Trees, pow­er­lines are worst ca­su­al­ties

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE - – WAL­TER NICK­LIN

Last Fri­day’s storm started in the Mid­west and took about 12 hours to reach and rav­age Rap­pa­han­nock County. Along the way, mil­lions of peo­ple were left without power. With the ex­cep­tion of hurricanes and other trop­i­cal storms, ac­cord­ing to Do­min­ion Vir­ginia Power, the un­usual line of storms caused the worst power out­ages in the state’s his­tory. At least 18 peo­ple – though none in Rap­pa­han­nock – were killed by the storm, most by falling trees.

The storm’s power was still vis­i­ble on Tues­day in the still-stand­ing, twisted and torn tree trunks and limbs along the county’s roads, even though the limbs and branches were now cut and cleared for cars and trucks.

This type of un­usu­ally strong line of storms is called a “dere­cho,” from the Span­ish word for “straight,” since the fast-mov­ing band of se­vere thun­der­storms is in the form of a squall line. In the north­ern hemi­sphere, dere­chos are usu­ally spawned in the heat of June and July.

The heat not only caused the storm but also be­came the source of the se­vere af­ter­shocks of the storm here in the county, as most res­i­dents and busi­nesses lost elec­tric power and thus the use of air-con­di­tion­ing and fans to keep cool, and the work of restor­ing power and clear­ing downed trees had to pro­ceed in con­sis­tent 90-de­gree-plus tem­per­a­tures.

As of Sunday evening, still more than half of the Rap­pa­han­nock Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive’s 4,816 cus­tomers in the county were without power. By Tues­day af­ter­noon, when this hol­i­day-de­layed news­pa­per went to press, about 700 me­ters were still af­fected – and REC is­sued an an­nounce­ment that round-the-clock re­pairs would con­tinue through the hol­i­day.

Con­se­quences? From one part-time res­i­dent’s emailed note that said, “We’re mov­ing back to Alexan­dria,” to the “Cool Inside” sign, posted as usual Satur­day on the door of open-daily R.H. Bal­lard’s in Wash­ing­ton, vary­ing amounts of re­cov­ery will be nec­es­sary, but in the end life will go on.

Top photo, Con­nie Reid; bot­tom, Mon­ica Worth

An oak crushed the travel van at Baby Bear Day­care in Sper­ryville, above; be­low, a de­flated kiddie pool, tossed by high winds onto a power pole, dries out in Satur­day's heat.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.