Powerless Escape Heat in Manassas
Manassas City businesses, homes become a place to cool down for many in the region without power.
The Starbucks at Manassas Junction Shopping Center was very busy over the weekend as people from areas closer to D.C. dealing with widespread power outages ventured out looking for something cool to drink.
Some waited in line for 10 minutes to get that drink.
"There was 50 people in line when I got here," said an employee who did not wish to be identified. "People were coming from other areas like Chantilly to get ice [from Giant] and something to drink."
In Old Town Manassas, business owners also reported an uptick in customers.
Matt Brower, owner of Simply Sweet on Main, said the shop never lost power. "I've seen a lot of people from areas like Fairfax and Annandale that are here staying with friends because they lost power."
Jim Veltsistas is the owner of City Tavern Grille, which also never lost power. "I've lived in the city for 30 years and have never lost power because of a storm," he said.
But residents along Winged Elm Circle off of Godwin Drive in neighboring Prince William County aren't so lucky. As of 5 p.m. Sunday, power had not been restored in the neighborhood where there's a relentless buzz of generators.
Ryan Manley is home from Kentucky visiting his dad and said he's been spending time in the basement or at friends' homes in the city where there's air conditioning.
Randy Harrill, who's lived off of Winged Elm Circle for eight years, said "this little section of Prince William County—we always get hit."
Dominion Power identified the area as one that work crews would be visiting, although no time frame was given.
Harrill said he lost power during last year's storms and doesn't understand why trees are not completely removed from areas where there are power lines. "They just trim the branches. Well, that doesn't help in a big storm like this," he said.
He said there's a law in Florida (where he's from) that requires trees within a certain distance from power lines be removed.
In the meantime, he said neighbors are sharing generators. "We try to keep moving them between houses to keep everyone's refrigerators going," Harrill said.
Harrill said his kids are visiting friends who have air conditioning, but he is staying put. "It's my house; my stuff," he said.
He said he's coping with the heat by sleeping in the basement on an air mattress and going to the air conditioned mall during the day until he gets power.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday, 8556 customers in Prince William County were still without power.
"Estimated restoration times for individual customers (ETRs) are not yet available. We will let you know when individual ETRs are available," Dominion tweeted. "We're working 24/7 to get everyone back on, bringing in crews from 13 states. Working as quickly and safely as we can."
More than 4,000 Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) customers had powered restored on Sunday, but 5,464 customers were still in need of power.
All outages in the City of Manassas were fully restored by 7 a.m. Saturday.