WARRENTON, Va. — The extensive storm damage in Fauquier County has left crews working around the clock to clear debris and restore power to thousands of customers.
The severe storm that rolled through on Wednesday knocked down countless trees and power lines onto roadways, homes, businesses and the historic Fauquier County Courthouse. More than 200,000 customers reported lost power at its peak, according to Warrenton Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer.
There were no reports of injuries.
There were more than 200,000 customers who lost power at its peak, according to Warrenton Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer.
Schaeffer described the work the next day as an "active cleanup" with crews working all night into the morning. The process has been extensive since many of the trees are old.
As of mid-Thursday afternoon, close to 8,000 customers in the county remain in the dark, according to the Dominion Energy power outage map.
Many residents flocked to nearby gas stations to fuel their generators including Joe Huf.
"We're still recovering," he said. "We thought this was tornado-like material so we sheltered and took cover."
The city is offering a shelter and "Power and Shower" to residents impacted at the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility. From some law enforcement members to longtime residents of Warrenton, the storm seemed to be worse than the derecho in 2012.
"To have extensive damage town-wide isn't something we've ever seen," Schaeffer told WUSA9. "In 2012, it was very concentrated but this storm was much wider and it took a whole town. We have residential, commercial areas, the hospital and all kinds of places impacted. We're used to getting a storm but we tend to see a section of the town impacted, not town-wide."
Among the people whose property was damaged was 82-year-old Carroll Winston, who could have been injured. A large from his neighbor's yard fell and took out his patio.
"I've never seen anything like it," Winston said. "I've read about it on papers, seen it on TV, but here it is. I know I could've been hurt."
Numerous roads remained closed on Thursday but county officials stressed crews are working quickly to open them back up. Anyone who sees blocked roads should contact The Fauquier County Emergency Communications Center at (540) 347-3300 or for the Town of Warrenton at (540) 347-1100.