Sunday, August 26, 2007

Updated: Powerful storms rip through SWAC area....

For the third day in a row powerful thunderstorms ripped through the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County area after experiencing high temperatures each day in the mid- to upper 90s. Destructive winds, wicked lightning, torrential rain, hail, downed trees, and power outages have been the norm since Thursday.

Yesterday's storms continued for hours. In Waynesboro downed trees caused power outages that affected businesses and the Waynesboro News Virginian newspaper. Arriving at 8:30 this morning, the condensed smaller-than-usual Sunday edition covered the storm on the front page and explained how they were affected by the weather:

Today's edition of The News Virginian is a condensed version of our usual four-section Sunday layout. We apologize to our readers and advertisers for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Due to the series of thunderstorms that hit the Waynesboro area on Saturday, The News Virginian suffered a power outage that left our offices in the dark until late last night. In an effort to ensure that the paper would be published and available to readers today, News Virginian staffers worked to coordinate and produce the paper at an alternate location.

We were unable to publish several sections of the paper that are normally available in our Sunday edition, including the Perspectives page and the Buzz section. Letters to the editor slated for publication in today's newspaper will be published in the following days. Weddings, engagements and other announcements scheduled for publication in today's Buzz section will be featured in the Sept. 2 edition.

Readers may also notice a change in the fonts and other elements implemented during The News Virginian's recent redesign. These changes are limited only to today's edition.

We also apologize for any delay in newspaper delivery to our subscribers as a result of this setback.
These things happen so I was happy to have the News Virginian and the Richmond Times Dispatch delivered this morning even if they were a little late.

The storms Friday and Saturday at my home west of Staunton were some of the fiercest I have seen in quite a while. The wind was extremely forceful, and it was the first time this year I had seen hail in a storm. In my area of the county tree tops were wrenched off ... other trees were downed ... leaves were plastered on the road ... several inches of rain have fallen in storms the past three days. The moisture was welcomed by my garden, flowers, and parched lawn.

Last night my husband and I were driving in the torrential downpours that accompanied those storms. It was difficult to see the roadway after dark ... and the storms never completely ended. As one would pass another would be coming behind it so that the lightning and thunder continued for hours ... zigzag, jagged lightning that lit up the sky. It was an impressive display of nature's power.

Update: Scott at Scott's Morning Brew wrote Thunderboomers, SWAC Girl, and Dead Police Cars ... a hilarious account of his family's reaction to the same storms that hit SWAC and worked their way across the state, eventually hitting his area near the coast. The "dead police car" wasn't so funny but his account of falling over the furniture as he raced through the house ... well, let's just say I got my laugh of the day! A police officer with a sense of humor ... I like it! Be safe out there.

Follow-up article by Bob Stuart in today's (August 27) Waynesboro News Virginia ... Thunderstorms leave an impact across the Valley.

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