Severe Weather Damage in James City County
April 18, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: District Chief Robert S. Ryalls, Fire/EMS Public Information Officer
Phone: (757) 565-7603
Cell: (757) 876-5051
Multiple Fire and EMS units, with over 45 personnel, from the James City County, York County and City of Williamsburg Fire Departments responded on Saturday evening (4/16/11) to multiple incidents throughout the eastern end of James City County along the Pocahontas Trail corridor from the Kingsmill subdivision to the Newport News city line as a result of severe weather with high winds and heavy rain (thought to have been a microburst or possible tornado). James City County was under a severe thunderstorm watch/warning just prior to the storm coming into the County just east of the Kingsmill subdivision.
These units responded to, or investigated, over 25 reports of damaged homes due to fallen trees or power lines. One citizen was transported to the hospital with a shoulder injury. Pocahontas Trail (Rt. 60 East) was completely blocked from the Newport News city line to the Busch Gardens Flyover for several hours. The section of Pocahontas Trail (Rt. 60 East) from Woodside Drive to the Busch Gardens Flyover remains closed overnight while crews work to remove the damaged trees and power lines that restrict safe traffic flow.
Public Safety units conducted “windshield” damage assessments of the Grove community to determine which areas of the County encountered the worst damage. A more extensive damage assessment will be conducted on Sunday morning (4/17/11) to determine the full extent of damage to homes and property. There are reports of multiple power lines down as well as trees into several houses and mobile homes with significant damage.
During the aftermath of the storm over 14 citizens sought temporary shelter at our Station # 2 where several members of the local American Red Cross chapter were on scene to assist with emergency housing support. The department loaned some generators to two citizens who required power to run medical equipment.
Virginia Dominion Power responded to the area and assisted in securing the downed power lines throughout the area. Immediately after the storm, over 4,580 customers in James City County were without power.