Mon09012014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Extreme heat and a severe storm start the summer

As Colonial Beach gears up for Independence Day the heat continues to rise to staggering temperatures, getting as high as 106 around 5:30 p.m. on Friday June 29. 

Friday morning the town issued the following voluntary water restrictions which read, “Due to recent weather conditions and high usage of water reported over the past 24 hours, the town manager has declared a Drought Watch and is requesting all residents voluntarily reduce non-essential water use.”

In a phone interview on Monday morning, Town Manager Val Foulds said the voluntarily restrictions still stand. Foulds said she will watch the water levels closely. 

Non-essential water use includes, but is not limited to, washing automobiles, watering of shrubbery, trees and lawns, or water to fill or refill swimming pools. The drought watch will remain in effect until further notice.

Residents of Colonial Beach were worried about staying cool, while another concern brewed far to the west. 

A strong derecho was forming in the mid west and heading our way. A derecho is a large wind storm that can span over 250 miles in width and usually pack winds of around 100 mph and is associated with fast moving thunderstorms. 

This particular derecho started in Illinois and continued moving eastward. It went through Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. 80 mile per hour winds were confirmed with this system. 

Damage statewide was enormous but the little town of Colonial Beach was spared any costly damage. Small tree branches lay partly over roads, but Colonial Beach Fire Department was kept busy with widespread damage from downed trees in surrounding areas. 

Winds packed a punch in Colonial Beach but no reports of power outages were reported within the town even though Dominion Power reported more than 740,000 residents statewide without power. 

On Saturday few people ventured out to battle the heat on the boardwalk and vendors were slow, but the town’s hotels quickly filled with residents from surrounding areas who lost power.

Ray Maxwell, acting manager of the Beach Inn, reported a 40 percent increase in room rentals on Monday morning due to residents from surrounding areas who were without power. 

On Sunday evening, more storms were building and a severe thunderstorm hit the Colonial Beach area at around 3:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Thankfully Colonial Beach was spared again with minimal damage. The fire department received a report of a power pole on fire near the intersection of Thackary and Lossing Ave. But CBVFD reported nothing showing when they arrived on scene. 

A tree fell at 531 Mattox Ave in Placid Bay resulting in sparks shooting onto the residence but the problem was quickly attended to by CBVFD.  

A tree was also reported down and blocking the road at the intersection of North Independence and Stratford Hall road farther east in the County. 

Crowds on the beach were sparse over the weekend but the few people that came out found ways to keep cool, swimming and canoeing.

The forecast for the rest of the week remains in the high nineties, predicting 98 on the 4th of July with a thirty percent chance of rain. 

Colonial Beach has been lucky the last two years not to have to cancel the fireworks due to rain. 

Fireworks will be shot from the Municipal Pier which will be closed to the public at 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning to allow Pyrotechnics experts to set up the display. Fireworks are scheduled for dusk at around 9:15 or earlier if cloud cover is heavy. 

Traffic patterns leading out of the beach will be strictly controlled by the police department to ensure quick and safe exit from the town after the fireworks show as long as needed. Please see page 13 for traffic and parking information.

 

 

Linda Farneth

 

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