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Storm packs 1-2 punch through area
SoVaNow.com / April 22, 2013More than a thousand homes lost power Friday as a powerful thunderstorm barreled through Halifax County on separate tracks, leaving downed trees and power lines in its wake.
The storm’s first punch landed in the Nathalie area around 5 p.m. and was followed by severe weather shortly afterwards in the Alton area in the county’s southern reaches. The northern line of thunderstorms passed through Pittsylvania before striking Halifax County; the southern line struck Alton and south of Clarksville, spawning hail and a possible tornado in the Merifield Acres subdivision on Buggs Island Lake.
“It hit hard and fast,” said Brian Mosier with Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative. At the height of disruptions, around 8 p.m., MEC reported 1,025 customers in Halifax County without power, 1,161 in Pittsylvania, and about 500 in Mecklenburg.
Mosier said the last households without service had their power restored around 5 p.m. Saturday.
Work crews “got a good chunk of it done during the night. They got a good jump on it and were able to finish it yesterday,” he said.
Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders said the damage was mostly comprised of felled trees, which blocked some roadways and brought down power lines. He called the storm’s impact “sporadic.”
The path of the storm was two-fold: originating in Bedford County to the west and in the Triangle area in North Carolina to the south. The southern leg of the storm caused widespread damages in the Raleigh-Wake County area and, further north, in Person and Granville counties.
South of Clarksville, hail stones the size of golf balls pelted homes, cars and structures, leaving the area banged up and covered in ice. The National Weather Service received reports of funnel clouds, but no indications of a touchdown.
The northern line of storms that swept through Bedford, Pittsylvania and Halifax later made its way through Charlotte County to the Crewe area, with winds of up to 60 mph reported. Crewe-based Southside Electric Cooperative said that at the height of the storm, 5,500 customers were without power. The storm is blamed for snapping at least 15 utility poles and power lines.
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