a stronger emphasis on safety, Long said this should not result in longer outages.

“We have responded to storms so far during this pandemic, and so we have the procedures down and have made improvements where they are needed, and we are ready to go,” Long said.

Long said the procedures were in place when Dominion responded to outages related to a string of storms in April, as well as Tropical Storm Bertha in May.

Dominion says more than 70,000 customers reported outages during the storms back in April, and 263,0000 lost power during Hurricane Dorian. 

Long said customers should stock up on safety supplies before Isaias hits the coast, like they would for previous storms.

“If there is a power outage, especially if it’s extensive, make sure that you have flashlights, they have batteries in them, make sure you have everything you would need to last yourself 2-3 days if needed,” Long said.

If people plan on heading out in their cars during the storm, safety experts say to steer clear of any hazards on the roads, some of which play a role in power outages.

“Just be mindful that overnight, you may see some flooded roadways, you may see downed power lines, or you may see some trees that come down. If you encounter something like that, don’t drive across power lines, don’t drive over flooded roads,” said Trooper David Jones with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

When the storm comes ashore, Long said his team will be ready, albeit in a socially distant and safe way, to tackle outages throughout the state.

“When the storm hits, if there is significant damage, our crews are continuing to work. We will not stop until that last outage is restored,” Long said.

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