Severe storms cause damage in central Virginia

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Severe storms moving through central Virginia prompted multiple warnings, watches and advisories Friday.

Multiple trees were brought down during the storms with damage along Semmes Avenue.

“We’ve been in Richmond for like a year, and it seems like a lot of these storms come through, and there seems to be a lot of loud bangs, but I’ve never seen anything like this; this is nuts,” Brian Katelhon, who lives off of Semmes Avenue, said.

From each end of Semmes Avenue, storm damage like downed power lines, trees, siding and fencing could be seen on the ground, in the air, and on the streets.

Katelhon said he was home when he believed a lightning bolt struck a tree in his backyard.

“It was a huge beam of light that came through the windows,” Katelhon said. “I figured it was out in the streets here, but I didn’t realize it was right in our backyard.”

Dominion crews were on site in just minutes, but down the road was an even bigger problem.

“I see both lanes of traffic completely blocked, and the tree that I [thought] was the problem,” Richard Sena, a realtor who was checking on a home for his client, said.

Sena said he had just sold a home off of 25th Street, and the new homeowners called him Friday evening concerned about storm damage.

“When I drove around the corner and couldn’t see the front of the house, of course, you instantly think the worst,” Sena said.

The large oak tree in the backyard had come crashing down into Semmes Avenue but luckily missed the homes it sat in between.

“It looks like the tree split the difference into the property lines,” Sena said.

The tree only took out some fencing and siding of one of the homes that Sena reported to the owners for insurance purposes.

“I was like, guys, you need to buy a lottery ticket tonight because somebody was looking out for you,” Sena said.

Trees were also brought down in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Richmond.

Over 7,000 power outages were reported at one point in the Richmond metro and Tri-Cities areas. Check Dominion Energy’s outages here.

Richmond officials said power outages also impacted traffic lights, and crews were working to clear debris.

Slow-moving downpours were forecasted, bringing the potential of localized flooding and gusty winds.

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