Dominion Virginia Power has restored electric service to nearly half of the 200,000 customers, mostly in central Virginia, who were affected by the winter storm that brought heavy snow through the region Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Restoration in the areas most heavily impacted by the storm is expected to be a multi-day event because of the hazardous travel and work conditions. Dominion has assigned employees and contractors from around its system to repair the damage. They will be assisted by crews from other electric utilities.

"We are focused on getting the lights back on for our customers as safely and quickly as possible," said David A. Heacock, president of Dominion Virginia Power. "Safety is our first priority -- safety of our customers and safety of our crews.

The highest priority for restoration is always given to public safety and emergency situations. Transmission lines, substations and major distribution circuits that serve large numbers of customers also receive high priority. Customer outages are automatically compiled and worked on in an order designed to restore service in the fastest possible way to the largest number of customers.