The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Thousands regain power in Virginia as Ian’s remnants sweep through region

Waves crash into a breakwater at Outlook Beach in Hampton, Va., on Friday. (Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot/AP)

The remnants of Hurricane Ian dumped heavy rains onto parts of the Washington region Saturday, leaving tens of thousands of people without power in Virginia.

Crews set out Saturday morning to assess damage, which included broken poles and power lines, and many homes in the southeastern part of the state had their power restored by the afternoon. Dominion Energy, which serves more than 2.5 million in Virginia, expects “nearly all” of its customers will have power by Sunday evening, said Dominion spokesman Jeremy Slayton, though some customers in Hampton and Virginia Beach may not get theirs back until Monday.

Coastal flood warnings were in effect Saturday for counties along the Virginia coast, with lesser advisories in effect in Norfolk and Virginia Beach and stretching up closer to Washington. In Alexandria, businesses along the flood-prone waterfront area braced for the potential impacts of heavy rains.

The staff at Mia’s Italian Kitchen, where similar conditions last October caused flooding, piled sandbags out front. But Kevin Songster, the restaurant’s managing partner, said the ultimately “misty” weather Saturday afternoon caused no problems.

“The water was probably six inches deep on the street across from us, but it didn’t make it over,” Songster said.

Southeastern Virginia was hit hardest, and, at one, point, about 30,000 Dominion customers there were without power. That number fell to about 9,900 as evening fell Saturday.

Dominion reported nearly 12,000 of its customers were without power Saturday afternoon, down from more than 35,000 people Saturday morning. Roughly 400 customers in the Richmond area and 57 customers in Northern Virginia were also without power — down from about a thousand across both regions early Saturday.

“Our crews are working as safely and quickly as possible to ensure that all of our customers have their power restored,” Slayton said.

Meanwhile, Appalachian Power reported that roughly 17,000 of its Virginia customers also had power outages as of late Saturday afternoon, and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reported more than 200 customers without power, according to outage maps.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm starting Friday, urging residents “to make a plan, have supplies on hand, and follow official sources for the latest forecast information and guidance.”

This story has been updated with new information on storm impacts.

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