Hannah King · July 6, 2012
In the wake of a devastating East-coast storm that knocked out electricity for more than three million households, Southern Virginia University housed workers from Dominion Virginia Power this week to help restore electricity for citizens of Buena Vista, Va.
“We had heard that there were a lot of people that needed to be in the area, so we offered to house workers who were coming from out of state,” said Lance Knight, director of physical plant services for National Management Resources Corporation at Southern Virginia University. “It was worth it to us to help the community. We were happy to do it.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the university housed more than 100 linemen, debris cleanup workers and others from states including Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana in Robey Hall and the Ann B. Stoddard Living Center. The workers helped in the effort to restore power to more than 3,000 households in the Shenandoah Valley and Western Piedmont area.
Throughout Virginia and North Carolina this week, Dominion has had more than 3,600 employees, contractors and retirees working to restore service—along with 1,800 utility workers from 16 states and Canada.
The university’s resources also have helped the community recover from the storm by providing needed air conditioning. University leaders—in conjunction with the city of Buena Vista—designated the Stoddard Center as a cooling center, where local residents who still are without power can get relief from the heat. The cooling center opened on Monday and has been available each day this week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cooling centers have opened up across the East coast to keep residents—especially children and the elderly, who are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses—healthy during the triple-digit heat wave that followed the violent storm on Friday night.