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‘Sandy’ brings much rain, little damage to Middlesex

Hurricane Sandy sent Cheaspeake Bay waves crashing into Stingray Point in Deltaville Monday afternoon. (Photo by Stephen Blue)

by Larry S. Chowning

Middlesex County just missed the bullet this week as Hurricane Sandy spared the county from hardly any devastation by moving a bit north and making landfall on Monday near Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“We have a great deal to be thankful for,” said assistant Middlesex County Administrator Marcia Jones. “The storm was an inconvenience to us, but look what it did to the people of New York and New Jersey. We need to be praying for all those people who are suffering.”

Sandy was a storm like no other in recent history. At times, it was 700 miles wide and sat in the Atlantic Ocean, leaving everyone waiting and wondering where it would come ashore. It was a very slow-moving storm.

Finally, at 8 p.m. Monday, the eye of Sandy made landfall on the southern coast of New Jersey with sustained winds of over 80 miles per hour. The tide surge ripped the Jersey shoreline and drove water into New York City. It was reported that water was 3 feet deep in some NYC plazas and 6 feet deep in areas outside.

“It’s really hard to believe we had so few problems.” —Sheriff David Bushey

As of Tuesday evening, 8.2 million homes in the Northeast were without power.

A new storm tide record was set by Sandy. Measurements showed water rose to 13.88 feet at The Battery in New York City on Monday evening. The old record was 11.2 feet set in 1821. It topped previous records at Sandy Hook, N.J., where the nor’easter in 1992 and Hurricane Donna in 1960 were tied for the highest surge.

Middlesex was spared the wrath of Sandy. “We made out amazingly well,” said Jones. “The highway department had to cut trees down across Gloucester and Regent roads that fell during the storm, but that was it. 

“Dominion Power crews were here all day Monday fixing problems,” she said. “As we would get an outage, they fixed it. Dominion Power reports show there have been very few power outages in Middlesex.

Tide surges and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy were felt at homes on North End Road in Deltaville on Monday. (Photo by Carlton Revere)

County administrator Matt Walker said the county was prepared to open a shelter, but didn’t see the need. “We were waiting to see if there were going to be power outage issues,” he said. “Most citizens don’t need a shelter until their electricity is gone.”

Walker said the county is working on a county-wide damage assessment, and damage throughout Middlesex was light. There was bulkhead and dock damage along the waterfront, he noted.

“If someone is out there with a tree on their house, please call the county planning department so we can add it to our damage assessment and provide what assistance we can,” said Walker.

Dominion Virginia Power reported that 363 of its 9,976 customers in Middlesex County were impacted by the storm, and two customers were still without power as of Tuesday morning.

Middlesex County Sheriff David Bushey said, “Actually, there has been very little damage from the storm. We’ve had two trees come down to block roads and knock out power. VDOT and Dominion Power were right there to take care of it.

“People listened and stayed off the roads,” he said. “It’s really hard to believe we had so few problems. The one tree that fell shut Business Route 17 in Saluda down for a while and we had to detour, but that was really it.

“Count your blessings,” said Bushey.

Stephen Blue sent us the following videos. Thanks, Stephen!

12:00 p.m. Sunday

6:00 p.m. Sunday

11:00 a.m. Monday

posted 10.31.2012

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