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Storm keeps K.G. rescuers extra busy

King George County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services didn’t just deal with a high volume of calls during the second wave of the snowstorm Thursday night.

Firefighters and rescuers faced a variety of emergencies. They responded to transformer fires caused by downed trees and arcing power lines, a structure fire that started on a gazebo and threatened the rest of the house as well as people stranded in cars and a woman in labor who had to get to the hospital—and did—before the baby arrived.

“It got pretty hectic in a short amount of time,” said Chief David Moody.

The company responded to 21 calls in a five-hour period between 6 and 11 p.m., compared to its normal rate of nine to 10 emergencies per 24 hours, Moody said.

He blamed a band of heavy snowfall that hit the rural county about 4 p.m. Thursday. Earlier rain had melted much of the snow that fell the night before and that morning, but the second band of snow came hard and fast.

Moody measured about an inch of snow before the second wave started—and about 8 inches three hours later.

Trees came down onto power lines, causing several transformer fires. A tree branch fell on one of the company’s fire engines, damaging the windshield, and the department’s SUV slid head first into a vehicle on Ridge Road. Both vehicles had moderate damage but there were no injuries. Dominion Power and Northern Neck Electric Cooperative reported almost 4,600 King George customers without electricity at the peak of the outage.

“You could see [on an outage map] that King George was predominantly the only county that had a significant amount of customers that lost power,” Moody said.

Moody will ask King George officials to declare a local emergency in case any state or federal funds are available to help the company recoup its losses from the storm.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425

cdyson@freelancestar.com

 

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