Following an evening storm on Monday that left at least 3,670 local customers without power, electricity had been largely restored as of Tuesday, officials said.
The summer thunderstorm wasn’t atypical, said Jeremy Geiger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Sterling office. However, the winds were strong enough to cause fallen tree limbs that led to multiple power outages, he said.
The outages started about 4 p.m. Monday in the Zepp area, said Preston Knight, public relations coordinator for Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative.
“Strasburg was our biggest one,” he said. “About 1,500 people were out.”
He attributed those outages to a tree limb that fell on a power line along King Street.
“That was about a 90-minute outage,” he said.
Among the outages were the Strasburg Town Hall and Police Department, said Chief Wayne Sager, who noted two transformer explosions in town that evening — one outside the government center and the other next to the 7-Eleven convenience store on the corner of East Washington and North Massanutten streets.
Sager said that power had been restored to the Town Hall by about 7 to 7:30 p.m. but that internet and phone service remained out until about 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
In total, Shenandoah Valley Electric reported 2,100 co-op members without power on Monday evening.
The storm was fairly localized to the Northern Shenandoah Valley, with Knight commenting that he didn’t see any rain in Harrisonburg.
In Clarke County, where Geiger said he heard reports of wind gusts up to 60 to 65 mph, about 1,500 members of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reported outages.
The company also reported nearly 500 outages in Frederick County and another 170 in Warren.
“We have about 24 still out in Clarke County and 10 still out in Frederick,” Casey Hollins, communications and public relations managing director for Rappahannock Electric, said on Tuesday afternoon.
“Those are all tree-related,” she said.
Nearly all of the outages in northeastern Clarke County were a carryover from Monday night’s storm, “so they’ve been without power since about 7:30 last night,” she said.
Across its service area that covers portions of 22 counties, the co-op was reporting 236 members without power as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Clarke outages had an estimated restoration time of late Tuesday evening, Hollins said. When outages caused by fallen trees last that long, she said it's usually a sign of extensive damage to the power lines.
“Our crews have definitely been busy today,” she said.
The Virginia Department of Transportation reported multiple downed trees and limbs Monday, primarily in Clarke County.
Crews had all of the blocked roadways in the area reopened by 11 p.m., a VDOT spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Geiger said the Sterling office measured gusts of up to 55 mph at its Leesburg wind sensor, the closest one that he said is situated near the valley.
The National Weather Service, in its three-day weather observation history at weather.gov/sjt/MetarHistory, measured winds of 14 mph and gusts of 25 mph in Front Royal as of 4:15 p.m. Monday.
The weather observation service, which posts readings to the website every 20 minutes, recorded that Monday’s temperature in Front Royal dropped from 90 degrees at 3:15 p.m. to 79 degrees an hour later.
Though light rain and wind persisted around the area on Tuesday, today’s forecast is partly cloudy with pleasant temperatures.
“Much cooler with highs in the 70s,” Geiger said. “Mostly clear skies.”