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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Storm downed trees, cut electricity in area
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Buford Preston is shown Saturday with a tree that was blown down in his yard during Friday’s storm and struck a neighbor’s outbuilding on Cardinal Lane in Martinsville. (Bulletin photo)
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Sunday, April 21, 2013


A strong storm Friday afternoon dumped less than an inch of rain on Henry County and Martinsville, but officials said it caused a lot of damage.

A tree fell onto a mobile home on Tahoe Drive in Collinsville, but no one was injured, said Henry County Fire Marshal Pete Draper.

Draper said the occupants, whom he understands are a family of four, were “on the opposite end of the mobile home” when it happened.

Exact damages to the structure were not available Saturday. However, Draper said the occupants are staying with family and friends.

The storm downed “numerous trees” and some power lines throughout the county, especially in the Bassett and Ridgeway areas, Draper said.

A few roads in the Bassett area were blocked for “just a few minutes” by downed trees, limbs or utility lines before crews removed them, he said.

County and city officials knew Saturday there were power failures due to the storm, but they did not know exactly how many people were affected.

Power in the county was completely restored by noon Saturday, said Matt Tatum, the county’s assistant public safety director.

“We recovered pretty nicely,” he said.

Most electricity was restored in Martinsville by 11 p.m. Friday, but it took a few more hours to reconnect some homes where wires came loose due to high winds or fallen trees or limbs, according to city Emergency Management Coordinator Bobby Phillips.

“We got hit pretty hard” in Martinsville, Phillips said, noting there was damage “all over” the city.

As far as he knows, though, no structures suffered any major damage, he said.

The largest power failure in the city seemed to be in the area surrounding Mulberry Road, Knollwood Drive and Morningside Lane where a tree knocked down a utility pole, according to Phillips.

There, he said, city crews saw an unusual sight while they were cleaning up — electricity from a downed line apparently turned soil into what looked like glass.

“It looked really strange,” Phillips added.

Fallen trees and power lines also were reported around Sellers, Smith and Liberty streets and Cardinal Lane in Martinsville.

Data on the National Weather Service’s website showed only about six-tenths of an inch of rain fell during the storm at the official rain gauge at the Blue Ridge Airport.

Wind gusts during the storm reached as high as 31 mph, the data showed.


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