JAMES CITY COUNTY — State officials led by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), in coordination with the local officials and Dominion Energy, will conduct a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the early warning siren system on Wednesday, June 30, at 11:10 a.m. for the Surry Power Station.
On June 9, an issue was identified during the scheduled testing of the emergency siren system in which the sirens did not function as designed. According to a June 23 news release from VDEM, an investigation was conducted and corrective action taken.
The June 30 siren test will confirm that the system functions as designed. The release stated, “It is important to note that there are backup systems in place to inform the public in the unlikely event of an emergency at Surry Power Station if the siren system doesn’t work.”
For the early warning siren system, a steady three-minute tone will be sounded by 71 sirens in Williamsburg, Newport News, and the counties of Surry, James City, York, and Isle of Wight. The sirens are located within a 10-mile radius of the power station.
The EAS test is made available through participating radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers, and is scheduled to last approximately one minute.
Siren and EAS tests take place near the Surry Power Station on a quarterly basis on the second Wednesday of March, June, September, and December of 2021. If there were an actual emergency at the power station, residents would hear four separate three-minute activations of the early warning siren system, each separated by a one-minute silent interval. The total elapsed time for actual emergency notification is 15 minutes.
During an emergency when sirens sound, residents should listen to local and state officials and local media outlets that broadcast emergency information for updates and instructions. Emergency guides are mailed to surrounding households and additional information about the siren system, emergency notifications, and safety planning can be found on Dominion Energy’s website.