Hurricane Sandy’s heavy rain and high winds flooded some area roads, damaged power lines and knock some trees over, but few in Fairfax County are complaining.
“We dodged a bullet, basically,” said Dave McKernan, director of emergency management for Fairfax County, adding that the storm’s impact was not quite as bad as projected.
County supervisors attributed the fact that there were no deaths or serious injuries to good preparedness, as well as a more favorable storm outcome.
“To say we were prepared is an understatement,” said Supervisor Gerald Hyland (D-Mount Vernon). “We are an example for everyone else in this country in terms of how we respond and what capabilities we have.”
Statewide news on the storm’s impact also was relatively encouraging.
During a post-storm press conference in Richmond on Tuesday, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said Virginia was spared the worst of Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall Monday evening.
“I’m delighted to report that the worst is certainly now over for Virginia … We’re beginning the recovery process,” McDonnell said.
The governor confirmed that the hurricane claimed the lives of two residents in central Virginia.
“There are others that have suffered losses, property damage. At this time we do not have an assessment,” he said.
At the storm’s peak Monday night, approximately 92,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers in Northern Virginia were without electricity. By 10 a.m. Thursday, that number had dwindled to 1,679 with the remaining outages in areas where flooding or severe damage occurred. Dominion representatives said their goal was to have all customers restored to service by Thursday night.
Virginia State Police troopers and dispatchers fielded 1,001 calls for service from their Fairfax-based division with 82 crashes and 125 disabled vehicles.
A Virginia State Trooper was injured after he was struck by a vehicle Monday on Interstate 66.
“Shortly after 6 p.m., Virginia State Police Trooper F.A. Richens was taking the eastbound I-66 ramp to southbound [Va.] 286 when a 2007 Corvette struck the patrol car,” she said.
According to Geller, the Corvette was coming through the ramp when its driver lost control, spun around and t-boned the state trooper’s vehicle in the driver’s side. The impact then spun the trooper’s car off the road. The trooper was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
“He will be out for a day or two, but is alive and well,” Geller said.
The driver of the Corvette, a male Burke resident, was not injured in the crash. Charges are pending at this time as the cause remains under investigation, according to Geller.
In Fairfax, severe weather resulted in 90 roads closures and approximately 100 traffic signals going dark Monday night into Tuesday morning. View an updated list of road closures at http://fairfaxcountyemergency.wordpress.com/road-closures
Virginia Task Force 1, Fairfax County’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, was deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to Little Ferry, N.J., the state hit hardest by Sandy.
Task Force 1 participated in water rescues and evacuations Tuesday in an area where a levee broke. The 80-member task force consists of firefighters, paramedics, search and rescue specialists, structural engineers, physicians, hazardous materials specialists, planning and logistical staff, and canines and handlers.