In the aftermath of two storm cells this past weekend that caused trees and limbs to down power lines across the county, officials reported that no one was injured in the storms.
According to John Shelton, director of Surry County Emergency Services, about 1,000 residents lost power over the weekend, but as of Monday, most had been restored.
The storms that caused the damage this weekend occurred Friday and Sunday nights, he said.
“Most of the damage was trees down on power lines. There was some structural damage. There were a few (trees) that fell on vehicles,” said Shelton.
Jonathan Bledsoe, director of Surry County’s 911 Communication Center, said 10 off-duty personnel were called in Friday night when all of the calls started pouring into the center when high winds trailing off a more northern-centered band of thunderstorms came through the area.
“Friday from 10 p.m. until midnight, 176 trees were reported down. We opened up our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and sent all of our routine calls there,” said Bledsoe.
He said that EOC or command center was set up so that the regular 911 operators on duty could continue to answer emergency calls.
He said the first calls related to the wind Friday came in at 9:49 p.m.
“It was amazing. We had a quick little wind storm,” said Bledsoe.
The EOC was shut down Saturday at 12:30 a.m. when the calls for trees down slowed.
He said on Friday, there were between 200 and 250 calls asking questions about the weather.
“It got kind of wild,” said Bledsoe.
In the storms that hit the county Sunday night, there were about 10 trees reported trees down from Round Peak community to Pilot Mountain.
The county relies on the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., for its weather information.
“Blacksburg is great to keep us informed. They said most of what we had was quick storm cells,” said Shelton.
He said according to meteorologists there, there may have been some microbursts Friday and Sunday nights because there were downed trees in a straight line in some areas.
Shelton said the main thing to remember about this weekend’s storms is that no one was hurt.
According to Jimmy Flythe, director of government communication relations with Duke Energy, 120 Surry County residents were without power as of Monday morning. There were about 35 residents without power Monday afternoon, 29 of those in Pilot Mountain. He said all should have been restored by Monday at 5 p.m.
Roja Bryant, a dispatcher with Surry-Yadkin Electric, said there were about 400 to 500 customers in the company’s service area — Surry, Stokes, Forsyth, Yadkin and Wilkes — that had lost power, but all of those had been restored Monday afternoon.
In Mount Airy, city sanitation crews were hustling to pick up all the debris on Monday, according to Russell Jarrell, assistant sanitation supervisor with the city of Mount Airy.
“It’s been rough,” said Jarrell of all the limbs and debris the city is charged with picking up.
He said the hot weather on Monday and the temperatures expected the rest of the week aren’t helping. He said the city is making sure the men are hydrated while out cleaning up the aftermath of the weekend storms.
He asked city residents to be patient.
“Please just bear with us,” said Jarrell. “We have to start somewhere.”
Although city residents are on schedules to have their yard waste picked up on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, this week, pick-ups may be delayed, he said.
He said the clean-up effort will take the rest of the week.
In Carroll and Patrick counties in Virginia, Appalachian Power is racing to get its customers without power back online.
As of Monday afternoon, there were 9,393 customers in Carroll County and 2,300 customers in Patrick County that were without power. According to Appalachian Power’s website, Carroll County residents should be fully restored by Friday evening. Some residents in that area reported losing power this past Friday night.
Residents in Patrick County should be fully restored by Saturday evening, according to the power company’s website.
Reach Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.