By late Saturday night, power was out across Richmond, and the trees succumbed to the saturated ground and high winds. Pieces of the trees from Monroe Park lay scattered across the walkways, as many of the trees were uprooted or splintered by Irene’s fury.
Erin Carr, the assistant to the director of student services for the Honors College, was prepared for the storm but was surprised to see more damage than she had anticipated.
“It was just bizarre because living in Richmond we’re used to kind of mild snow and the occasional tropical rain storm, but not used to anything in extreme,” Carr said.
Similarly, after last Wednesday’s earthquake, Tameka Bond, founder of Dyamond’s Ministries, explained that she and her family prepared for the hurricane by buying canned foods, water and batteries. John Wiley, a junior at Va. Union University and Chesapeake resident, said that he was expecting the storm to be much more severe than it was even though a fence in his yard was knocked over by the wind.
“I had a bunch of refugees come to my house because apparently all south of Idlewood lost power,” said Napky.
Napky said that she is still housing one of her “refugees” because his pipes burst during the storm. Carr went back to her home and moved her bed into the living room temporarily, until the tree is removed.
“The landlord and the neighbors have been trying to coordinate with the tree people but they’re all so busy, so I really have no idea how long (it will be before the tree is removed),” said Carr.
Throughout Sunday afternoon, the Virginia Department of Transportation and Dominion Power worked to restore power to the area. Many traffic lights were still dark Monday night. Police officers directed traffic for much of the afternoon on Sunday, but today those busy intersections in Richmond became four way stops. Car horns punctuated rush hour as frustrated drivers tackled the inconvenience of no stop lights in many areas in the days following Hurricane Irene.
The number of power outages in downtown Richmond, according to WTVR’s “Tropics Update” can be contributed to winds upward of 63 mph. Those gusts are responsible for the number of uprooted trees in the area.