Storms cause power outages, road closures

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — More than 40,000 customers across Hampton Roads experienced power outages during severe weather Thursday night.

Don Jantzen with Dominion Virginia Power said 44,000 customers were without power in 168 locations during the height of the storms. Half of those outages were in Virginia Beach, and most of those customers’ service was restored within about 30 minutes.

Chesapeake experienced a little less than 6,000 outages, Suffolk about 7,000 and the Peninsula about 5,000. Norfolk saw 4,400 and Williamsburg 1,000. There is no estimated time for power restoration in those areas, at this time, but you can check Dominion’s outage map by clicking here.

Photos: Severe thunderstorms pass through Hampton Roads

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson said the strongest storms hit Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Some areas saw small hail and wind gusts of up to 60 mph. At one point, more than 1,000 lightning strikes occurred within a five-minute time span.

The area of Benefit and Johnstown roads in Chesapeake was one of the areas with the most storm damage. Benefit Road was blocked by downed trees and power lines in more than one place.

“This was an oak tree that was about 60 feet high,” said William Malin, pointing out the road blockage near his home. “It’s been there for a long time. It split in the middle, came across the road, and took all the lines with it.”

Power crews had difficulty reaching homes on Benefit Road because of all the closures. At times, traffic backed up where drivers realized the area was impassable. Many turned around in Carol Burroughs driveway.

“A lot of people have been coming in the driveway and turning around,” Burroughs said. “And there are wires that are pretty low right over the entrance to the driveway.”

As of Friday afternoon, Benefit Road was still closed at Johnstown Road as crews continue to repair power lines and remove debris. All other intersections on the road are open.

Read more about the storms on Edmondson’s blog.

Captain Scott Saunders with the Chesapeake Fire Department said a house in the 400 block of Gloria Drive was struck by lightning. Thankfully, no one was hurt and no fire was sparked. The house received some charring to its left side.

In Norfolk, Officer Daniel Hudson said power lines were downed on Briar Hill Road, due to the storms. The road was closed from East Virginia Beach Boulevard to Poplar Hall Drive.

WAVY.com also received reports of a fallen trees throughout Hampton Roads, particularly from areas on the Southside.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates on storm damage as they become available.

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