Crews Prepare for Potential Severe Weather

June 12, 2013

In the calm before the storm, crews spent much of Wednesday preparing for the severe weather forecast for central Virginia.

The Charlottesville Fire Department is staffing two extra trucks overnight. After a significant storm, the number of calls they receive increases dramatically.

"We can go from running 20 to 30 calls a day, to having 30 or more calls an hour," said deputy chief Britt Grimm.

With strong storms predicted to head our way, the department is gearing up for what could be dangerous weather.

"All our saws are running, we've got extra chains, we're ready to go," said Grimm. "When the storms hit, then we're ready to go and we can work for however long we need to go without having to come back to the station and re-supply."

While firefighters are working overtime, the crew at The Cutting Edge tree services closed up shop a little early Wednesday to get ready for what could be a busy next few days.

"People tend to want trees off their houses and cars and driveways pretty quick," said The Cutting Edge president Andrew Smith.

His team has already made a few runs to cut down weak limbs, but most of their work comes after the damage is done. A main culprit -- limbs in power lines.

"It's sort of risk versus reward. It's kind of nice to have the softness of the trees going through the lines and things, but during storms it can knock power out," said Smith.

When that happens, the phones start ringing at Never Dark Whole House Generators.

"We get flooded with calls for people looking for portables or looking to get on the list to have us come on out to do the site survey," said installation and sales manager Brad Andrysczyk. "Everyone calls after they're out of power instead of before."

Andrysczyk says the store received 60 weather-related calls Wednesday.

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