While Alexandria enjoyed sunshine Saturday, hundreds of customers were left without power during Art on the Avenue, one of the Northern Virginia city’s largest annual festivals.
The festival, which brings over 50,000 visitors each year to Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood, was set up in the early morning hours without power. Crews maintained the event would happen with, or without power from Dominion Energy.
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Dominion told WTOP that the outage was caused by a damaged subterranean switch, and other cable equipment. Due to the large crowd for the festival, work on the outage had to be delayed until after Art on the Avenue had ended.
According to AlxNow, the Alexandria Health Department temporarily shut down numerous businesses, mostly restaurants, as a consequence of the outage.
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson criticized the power company. In a tweet Saturday morning, he said, “plunging a central business district into darkness for the better part of their biggest day of the year, with no inclement weather, is unacceptable.”
I will say it again:
We have a right to expect more from @DominionEnergy
Plunging a central business district into darkness for the better part of their biggest day of the year, with no inclement weather, is UNACCEPTABLE.https://t.co/3rxX316pZS
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) October 2, 2021
This isn’t the first time Wilson has expressed frustration with the energy utility. At the beginning of the year, he sent Dominion a letter asking for improved reliability following numerous outages throughout 2020.
As of Sunday morning, power has been restored to all customers impacted in Del Ray.