10,000 powerless, weather creates havoc

microburstnasaDramatization of a microburst.

5:54pm update: Hail was falling at the speed of rain in the Barracks Road area during the storm.

5:52 update: Barefoot, citing Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner, says that we may have experienced a microburst.

5:42 update: The tree that was blocking Route 20 near Carter's Bridge has been cleared, according to one WINA caller; and Route 20 is clear all the way north to Proffitt Road, according to another one.

5:37pm update: The 250 Bypass Eastbound has slowed to a crawl/standstill, according to WINA's Rob Graham calling in to the Coy Barefoot show.

5:32pm update: With 54 locations and 10,000 customers without power, the power may not be restored until 10am, says WINA news broadcaster Jaclyn Piermarini, relaying information from Dominion Virginia Power.


The storm that passed through around 3:30pm today trapped a woman in her car when a tree fell on top of it on the Dairy Road offramp, according to an emergency communications dispatch.

Traffic is snarled on the U.S. 250 bypass with McIntire Road blocked and tree limbs all over the place. "It looks like a tornado went through," says motorist Richard Lloyd, trying to cut through Rugby Road. Another caller reports that power is out in Ivy, as are stoplights on the west side of town.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 9pm.

original headline: Weather creates havoc

Read more on: storm


Surely there must be some way to connect Obama and the demorats epic failure with today's weather! Taxes are too high, so who can afford an umbrella! And just where was one-term Tom Perriello? He should have been directing traffic here in the 5th district instead of thinking of new ways to force children to be healthy, and that is the real reason for all the traffic tie-ups! We should elect Verga instead since his name is also the name for light rain that doesn't hit the ground, and if he were in congress today's rain never would have hit the ground! and another thing.....

Live in Wollen Mills, just got our power back on line at about 9:00 pm. Was afraid of a long hot night....

Sewage flowing directly into our streams and rivers --tampons, toilet paper, and only today does Tom Frederick, head of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, announce that we need a plan to repair our broken sewer system, and are in danger of a health emergency ! FIRE THIS MAN -NOW !


Every time we have a storm event of this magnitude our sewer system will fail and spew sh** into our waterways. Agree, Frederick has wasted millions on dam consultants and wrecked havoc on our infrastructure, by not repairing it when he arrived years ago. He's had his chance --time for him to go.

I can remember when a guy with a chainsaw would come by and chop it up.

Too bad you all hate us rednecks....

move it yourself....

Ahh, weather always gets the post going!

I guess all of you will support the new taxes necessary to pay for upgrading the sewer system...

I had a tree in my yard that needed to be trimmed. I knew it and had arranged to have it done. But the only access to the tree was through my neighbor's back yard and she said "NO!"

So along comes Vepco, I told them to cut the entire thing down as far as I was concerned. They were totally shocked that I had agreed to anything they wanted to do. They were expecting me to put up a fight, said they were quite accustomed to fighting everybody nowadays. But the neighbor once again said "NO!". Well, her "NO" means nothing to them. They have the right to enter private property in order to keep electrical service up and running. In other words, by law, they have a right of way to any property located directly under the transmission lines.

**** I hope the press picks up on this and investigates--looks like a massive failure and wasteful neglect on the part of Tom Frederick in the direction of the RWSA.

When I was heading home during the 2nd storm on Thursday night, power crews were out in the rain and lightning working on the lines. I am very thankful these brave individuals were doing very risky work trying to get the power back on. Maybe we weren't quite so spoiled 30 years ago that we thought every situation should have an instant fix. As to the minor event, drive out Locust Avenue, and take a look down Calhoun where crews were still working late this afternoon to get a huge tree out of someone's living room. Drive down North Avenue and see just about every house in the neighborhood with downed or broken trees. I would guess the "minor event" doesn't seem so minor to these neighborhoods.

Al Gore divorce=No Global Warming.

I am glad to say all seemed well with my house when I got home.

The $12 million or more that Tom Frederick has spent on dam consultants could have paid to fix the sewers by now. What is with our officials this man is a disaster.

Gas, that's simply not true. My father called the electrical company many times about a very large oak, and they never bothered. When the oak was struck, it took out an entire block because the branches were so heavy they crushed the lines.

It's not the tree huggers. It's the shell game with power companies using each other's lines but not wanting to take responsibility for maintaining them.

Just checked, sewage flowing into Lodge Creek and into many other creeks and streams and into the Rivanna River right now. This is disgusting .


What gets my feathers all bent out of shape is a cop sitting in his paytroll car at the site of a downed tree (Locust Ave and 250)... that's right, sitting in his car.

What happened to the good ole days when they actually got out of the car and helped direct traffic? Ya know the drill, tree blocking one lane, let northbound traffic pass for a while, then stop them and let southbound traffic have a turn at it. It prevents traffic from backing up even further and creating more of a headache.

I guess I am still living in the old days when I actually expect something like this.

I would have to say NO.

What gets me is, we're still spending money putting pipe in the ground to get sewage to the site of a treatment plant that hasn't been there for decades! A long time ago the City's treatment plant was moved from over by Pen Park to just off Franklin St. in Hogwaller, but sewage still flows to the old site and gets pumped back across town (or maybe it flows naturally, the Rivanna has pitch from one to the other...?) Creating much of this problem of overflowing sewer lines. When is the RWSA going to start planning for sewage to go directly to the place where it gets processed? Its not as sexy as a new dam but just as necessary. The "Meadow Creek Interceptor" that they're about to spend lots of money upgrading that runs through McIntire Park is a good example. It flows the wrong way! It takes waste from the UVA/corner area and sends it northeast to the old plant instead of south to the new one. Time for a comprehensive look at solving this problem by someone other than Tom Frederick, cause he's next to useless.
my $.02

Couple of years ago (maybe? I'm slow on dates) a tree fell across 29 just before the Forest Lakes South entrance. After sitting there for quite some time, an Albemarle County Police pickup truck pushed his way through all the stopped traffic and pulled up to the down tree. Maybe we'll get somewhere now, I thought. After possibly a half hour of the cop sitting in his truck and doing nothing, about 20-30 of us guys together and dragged the tree out of the way of one lane so traffic could move. Did the cop get out of his truck and help push the tree? What do you think?

How can you expect Tom Frederick to pay for infrastructure when they are two busy spending their money on new vehicles. I would love to know the average age of their fleet.

Wonder how much Tom Frederick's office renovations are costing ?
Honus, do you have any idea what your taxes will be if he gets to build his holding tank dam at Ragged Mountian, for his new bathtub, as he likes to call it, that won't even fill without a $100 million dollar, 10 mile uphill pipeline --whooee-- then you'll see some taxes. He's got his eye on this dam, forget the sewers.

A more pathetic response to a minor event is hard to imagine. On Rugby Ave. the road was blocked off on Thursday night, but nobody was there working on the situation. Friday afternoon, a crew of out-of-state workers and Asplundh Tree guys were mostly just standing around and had done nothing to restore the local outage, which was of a type that would have been fixed by morning 30 years ago when Vepco (Dominion Va. Power) still had local crews to respond. This to me is indicative of the general unwinding of things in the public realm typical of recent times.
We are becoming like the 3rd. world where absolutely everyone who can afford it buys a generator because the public utilities get worse every year.

Honoree, 30 years ago electrical service was a simple fix. The eletric companies trimmed and removed trees that threatened to disrupt power during violent storms. But nowadays all the tree huggers fight them as soon as the tree surgeons show up at their door to trim and remove trees.

Gotta agree with Gas on this one...lady up the street from me just stood in the road a week ago ARGUING with power plant "tree surgeons" about how her trees lining the front yard directly in the path of power lines should be trimmed...well, get a clue here, don't plant the trees where the power lines are!!! DUH!!! Then you won't have to worry about butchered looking shapes! This lady's trees are actually causing debris on the road (they are pines) that is now dangerous due to the fact it is IN the road...So I have to agree with Gas on this one.

Gassy, they are not tree surgeons; nothing surgical about them. They are tree butchers, leaving the most ghastly looking shapes.

It's time for a nice across the board hike on taxes to do a comprehensive sewer and power grid upgrade - everyone benefits from it, everyone needs to pony up! Not only will it provide safer water, it will create jobs too! The new system might include filters for pharmaceuticals for a change.

I am horrified by the youtube video, posted by streamwatch, of raw sewage going into a creek. How bad is this problem in Charlottesville ?

Locust Grove was slammed. At least two maybe three houses with trees on/in them and at least one smashed/possibly totaled car (sigh).