Dominion Energy says winds from Hurricane Michael could cause big problems in Hampton Roads

NORFOLK, Va. - With the potential for tropical storm-force winds in the forecast, Dominion Energy is telling its customers to be prepared for the possibility of extended outages.

"I think the winds are what we are looking at the most and expecting to cause the most damage," said Bonita Harris, Dominion Energy's spokesperson. "Tropical storm-force winds can wreak havoc on our system."

Michael is forecast to impact Hampton Roads on Thursday and Friday. Extra crews are coming in to help keep the power on, but Dominion Energy is asking people to be patient.

"When there are a lot of wires down, we can't get to them all right away, so we depend on people letting us know where there are wires down and staying away from them, so they can stay safe," Harris said.

The storm's sudden intensity is a surprise to some who thought the area would be in the clear.

"We really weren't even thinking about any kind of hurricane at this point. We thought it was all over for the year and now here comes Michael," said Braston Burton, who lives in Norfolk. "We're like, 'Wow. We need to take this things seriously.'"

Harris says Dominion Energy is ready for the storm. "We always prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but as we like to stay around here, 'Hope is not a plan,'" she said. "We want  to make sure that we’re ready to respond to the worst that could come, just in case. Hopefully we'll be fortunate and it won’t happen."

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