Ear plugs, anyone? Boom noises to return to the area
Posted: February 5, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Here comes the boom. Again.
Le-Ha M. Anderson, Dominion Power’s manager for media and community relations, said Monday that the company plans to splice more cables and possibly set off another boom at about 10 a.m. today.
The work is part of Dominion Power’s rebuild of a nearly 100-mile, 500-kilovolt power line.
The process used to splice the cables causes a shockwave to travel through the air and creates a noise that can be heard for miles.
Almost two weeks ago, the booms had hundreds in Frederick County puzzled as to where the noise was coming from — with theories ranging from earthquakes to fracking.
According to Michael Cooper, vice president for contractor L.E. Myers Co., employees at that time were working on a transmission line in Hampshire County, W.Va., that involved wire splicing with implosive devices.
Anderson said they will be working on a line today in Capon Bridge, on the eastern side of the county.
She said area residents should only hear one boom today, based on the work planned. However, if the air is damp or if it snows, she said the work will have to be postponed.
Dominion Power’s Facebook page explains that implosive splicing uses a charge inside a special metal casing that compresses and seals two ends of a wire together — creating the loud “boom” heard in the vicinity of the work area.
How far the sound travels depends on the atmospheric conditions.
The company notifies all property owners, local law enforcement and 911 call centers prior to causing any noise disturbances, the page states.
Dominion Power’s project stretches from the coal-fired Mount Storm Power Station in northeastern West Virginia to a Potomac Edison substation in Doubs, Md.
The noises will persist intermittently for the rest of the year, as workers prepare to move east into Frederick County and work down the line through Loudoun County. They will not work during the summer.
Anderson said the project likely won’t be complete until 2014.
“This is all work to upgrade this line.” she said.
The line was built in the 1960s, and Anderson said it is nearing the end of its life. She said Dominion is trying to complete the upgrade before customers lose power.
Residents can obtain more information about the project, including schedules and maps, on the Dominion Power website dom.com, by using the keyword mount storm.
Anderson said the site is updated on a regular basis.
Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,400 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines, according to its website.
— Contact Melissa Boughton at firstname.lastname@example.org