Western Tidewater deals with snowfall

Published 4:13 pm Monday, February 24, 2020

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Power companies were busy restoring electricity


The snow that fell on Thursday afternoon and night — 3.3 inches each in Windsor — did more than just decorate Western Tidewater with powder or close schools for Friday. Several reports have come in about power outages and accidents throughout the area.

Wayne Albright, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wakefield, said that in addition to the Windsor number, Zuni got 3 inches and Suffolk saw 4 inches of powder. Albright explained that the information is gathered through such sources as public media, trained spotters and even the Virginia Department of Transportation.

As of 2:30 p.m. on Friday, the online outage map of Community Electric Cooperative (www.comelec.coop), based in Windsor, showed 30 customers in Isle of Wight without power being served; 102 in Suffolk.

Based on the online outage map at www.dominionenergy.com, as of 2:30 p.m., company crews were responding to 66 customers in Isle of Wight.

Franklin Power and Light Engineer Jeff Dodson said, “We had had 550 customers out at one time, all related to tree limbs falling on power lines. Many lines were pulled loose from the houses. Most were in Holy Neck, South Quay and Isle of Wight County, not a whole lot in Franklin.”

“There were lots of limbs on power lines,” said Dodson. “We’re  hoping the snow melts. Heavy wet snow pulls limbs down and causes fuses to blow. We have not seen any broken poles.

“We’re hoping to have everyone on by dark.”

Also in Isle of Wight, the county sheriff’s department spokesman, Lt. Tommy Potter, reported, “We did have several downed power lines, mostly due to fallen trees or limbs. Also, several vehicle crashes as well, some involving tractor trailers. However, as of this morning, most primary roads are in good shape and the secondary roads are slippery in mostly the areas covered by trees and shaded.”

Sgt. Michelle Anaya, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police told the paper via email that since 2 p.m. Thursday, the VSP had worked six motor vehicle accidents/property damage only in Franklin/IOW area, but these were described as being “nothing major,” i.e., without injuries or loss of life.

She added, “Troopers have not completed the accident reports as of yet, so I can not definitely say if an accident is weather related or not as of yet.”

There was a hog truck that overturned at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday on Route 258 between Bob White and Harry Wilson roads, both within the vicinity of the county’s government and courts complex. That had required a detour, which was still in place until 6 a.m.

Windsor Police Chief R.D. “Dan” Riddle said there are no known accidents in Windsor caused by the snow.

“We were unscathed,” he said, adding that officers did help with county with other incidents.

There had been a cable line, not a power line, which fell on Church Street in Windsor.

Riddle said that overall, “We dodged a bullet.”