Tuesday Evening Storm Causes Outages, Small Fire in Charlottesville

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

July 8, 2014

A storm on Tuesday evening caused damage from power outages to fire.

The storm left about 8,000 people in the Charlottesville area without power, including people in the Jefferson Park Avenue area.

Residents say after wind picked up, a branch from a tree on JPA fell, breaking a board on a telephone and power pole, causing lights in the neighborhood to flicker, and hitting a a car.

Anthony Lopez, who lives on Washington Avenue off of JPA, came outside before the fire department arrived. He helped move tree branches out of the street and into the median so cars could through.

Lopez said the fire department came to the scene and cleared the branch from the back of the car. The branch damaged the car slightly but the driver was okay. Lopez said they left after finding no downed power lines.

About 15 minutes later, the power went out. The fire department returned.

"Three or four just loud booms and, I mean power was just flickering on and off, lights were flickering," said Sean Kim, who also lives on Washington Avenue. "Then, just all of a sudden, power just goes out. One loud boom and the power just goes out."

"When that was happening, I could see flashes -- I'm assuming from the transformers blowing," said Anthony Lopez.

"The transformer behind us was smoking when we came out," Lopez added, pointing to a transformer on the power lines on JPA.

At one point after the storm, about 8,000 area residents did not have power. By 10 p.m., about 5,000 people were still in the dark. Shortly before midnight, 2,151 Charlottesville and 476 Albemarle Dominion Power customers did not have electricity.

That storm also caused a small fire elsewhere in Charlottesville, causing a fire where a tree branch met a line. The fire happened on Cherry Avenue in between its intersection with Roosevelt Brown Boulevard and Buford Middle School.

Charlottesville fire fighters arrived quickly and put out the blaze. No one was hurt.

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