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CenterPoint Energy crews arrive safely in Northeast and begin restoring power

 HOUSTON – July 5, 2012 – Linemen and support personnel from CenterPoint Energy have arrived in Virginia and begun helping Dominion Virginia Power restore electric service to tens of thousands of their customers whose homes and businesses are still dark following strong, unexpected storms that swept through the Northeast last weekend.

“We are very appreciative to the crews from CenterPoint Energy who have traveled to Virginia to assist us with storm restoration,” said David Botkins, director of media relations for Dominion Virginia Power. “The fact they would give up their July 4th holiday to come to our aid in time of need is what our industry’s mutual assistance is all about; we look forward to returning the favor.”

CenterPoint Energy crews will work 16-hour days removing toppled trees and tree limbs off power lines, replacing downed power poles, power lines and transformers, and restoring power.

During a week where we celebrate our great country, it’s gratifying to spend this time helping out our neighbors on the east coast,” said Ernie Kaster, CenterPoint Energy operations manager. “The real reward for our lineman is to see lights come back on and hear families cheer as their air conditioning returns.”

Last weekend’s storm brought sustained winds in excess of 80 miles per hour along with intense lightning. Most damage to Dominion’s power lines came about as a result of falling trees and tree limbs. More than 3.5 million homes and businesses from Indiana through Ohio and Virginia were affected, including more than 900,000 Dominion customers.

CenterPoint Energy partners with other utilities in mutual assistance agreements to lend a hand during widespread power outage emergencies. Over the years, CenterPoint Energy crews have restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the country who were left in the dark following hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.