Trees on Houses, Power Lines Down after Strong Storm

August 15, 2011

Approximately 383 Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents are still in the dark Monday evening after strong storms with high winds and even hail swept through the area Sunday evening. That's an improvement from 2,500 earlier in the day.

About 400 were without power in Albemarle County, with the majority of the outages close to the City/County line. More than 2,000 were without power in the City.

A Dominion Virginia Power spokesperson tells CBS19 power should be restored to most everyone by Tuesday morning. Crews will be working hard overnight to turn on the lights. However, customers in four trouble spots - Park Street, 14th Street, McIntire Road and Sadler Street - likely will not have power Monday evening and Dominion officials are not sure when service will be restored to those areas.

More than 200 personnel operating nearly 60 bucket trucks are working to restore power as soon as possible.

Dominion first focuses on restoring service to emergency operation centers. They then addresses circuits that contain the largest number of affected customers and work backwards until power is restored to everyone.

Many power lines down are wrapped in wires and will require Dominion to remove the wires before the trees can be removed.

Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner says McIntire Road reopened around 5pm.

By 11:00pm, Park Street had reopened to traffic. At 5:30pm, City Spokesman Ric Barrick said Park Street was partially open, but drivers were strongly advised to avoid using the road as a way out of town. Dominion crews will continue to work on Park Street between High Street and the bypass into the nighttime hours Monday.

The impact of the storm can be seen throughout the City. Trees, branches and power lines are all down, blocking streets and damaging homes. The rain also caused episodes of flash flooding that, at one point, created the need for a water rescue on Old Ivy Road.

At the Barracks Road Shopping Center, the wind tipped over a construction trailer on top of a car in the parking lot. Many cars were surrounded by standing water.

On Cherry Avenue, strong winds blew over the canopy at the Coastal Gas Station. While the convenience store remains open, the gas pumps are closed. No one was injured and the collapse did not damage the pumps.

A downed tree also blocked the busy intersection of Emmet Street and University Avenue.

Fire crews responded to the intersection of Grove Street and Jones Street where a tree was uprooted by the heavy winds. It landed on a car and crashed into a home across the street, knocking out power and causing a gas leak.

No injuries were reported.

At the storm's peak, Dominion Virginia Power reported approximately 20,000 customers in Charlottesville and Albemarle County without power.

Click here for the Dominion Interactive Outage Map.

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