Dominion Virginia Power is a day ahead of its original targets in restoring service for customers affected by last weekend's severe thunderstorms.

Service for virtually all customers in Northern Virginia and the Richmond metro area who lost electric service because of the storms should be restored by Friday night. In a few instances, work may continue into Saturday where there was extreme damage.

Restoration work in Southside Virginia and Gloucester should be completed by Wednesday night.

Significant progress also has been made in the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville areas, where damage was particularly severe and access is often difficult. Dominion is on track to complete restoration efforts in those areas by Sunday.

"We have more than 5,000 employees, retirees, contractors and utility crews from 18 states and Canada who will continue to work straight through the July 4th holiday and will not stop until we get the lights back on for everyone," said Rodney Blevins, vice president-Electric Distribution Operations. "In some cases, such as the lower Shenandoah Valley, the work will require cutting roads and using helicopters to gain access to damaged equipment. Catastrophic damage in Hanover and New Kent from Saturday's tornado and storms also is providing particular challenges."

Restoration work for other areas that suffered lesser damage from the storms is essentially complete, although some isolated outage repairs are being worked.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Dominion had restored power to nearly 90 percent of the 1 million customers who lost electric service because of the storms. The storms caused the largest non-hurricane outage event in the company's history. The company's initial targets were to have 80-85 percent of customers restored by tonight and 90-95 percent by Thursday night.

Estimated restoration times

General estimated restoration times (ETRs) have been established for the areas served by each of Dominion's 35 distribution offices. Customers may hear these updates by calling the customer service number at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). They should have the account or phone number that is listed on the account so they can move easily through the automated system.

Customer-specific ETRs will be available starting Thursday morning for those customers who have service restoration work scheduled that day. Individual ETRs will be established on Friday for all remaining customers without power.