Assessing the Aftermath

The sound of chain saws and generators still pierced are piercing the air in many parts of Virginia as residents dig out from under the debris that remains in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Power outages continued to affect hundreds of thousands of customers, while crews worked to clear the remaining impassable roads– both private and public-sector officials say conditions statewide are improving.

Most of the 218 road closures were caused by downed power lines and trees.  Dominion Virginia Power said initial outages to more than 1.2 million customers were the second-largest ever—behind Hurricane Isabel.  6000 personnel from eight states have been working to restore power …and the company says 75% of customers should have service by Wednesday and 90 – 95% by Friday.  Governor McDonnell has been touring impacted areas and briefed reporters on a telephone conference call from Tidewater.  He cautioned Virginians to be careful even though the hurricane is gone.

“One of the lessons of Isabel was that half of the people who died related to that storm died after the storm had passed in doing recovery and clean-up operations –from either hitting standing water on roads, touching live wires, having heart attacks from overexertion, or related activities. So it is still a time to be vigilant, ” he said.

Officials are now assessing damage statewide to determine Virginia’s eligibility for state and federal aid. 

–Anne Marie Morgan

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