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U.Va. resumes normal operations Wednesday amidst local power outage

About 20,000 Charlottesville and Albemarle residents remain without power since winter storms Monday afternoon

<p>The winter storm Monday dropped over five inches of wet snow and rain onto Charlottesville and the surrounding counties, leaving thousands without power for over 24 hours.&nbsp;</p>

The winter storm Monday dropped over five inches of wet snow and rain onto Charlottesville and the surrounding counties, leaving thousands without power for over 24 hours. 

The University resumed normal operations beginning Wednesday, per a University-wide email sent Tuesday by Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis.

Despite a restoration of normal academic operations, Davis warned University faculty and staff to use caution when commuting to Grounds due to the uncertainty of weather conditions in surrounding areas.

Beginning Monday morning and continuing throughout the day, a winter storm dropped over five inches of snow onto Charlottesville and the surrounding region, according to the National Weather Service radar

The regional Emergency Communications Center covering both Charlottesville and Albemarle answered 650 calls between 7 a.m. and noon Monday reporting power outages, vehicular crashes and fallen trees, according to NBC29.

“Please allow extra time for travel and use appropriate caution,” Davis wrote in Thursday’s email. “Facilities Management teams have worked hard to clear streets, parking lots and sidewalks across Grounds, but conditions may vary in surrounding areas.”

On Monday and Tuesday, only Academic Division staff members designated as essential workers were required to report to Grounds, while all other non-designated faculty and staff were instructed to work virtually. In University-wide emails sent both Monday and Tuesday, Davis asked supervisors to allow staff greater flexibility given the challenges of working from home unexpectedly.

“Supervisors and faculty in the academic division are asked to provide flexibility for staff members experiencing power or internet outages, or who have other responsibilities at home (such as childcare or eldercare), while continuing to meet the business needs of the University,” Davis wrote.

J-Term classes were held virtually Monday and Tuesday but resumed in-person instruction Wednesday.

Del. Sally Hudson, who represents the 57th House of Delegates district and is a professor in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, tweeted Tuesday that “there are roughly 20,000 without power in Albemarle and 4,000 in Charlottesville.” Hudson wrote that Dominion Energy crews spent Tuesday repairing mainline circuits along the power grid but planned to handle work in Charlottesville and Albemarle beginning Wednesday. 

Dominion Energy survey crews aim to post estimated times of restoration for all locations within the Charlottesville-Albemarle area available on the Dominion Energy website by Wednesday morning. Residents can find updated estimates by downloading the Dominion Energy application or calling 866-366-4357.

Hudson suggested individuals without power who still do not have an updated estimate for restoration should plan to receive one Wednesday and assume Dominion Energy crews will restore power late Wednesday or Thursday morning for remote areas.

“Note that crews will keep working [through] the night, so if you don’t see an ETR there’s a chance you’ll be one of the spots repaired in the wee hours of the night,” Hudson wrote. “If you’re erring on the cautious side, that means prepping to wait ‘til tomorrow.”

For employees without hot water during the outages, the University opened shower facilities at North Grounds Recreation Center. An email from Davis instructed employees to bring their University identification card — along with their own towels and toiletries — to access the showers between 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. beginning Wednesday. 

To allow prospective students impacted by the winter storm to submit their application on time, the Office of Admissions extended its Jan. 3 deadline for regular decisions applications to Jan. 5.

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