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Outages spike across region; Shenandoah County opens shelter

By Alex Bridges

Shenandoah County experienced power outages and road closures Monday night as the massive storm Sandy pushed into New Jersey.

Officials advised that high water and trees downed by strong winds spurred road closures around the county, according to a press release issued just before 8:30 p.m. from the Shenandoah County Emergency Operations Center in Woodstock.

The county has opened a shelter at Peter Muhlenburg Middle School, 1251 Susan Ave., Woodstock. The school division, local American Red Cross workers and the county Department of Social Services are operating the enter, the release states.

Anyone interested in staying at the shelter can contact the emergency operations center at 459-6167, according to John Collins, public information officer for the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue.

Those going to the Shenandoah County shelter should bring the following items for each member of the family: 

  • prescription and emergency medication

  • extra clothing

  • pillows

  • blankets

  • hygiene supplies

  • flashlight with extra batteries

  • small board games or books for entertainment

  • specialty snacks and juices for those with dietary restrictions

  • basic snacks

  • baby food and formula

  • diapers

  • beach chair or camp chair

  • identification including license or utility bill

  • insurance papers

  • other comfort items

Additionally, bring any other items for family members who are elderly or disabled.

 Do not bring illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, or any weapons.
The shelter is in the cafeteria on the far left-hand side of the building.

The social services department will close Tuesday because staff will be operating the center.

Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative reported before 9:30 p.m. that 2,814 customers in Shenandoah County had lost power and the number continued to rise. The utility reported 2,933 customers in Frederick County, 13 in Winchester and 153 in Page County were without electricity.

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reported 1,974 customers in Warren County, 517 in Frederick County, 76 in Page County, 74 in Stephens City, 11 in Shenandoah County, and two each in Clarke County and Middletown were without power as of 9:30 p.m.

The Shenandoah County operations center is staffed by 11 people with the Fire and Rescue Department, the Sheriff's Office and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The fire and rescue stations are staffed with volunteers and career personnel.

The Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police have expanded staffing and the Virginia Army National Guard has resources at the Woodstock Armory to deploy. The Virginia Department of Forestry also has personnel ready.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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