CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Late Friday night the winds finally started to die down. But earlier in the day, it was an entirely different story. The gusty conditions had emergency responders on high alert.
NBC12 checked in with authorities throughout our area and all of them were prepared for the worst. Windy conditions like what we saw Friday are perfect for brush fires and issues with power lines. While most jurisdictions fared well, some will be dealing a mess for quite some time.
In a city filled with old trees, gusts around 40mph are sure to wreak some havoc. On a night like Friday night, most Richmonders cross their fingers it won't be their property damaged this time around.
Jeff Warren wasn't so lucky. Friday night, his pick-up truck sat damaged and not drivable in front of the North Side home, where he was working that morning. It was the latest victim of Mother Nature's wrath on Central Virginia's towering timbers. The front windshield became a shattered web of glass, the roof caved in and a front tire was flattened. Who knows what destruction hides underneath the hood?
Crews left orange cones and caution tape to mark the massive hole where the root ball lifted. They won't be back until Tuesday to fix it because of the holiday.
In Chesterfield, the owners of a home in the 500 block of Rebel Ridge Road will need much more time to deal with the destruction.
"Nobody ever thinks fire is going to happen to them," said Battalion Chief Greg McCarraher. "That's just the mindset. We know different."
Flames ripped through the structure, jumped to nearby brush, fences and a shed and spread more quickly as the winds whipped. A woman and her pet were able to escape uninjured. While the fire marshals search for a cause, officials have a warning about burning in these conditions.
"You shouldn't at all," explained Chief McCarraher. "Don't! It can't be any simpler."
Besides the house fire in Chesterfield and the tree down in Richmond, Henrico reported a quiet night. Hanover fire officials told NBC12 they had a few wires and trees fall, but nothing extensive in terms of damage.