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Utility Companies Deploying Crews in Preparation of Snowstorm

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(Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — Utility companies in Maryland, Virginia and the District are in full preparation mode for the approaching winter storm that is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in the D.C. metro area.

Virginia’s largest electric utility is sending crews to the western and northwestern parts of the state where a March storm is expected to deliver a foot or more of wet, heavy snow.

At Dominion Virginia Power’s operations center in Herndon, Danny Register said his crews are focusing on Loudoun and Fauquier counties, where they’re expecting the brunt of the storm to hit.

“Our concern is pretty high. I would say, from a scale of one to 10, I would paint that at about eight,” Register said.

Karl Neddenien, a spokesman for Dominion, says the utility is shifting crews from parts of the state that are likely to be spared the heaviest snowfall to areas that are expected to be hit hard.

Dominion had also alerted out-of-state utilities it might require assistance if the storm lived up to its billing.

“We expect it’s going to have a pretty profound impact on the western and northwestern part of the state, so we’ve already begun sending crews from areas least likely to be affected so that they can be in position before the storm arrives,” Neddenien said. “We’re going to do what it takes to get ready for the storm to keep the lights on and, when outages occur, to get them on as quick as we can.”

Check with CBSDC.com for updates on power outages in your area.

In Maryland, Pepco said it’s preparing for the worst of the predictions, so it requested more than 300 mutual assistance crews for the storm restoration effort. Crews from Alabama and Georgia already have started to arrive in the D.C. area.

Baltimore Gas & Electric is mobilizing crews and getting materials ready for the impending storm.

BGE employees spent Tuesday morning at the company’s main warehouse — which now is open 24 hours — in Baltimore where they loaded trucks with storm kits, safety gear and electric restoration equipment needed for crews to restore power.

BGE’s Jerry Schmidt said about 500 outside crews are mobilizing at company staging areas. He said they’ll be ready to roll out to restore power should the need arise, which the company anticipates.

A look inside Dominion Virginia Power's control center in Herndon. (Credit: Kevin Patrick/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

A look inside Virginia Dominion Power’s control center in Herndon. (Credit: Kevin Patrick/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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WNEW’s Karen Adams and Kevin Patrick contributed to this report. Follow Karen and Kevin on Twitter.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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