Strong Thunderstorms Typical During Summer

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

August 8, 2005

This has been a summer of strong storms. Another round of violent storms moved through our area on Saturday night, leaving behind downed trees and flooding.

"It was kind of scary," said Mary Hemenway.

The whirlwind storm on Saturday brought in hail, rain and flooding. Wind gusts knocked down trees and the power to some streetlights. One family who lives on Park Street described it as destructive.

"It just came very suddenly and it was very violent in terms of the rain hitting the windows and it was really loud," said Mary's mother Anne Hemenway.

"My sister is kind of afraid of storms so we were kind of huddling in the basement," said Mary.

They soon found out how destructive the storm really was. "I just heard a really loud, almost like a whooshing sound, and I knew something had come down," said Anne.

Two big maple trees were uprooted by the wind in their front yard. Now, two days later, the Hemenway family is still picking up the pieces.

However, officials said this storm is typical for this time of year. What is unusual is that the storms aren't continuously moving.

"Thunderstorms tend to move along with the upper atmospheric winds and if there aren't [any], then they're not going to move very much," said Dr. Pat Michaels, State Climatologist. "That's why we are seeing some of these storms producing several inches in one spot, while down the road it doesn't happen,"

Now, the city is left cleaning up the hardest hit areas. "We're probably working late tonight," said Calvin Henderson, of Public Works.

Officials say the cleanup process will take a few days, and residents are just glad that no one was injured.

During the height of the storm, about 7,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers had no electricity, but by dinnertime on Sunday, most of the power was turned back on.

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