Storm yields ‘unusual’ snowfall

Published 5:18 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018

With reports of up to a foot of snow, possibly more, around the region, Winter Storm Diego left quite a mark in the Heart of Virginia.

It began snowing early Sunday morning. Though some periods of snowfall were heavier than others, snow continued to fall into Sunday evening, stopping by Monday morning.

Ryan Rogers, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield, said Monday afternoon that the Farmville region reportedly received between 10-12 inches of snow Sunday.

Residents submitted photos to The Dispatch, including one photo showing snow measurements at 10 inches at Court Street and another showing 16 inches in the county. “There certainly will be some variation,” Rogers said. Rogers said there was not a lot of snow drift, meaning that dramatic shifts in snow measurements in areas close together were not likely.

He cited that the storm, with the high volumes of snowfall in the area, was “pretty unusual.”

Power outages took place in the area beginning Sunday with the majority seeing restorations by the end of the day Monday.

Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) said at the height of Sunday’s storm, approximately 10,000 customers were without power. As of Tuesday at noon, approximately 300 SEC members remained without power.

“Diego brought heavy snow across all of SEC’s territory, impacting trees and power lines with falling and leaning trees breaking equipment and infrastructure,” officials from SEC cited in a news release. “Because of this damage, members are encouraged to plan for possible extended outages.”

Lee Electrical Construction, as well as crews from neighboring cooperatives, Choptank Electric Cooperative and Northern Neck Electric Cooperative were assisting with restoration efforts in the area. Crews from Rappahannock Electric Cooperative were expected to come within the next 24 hours, according to the Monday release.

At 6 a.m. Sunday, Dominion Energy in Virginia officials said more than 100,000 customers experienced a power interruption as a result of the storm. They said approximately 33,000 customers were without service as of Monday morning.

“While damage assessment is just beginning, many outages have been the result of tree contact resulting in blown fuses, wire down and some broken crossarms,” Dominion officials cited.

“Travel in the impacted areas will be hampered by deep snow and hazardous travel conditions. Initial damage assessment and patrols will be key this morning to verify damage and develop estimated times of restoration for all impacted customers.”