Power outages, downed trees and difficult travel conditions are possible during the next couple of days.
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) is planning ahead and asking its customers to do the same.
A high wind warning has been issued for Maryland and Northern Virginia, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported later this morning.
Strong winds of 25 to 40 miles per hour and gusts between 60 and 70 miles an hour are expected from 12 a.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. on Saturday.
Power outages are expected, as damaging winds can blow down trees and power lines.
The NWS says travel may be difficult when the high wind warning is in effect, especially for “high profile vehicles.”
Property damage can occur when wind speeds are 40 miles an hour or gusts are 58 miles per hour.
“We may have widespread power outages if weather forecasters are correct and we get wind gusts as strong as 60 miles per hour,” Dan Swingle, Electric System Operations vice president, said in a release. “Winds that strong could blow trees and branches onto power lines and break utility poles. NOVEC crews are assembling equipment and supplies, and our utility trucks are getting ready to roll.”
Consumers can stay up-to-date on the latest news by following NOVEC on social media. However, those wishing to report outages should contact the Manassas-based electric company directly.
“We need customers’ addresses and account numbers for outage reporting. Customers should never post personal information on social media for security reasons,” Swingle said. “Instead, they should call or use our text-reporting system, or report the outage on our secure website. That’s the safest and quickest way to communicate with us and have service restored.”
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is also preparing to address any traveling issues commuters may face, according to a release.
“VDOT and contract crews will report for duty overnight to clear fallen trees, branches, and any other debris that may obstruct roads,” a release stated.
NOVEC suggests customers prepare for power outages by posting the electric cooperative’s numbers — (703) 335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 — in an easily accessible location.
Consumers should also ensure that NOVEC has their current contact information, which can be updated on the company’s website under “My Account.” Phone numbers can also be revised by calling NOVEC.
Those who will be affected by the high wind warning should also charge their cell phones, keep a charger in their car, and fill their car’s gas tank.
VDOT is asking drivers to check for road closures before they travel, move over for first responders and use their headlights.
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