It was like watching a disaster movie, but the effects were real and for some residents, painful. Storms ravaged the county on Friday, June 29 then again on Saturday, June 30. The National Weather Service reported wind gust from 80-100 miles per hour on Friday night. They also reported the touching down of a weak tornado in Hanover on Saturday.
Chester business lost in a fire
On Friday night all of Jeffrey Morris and his family’s efforts were left burning a smoldering heap. Their business burned down after a fallen powerline spark a fire.
Morris, who has owned and operated Old Dominion Line-X in the 2600 block of Swift Run Road at its present location for 11 years. “I lost everything in there,” an exhausted Morris said, sweat dripping from his brow as he spoke.
The loss of tools and supplies was hard for the local businessman, but some losses were very personal.
Morris held up a burned stuffed animal and his voice choked as he said: “All my kid’s toys in there burned up. This was a favorite.”
Gingerly, he placed the blackened stuffed animal down and walked amongst the rubble of his business, small dust clouds stirred from his footsteps.
Morris said the fire started when powerlines behind the business fell during the wind storm and set the building on fire.
He plans to start over but has to secure a location and deal with the aftermath of the fire first.
Mammoth tree slices home
Homeowners breathed a sigh of relieve that no one was injured when a mammoth tree was blown over and crashed into a home in the 4800 block of Hopkins Road in the Meadowbrook area.
The front entrance of the home was destroyed, but most of the home remained intact.
Some residents frustrated over conditions
Nearly 200,000 customers lost power during Friday night’s storm. Gwen Casebolt, who lives in the 2900 block of Swineford Boulevard in the Bensley area, is one of those who lost power.
A tree fell during the storm and blocked Swineford Boulevard, bringing down utility wire with it.
“I have called Dominion Power multiple times and they wouldn’t even give me an estimate [time] on repairs,” Casebolt said. “I’m fed up.”
The frustrated resident said she had lived in the neighborhood 18 years and has had bad outage experiences before.
“We [customers] need better service than this,” she said fuming.
Casebolt has disabilities and after an extended outage in 2011, purchased a generator.
“Buying a generator was a hardship,” Casebolt explained. “But what do you do? And it is costing me $100 a day in fuel to keep it going.”
On Monday, July 2, Dominion Power repair trucks were busy on Casebolt’s street and had removed the downed tree and were replacing a broken utility pole.
Mailman hailed as local hero
Some good always seem come when an ill wind blows and for one Bensley neighborhood, the good came from their mail delivery person. Trees blocked the road on Swineford Boulevard, but it didn’t stop the U.S. Mail. A resident on the street said the mail carrier got out of the mail truck, walked around the downed trees and delivered the mail.