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Dominion: Severe derecho damage hindered restoration efforts

Saturday - 8/25/2012, 7:44am  ET

WASHINGTON - After reviewing its response to June's destructive derecho, Dominion Virginia Power says widespread, severe damage slowed power restoration.

Northern Virgnia was the hardest-hit region in the Commonwealth, according to company executives. Tim Sargent, a manager for Dominion, says toppled trees slowed recovery.

"We had so many trees outside of our right of way that came down that it further complicated the chances we have to get restoration underway," he says.

At a town hall meeting this week, company executives said the storm knocked out power to about a million customers in Virginia.

The June storm also struck without warning, leaving Dominion without help lined up.

Sargent says there were 26,000 work repair sites throughout the state, with almost half of them in Northern Virginia. The company says the sheer number of repair sites slowed their work speed.

"The damage was such that we had utility poles sheared in half, cross arms broken, hundreds of transformers, protective devices, fuses, all destroyed," Sargent says. "All had to be replaced."

WTOP's Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)