Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
Storm Damage Updates and Advisories from the City
This afternoon’s severe storm caused a lot of damage throughout the City to various structures, trees, and power lines, but fortunately no human injuries were reported. Between 4:15 pm and 7:00 pm, emergency personnel responded to over 150 calls for service. The majority of those calls involved trees and/or power lines down, and there were also countless fire/police alarms activated by the storm and power outages. Quite a few people had to be rescued from elevators when the loss of power stopped them between floors.
At the Virginia Deli on William Street, half of the metal roof was blown off and ended up in a nearby tree. A residence on Deerwood Drive sustained significant damage when a tree fell onto the roof. Both of those structures have been condemned by City building inspectors.
Residents whose homes or vehicles have been damaged by City-owned trees need to contact their own insurance companies to arrange for repair and removal. The City will remove trees and limbs that are blocking a roadway or sidewalk, but property owners are responsible for downed trees that are in contact with private property.
Residents should haul tree limbs and debris to the curb for City employees to remove starting tomorrow. Clean-up will continue throughout next week.
Approximately thirty traffic signals are out of service. Drivers need to treat any intersection whose traffic signal is out of service as a four-way stop.
All downed power lines should be considered LIVE and dangerous. Contact Dominion Virginia Power at 1-866-DOM-HELP to report downed lines or power outages. Dominion Virginia is reporting approximately 26,000 customers without power and those affected should not expect restoration of electricity before tomorrow.
To add insult to injury, our area is currently under a tropical storm watch in expectation of the arrival of Hurricane Irene over the weekend. Batten down the hatches.