Danville, VA, weather

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October 11, 2018 10:00 PM

Local state of emergency in effect

A local state of emergency remains in place. We have about 20,000 customers without power because two of AEP's three power feeds to us are out of service. We cannot restore power until AEP repairs the feeds.

In the interim, our crews are scouting our lines for damage. We have crews from three cities arriving Friday morning to assist. We ask customers to be prepared to not have service restored for 24-36 hours due to the damage. We also ask residents and visitors to stay clear of downed power lines as they could be still energized.

Travel on city streets remains hazardous due to damage and debris and downed power lines from flash flooding earlier today. In addition, traffic signals at many major intersections are not operational due to power outages. Motorists should treat these intersections as four-way stops.

The Dan River level has risen above 30 feet, which is the highest level recorded since Hurricane Fran in 1996, when the river crested at 28.65 feet. The river is projected to remain above 30 feet until Saturday morning.

High water rescue units from the Virginia National Guard and State Police will arrive Friday morning to assist with evacuations from flooding.

An emergency evacuation shelter is open at Bonner Middle School.

All City administrative buildings, including the Municipal Building and the Charles Harris Financial Services Center, will open to the public on a two-hour delay Friday.

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Latest Update:

October 18, 2018 12:26 PM

Here is the latest situation report:
• We have fewer than 100 customers without power, and we expect to restore power service to all that we can today. A few property owners have electrical issues that first will need to be addressed by a private electrician before we can reconnect them.
• We have released all but one of the out-of-town electrical crews. Two local contract crews continue to assist.
• Our Public Works crews continue to collect flood-damaged bulk debris such as sofas, carpet and drywall. We ask residents not to mix food waste and other garbage with this debris. Food waste and other garbage goes to a sanitary landfill, which is separate from the debris landfill. Food waste and other garbage should be disposed of in the garbage containers used for weekly automated collection of household garbage and trash.
• We have submitted initial damage estimate reports. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the total damage estimate is $8.7 million. The breakdown is $2.9 million in damages to public infrastructure (utilities, streets, parks, public buildings and equipment, etc.), $2.9 million in damage to residential structures and $2.9 million in damage to commercial structures. These numbers will be updated as more information becomes available. A total of 134 residential structures received damaged, with four destroyed and 17 receiving major damage. A total of 62 commercial structures received damage, with one destroyed and two receiving major damage.

Prior Updates

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October 16, 2018 9:57 PM

Here is the latest situation report. It includes an update on our efforts to restore power and a statement from City Manager Ken Larking on a request to extend the local state of emergency, which City Council voted to approve at its meeting tonight.

Local state of emergency extended

Danville City Council voted tonight to extend the declaration of a local state of emergency until 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26. City Manager Ken Larking outlined the need to extend the declaration in the following statement:

“The City continues to be under a local state of emergency. While we have made a lot of progress in restoring our community back to some sense of normalcy, there are many customers who are still without power.

“In addition, there are several neighborhood roads that have compromising conditions including washouts and fallen trees. We feel confident that we’ve identified all those areas and put up safety precautions to alert the public. We continue to urge the public to be safe when venturing out. However, the majority of the City is safe for people to travel and resume normal activity.

“The purpose of keeping the state of emergency in place is because we have several infrastructure issues that need to be corrected as soon as possible – including ones that may be compromised if even a moderate rain event occurs.

“The state of emergency allows the City to expedite purchasing of materials and hiring of contractors to get these repairs finished much sooner. For that reason, the state of emergency will remain in effect until Friday, Oct. 26, at 5 p.m.

“We are a resilient community. I am proud of my coworkers for their tireless effort in getting Danville back up and running. I am also heartened by the stories of neighbors assisting neighbors and the patience many have shown as our dedicated employees and partners work to serve the public.”

Update on power outages

As of 9 p.m., we have less than 500 customers without power. We continue to have eight crews from other cities plus contract crews assisting our crews. All are working 16-hour shifts to restore power service to customers.

In Danville, crews worked today on side streets and addressed individual outages throughout the city. They will continue to address those issues on Wednesday.

In Pittsylvania County, we restored service today in the Cascade community and began working toward the Axton and Callands communities. Crews will continue to work in those areas on Wednesday.

In the eastern sections of Pittsylvania County, we are working to restore power tonight to customers in the Keeling community. Work continues in the Laurel Grove, Sutherlin and Alton areas.

“We have power restored to 99 percent of customers, but that being said, that means there are about 500 customers that have been without power since Thursday,” City Manager Ken Larking said tonight at the City Council meeting. “There are a lot of frustrated customers out there. They have lost a lot during that time. Our heart goes out to them.

“I got into this line of work because I believe in public service. Our city employees really care about our community and want to do what is best for this community. I have witnessed that firsthand during this emergency. I am so proud of everyone.”

October 16, 2018 1:04 PM

Here is the situation report as of 1 p.m.:

• A local state of emergency remains in place.
• We have established a storm damage hotline for residents and businesses to report structural damage to their primary buildings. The number is 857-3375, ext. 2498. Callers will hear a recording requesting that they leave their name, address, contact information and a brief description of their structural damage. Inspections division personnel will follow up.
• Residents and businesses with property damage should file claims with their insurance companies. Photos of the damage should be taken before starting repairs.
• City residents with SNAP benefits who have lost food from the storm can go to the Department of Social Services to complete a SNAP benefits replacement form.
• The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District reports the longer that food is stored at unsafe temperatures -- above 41 degrees Fahrenheit -- the higher the chance for dangerous bacteria to multiply and make you sick. The number one rule is “When in doubt, throw it out.” Never taste foods to see if they are still fresh. Most bacteria are odorless, tasteless and invisible to the naked eye, so a taste test could make you ill.
• Utility crews continue making progress in restoring power service. At the start of the day, we had about 800 to 1,000 customers remaining without power. By the end of the day, we expect to have fewer than 500 customers without power. We continue to have eight crews from other cities plus contract crews assisting our crews. All are working 16-hour shifts to restore power service to customers.
• In Danville, crews are working on side streets and addressing individual outages throughout the city. In Pittsylvania County, work continues in the Cascade, Kentuck off Route 360, Laurel Grove, Sutherlin and Alton areas.
• If electrical lines were torn from a house, or the electric meter or power pole mast attached to the house has been damaged, a private electrician will be needed to make the repairs. The meter base and power masts attached to a house are the responsibility of the homeowner. This work must be completed by a qualified electrician and inspected prior to a utility crew restoring service.
• Ballou Park is open from both the Park Avenue and West Main Street entrances. The Ballou Recreation Center is open.
• Anglers Park remains closed, but is expected to be reopened later today.
• The Riverwalk Trail remains closed. Contract crews are clearing debris and silt along the trail. We expect to reopen sections of the trail later in the week. The bridge over Fall Creek is washed out, so that section will remain closed indefinitely.
• All major thoroughfares in the city are open. The following streets are closed to through traffic: Elizabeth Street, Audubon Drive at Apollo Avenue, Forestdale Drive, Primrose Place, Booth Road, Haraway Road at Watlington Court, Girard Street, Cunningham Street, Mountain View Avenue, Carolina Avenue, Valley Street and Monroe Street are closed to through traffic.
• For residents who pay the full refuse fee, Public Works is waiving restrictions for collection of tree limbs, brush and other storm debris. The restrictions waived include the volume and weight of debris and the size of the debris pile. Residents are asked to place the debris at the edge of their property line, but do not block sidewalks or allow the debris to extend into the roadway. Do not mix yard waste with other debris or garbage. Tree stumps, root balls and hazardous wastes are not collected.
• For residents who pay the full refuse fee, Public Works also is waiving restrictions for collection of flood-damaged furniture and household items. For small household items such as books, residents are asked to box or bag the items in order to allow for quicker collection.
• Residents who do not pay the full refuse fee and businesses will need to use their private hauler.
• Automated collection of trash is expected to remain on schedule, but residents should be aware that loose leaf collection and yard waste may not stay on schedule because crews will be assisting with storm cleanup and recovery.