A week after one of the most devastating storms in nearly a century hit the East Coast, officials on the Northern Neck have assessed local damage and declared the effects of Hurricane Sandy to be negligible.
“We were very, very lucky,” said Westmoreland County Sheriff C.O. Balderson. “I am certainly sorry about the areas up north that caught the brunt of it. We were spared and dodged a bullet.”
Balderson added that although there was some localized flooding in low-lying areas, including Colonial Beach, and some scattered power outages across the county, “everything went very well.”
Richmond County Administrator Morgan Quicke agreed, adding that he had received no reports of substantial damage with only a limited number of residents briefly losing electricity.
“We were very well prepared in the case there was an emergency, but we were fortunate,” he said.
Northumberland County Administrator Kenny Eades reported similar storm damage, saying that although he was initially worried at the storm’s onset, his fear soon turned to thankfulness.
“We had some trees down, but VDOT had no trouble handling them quickly,” Eades said. “I know that the Department of Emergency Management wanted FEMA to come in and assess damage, but we didn’t have any.”
It was much the same in Lancaster, where County Administrator Frank Pleva said that with the exception of a few trees down near Windmill Point and minor, localized flooding, there was little to report.
“We did have a bad leak in the roof of our administration property, but nothing else really major,” Pleva said.
However, with another major storm predicted to hit later this week, representatives from all four counties urged citizens to think of those up north, where millions of people still struggling in Sandy’s aftermath are caught in freezing conditions without power, water or gas.
“Contact your local Red Cross on where to make donations,” Quicke said, adding that our area could very easily have been just as hard hit had the storm taken a different path.
During a 2 p.m. conference call on Monday, officials from National Weather Service warned local officials that while the track of this week’s expected nor’easter was still undetermined, residents from North Carolina and up the coast should be prepared for wet and windy conditions.
“This is merely a prediction and depends on the track of the storm, but all models favor that the storm will form Tuesday night, with 15- to 25-mile-per-hour winds and 1- 2 inches of rain locally,” said Richmond County Emergency Services Chief Greg Baker, adding that officials will share any information as it becomes available.
“One of the good things is that most people have taken their boats out of the water in preparation for last week’s storm. But, we urge people to have kits that provide for 72 hours of no power,” said Westmoreland County Administrator Norm Risavi. “Have medications, food, and a ‘go bag’ in case you live in a flood zone and need to evacuate quickly.”
He added that it was always better to be prepared than be caught unaware in the event of an emergency.
Baker urged residents visit readyvirginia.com, which has helpful and accurate descriptions on how to prepare for any inclement weather conditions.
The Red Cross, which has deployed its entire fleet of response vehicles to those hardest hit by Sandy, is preparing now for another bout of flooding and intense weather conditions as the newest storm forms.
In a press release on Monday, Red Cross official Julie Dudley said that the response to Sandy is likely to be the biggest seen in the past five years, adding that the “Red Cross needs your help now.”
To donate visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or TEXT the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local chapter 804 435 7669 or 804 580 4933 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.