Windstorm hits Mecklenburg
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in Virginia, in response to the severe weather conditions caused by a powerful windstorm that impacted the Commonwealth over the weekend.
Midday on Thursday, the National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for Mecklenburg County, as well as other parts of the state, effective Friday as of 4 a.m. and expiring by 6 a.m. on Saturday. The winds accompanied a powerful and destructive Nor’easter that impacted the east coast, with not only high winds, but rain, snow and severe coastal flooding.
The winds began locally, early on Friday, with the Mecklenburg County Emergency 911 dispatch center fielding their first storm-related calls around 2 a.m.
The call center reports fielding 115 emergency calls and 24 alarm calls in the first 24-hour period of the storm.
Of those calls, 43 were for trees, limbs, utility lines and poles coming down in the high winds, two were for brush fires, fueled by the winds and one was for a tree that fell onto a home in the South Hill area.
The South Hill home, located on Windsor St. sustained damage on Friday, after the tree fell onto the roof midday. No injuries were reported as a result of this incident.
A Mecklenburg County Public Schools bus also sustained damage as a result of tree falling. This incident occurred on Redlawn Rd. on Friday morning. Children were on the bus at the time the incident occurred, however no injuries were reported.
In Chase City, on Hutcheson Avenue, a tree fell in a yard and briefly blocked the street. On Mecklenburg Drive, two downed trees damaged several sections of fence and a swimming pool. Neither home was damaged by the downed trees.
At the Chase City Community Park, wind did damage the roof of a picnic shelter and at the Chase City Municipal Airport, high winds toppled a tower that was once used for the airport beacon at night. The tower has been out of use for several years.
Wind gusts in the area hit 55 miles per hour on Friday afternoon, and with the downed trees and power lines came a substantial number power outages.
By Friday mid-day, local power companies were already reporting combined outages nearing 1,000.
Dominion Virginia Power reported during the duration of the storm, that about 1,100 customer experienced outages. As of Monday, only 59 Dominion customers remained without current.
Mecklenburg Electric reports 9,813 customers were affected by outages in 179 different locations over the weekend. About 3,000 of those customers were in Mecklenburg County.
Mecklenburg Electric also reports 16 broken poles through out their coverage area.
All Mecklenburg Electric customers in Mecklenburg County saw their service restored by Saturday.
While Mecklenburg did not see any death or serious injury as a result of the storm, two deaths were reported in the Commonwealth. An adult male and a six-year-old child have died as a result of the storm. Both deaths were caused by falling trees.
Additionally, the Virginia Department of Forestry reports responding to 127 brush fires in the Commonwealth during the windstorm on Friday. More than 690 acres burned due to high winds fueleing the blazes.