“We don’t know whether the power failure was related to the heat. A short section of wire caught fire, connecting two transmission lines near a metal structure at the substation,” said Dan Genest of electrical supplier Dominion Power.
Genest said 31,000 customers were without electricity from 11:45 a.m. until 2:35 p.m. The outages occurred south of the Possum Point Power Station near Dumfries and north of Garrisonville Road on U.S. 1.
Some banks had to close. Most Garrisonville Road restaurants were unable to serve food during the normally busy lunch hour.
Convenience stores were unable to sell gas or soft drinks due to the power failure. “We lost money,” one convenience store manager said.
State police and Stafford County sheriff’s deputies directed traffic at eight north Stafford intersections.
While most of Stafford was without power, the lights stayed on at Quantico Marine Corps base and in Dumfries, sources said.
Chuck Thompson, Stafford County’s emergency services director, said power returned to the county administrative building at 2:20 p.m.