By Jerri Northedge, Outdoor lighting program manager, Dominion Virginia Power (File photo)
To the editor:
While we can certainly understand the frustration of streetlight outages, we would like to clarify some of Mr. Monson’s assertions in his January 5 letter to the editor (“Your View: Dominion has neglected its duty on Fort Williams Parkway”).
Dominion Virginia Power does care about its customers. We show that we care through our actions and responsiveness to our customers’ needs. In Mr. Monson’s case, we provided him and his wife a detailed update on the project on December 2, the same day we received a letter from him.
The fact is we actually had already begun repairs in November. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the problem, not all the lights could be repaired. As was pointed out in Mr. Monson’s letter, a third-party contractor dug into our underground cables that supply power to the streetlights. This resulted in about 20 lights being out. Damaged underground cables can be very difficult to locate.
Sometimes, the damage is in multiple locations and undetectable until it causes an outage. This can lead to extensive cable replacement, which typically takes 45 days or longer to complete. That was the case in this instance.
We worked with Alexandria officials to obtain the required permits. We have kept the city updated on the status of this project.
As of January 9, only four streetlights remain out. Our crews will continue to work until the job is done. We regret that some of our Fort Williams Parkway customers have been adversely impacted by this situation.
Yet it’s important to underscore that Dominion Virginia Power personnel have been responsive and proactive and have conducted themselves in a professional manner in addressing this outage.