NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Electrical fires caused scattered power outages throughout the Southside of Hampton Roads late Friday night and into Saturday, affecting thousands of customers.
A mix of salt from the bay and rain water landing on power poles is causing the problem, according to Dominion Virginia Power spokesperson Dan Genest.
“Salt lands on the poles, and the light rain we’ve had creates rivulets of water with a lot of salt. That causes electricity to track across our conductors, and it’s led to a number of cross-arm fires and pole fires,” Genest said.
Seven poles and cross-arms caught fire since Friday, according to Genest. Most recently, crews worked to repair a burned line on Chesapeake Boulevard. The outage initially affected nearly 1,500 people. About half had power back within an hour, but the remaining customers may have to wait until early afternoon, when the pole can be replaced.
Friday night, 2,600 people lost power because of a similar issue in Sewell’s Point, and on Saturday morning, a cross-arm fire caused another outage in Chuckatuck.
A 10 On Your Side viewer in Bower’s Hill sent this photo of crews working on a transformer on South Military Highway just before Indiana Avenue early Saturday morning.