Scenes from Irene
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 08/30/11
Two days after Hurricane Irene, Henrico residents were displaying not only their ingenuity, but their sense of humor in the aftermath of the storm. The Henrico Citizen visited neighborhoods in the particularly hard-hit Tuckahoe District Monday and found widespread damage but positive attitudes as well.
On Sweetbriar Road in Westham, near the University of Richmond, the owner of a home partially collapsed by the weight of a huge fallen tree displays the sign, "Scratch and Dent Sale."
On Lakewood Drive in Westham (above), F. Claiborne ("Jay") Johnston, Jr., brought his car to a stop next to a reporter taking pictures and said jokingly, "I hope you're my adjuster!"
Although a crew was busily at work on their damaged roof – and a crushed car sat in the driveway – Johnston and his wife Carolyn considered themselves "extremely lucky."
They heard their tree come down at 3:15 p.m. Saturday, as Johnston was upstairs and his wife was downstairs.
"It was like a hand grenade going off," said Johnston. He speculated that the noise was the result of the tree hitting his wife's car, which appeared to take most of the blow.
"It's almost like the tree forked when it hit the house," he said, tracing the paths of the two tree-top pieces.
The glancing blow left a small hole in the corner of his roof ("You could go up in the attic and see daylight") but there was no water damage and not a single broken window.
"It went down one side of the house and killed the crepe myrtle and holly in the front. But hell, we can live with that."
With a smile, Johnston noted that his wife was inclined to look at the bright side of the destruction as well. He quoted her reaction upon seeing her clobbered automobile as a delighted, "I get a new car!"
Three trees fell within a half-block radius on Lakewood Drive; one of them totaled a Henrico County Department of Public Works truck that had responded to an earlier call, according to Henrico Fire spokesman Chris Buehren. It was the only damage to a county vehicle reported from the storm.
After seeing the damaged truck, Johnston marveled, "It was crushed! If those guys had been in it...."
Johnston's neighbor on Lakewood, Julie Black, lost her landscaping and a flower bed when county crews dragged a neighbor's hickory tree off her lot in order to clear the street.
"They have a lot of nuts!" she said of hickory trees, tossing handfuls into the pile of debris she had collected. "You never realize it until they fall."
But Black also considered herself fortunate.
Home from her job at the darkened downtown offices of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, Black said Irene was much kinder than Hurricane Isabel, which dropped a tree on her home in 2003.
She offered nothing but praise for Dominion Power and the county utility crews, who responded quickly after both storms.
"A lot of people complain about Dominion Power," she said, "but I always defend them."
She waved to a neighbor driving by, and the neighbor opened her window to tell Black excitedly, "Dominion [Power] is here!"
As she drove off, the neighbor called out with a laugh, "We must have someone powerful in the neighborhood!"
A beach ball lies squashed – but remarkably, still inflated – between an uprooted tree and a now undulating fence on Glendale Road (above). Nearby, a BBQ grill tilts dangerously off kilter.
On Cedarbrooke Lane off Ridge Road (above), a fallen tree lies sprawled across the front yard.
An upended mailbox still rakishly clings to its pole on Cedarbrooke Lane (above), open to the sky, as if belatedly begging for mercy from the storm.
A car lies crushed beneath a huge tree felled by the storm on Cedarbrooke Lane (above).
On Baldwin Road at Stuart Hill, a tree blocks the road (above).
A tree lies across a yard on San Juan Drive off Forest Avenue (above).
On University Boulevard off Patterson Avenue (above), a falling tree had a domino effect on a utility pole and strands of wire are everywhere.
A fallen tree blocks the sign at Cheswick Park on Forest Avenue (above).
A tree at this home on Sweetbriar Road (above) was uprooted during the storm, taking out others as it fell
A neighbor on Sweetbriar Road (above) jokingly erected this sign, which read "Scratch and Dent sale" in the aftermath of the storm's damage.
On Tarrytown Road in Sleepy Hollow (above), the damage was similar.
On Cedarbrooke Lane, a tree flattened a barely-recognizable basketball goal.
By Holly Speck and Hannah Matheson, Capital News Service 02/24/2017 General AssemblyGeneral Assembly 2017
Senior students at Glen Allen High School will get a personal touch when studying elections with their AP government teacher.
That teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg, recently announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District seat in the House of Delegates. If he earns the nomination, he will run against Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, who has been unopposed for 10 years.
VanValkenburg, a 2004 University of Richmond alumnus who majored in history, is running for office for the first time. Although he has lived in Richmond since he began his undergraduate studies, aside from one year spent in Seattle, he said he never felt it was his time to run. > Read more.
School and business leaders from around the region, including (pictured, from left) Simon Hodges of Dominion Resources, Daphne Swanso(president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia) and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, gathered at Libbie Mill Library Feb. 23 for the Junior Achievement Finance Park construction kickoff. > Read more.
Finishing a day early, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a budget Wednesday that includes employee pay raises and more money for K-12 education and mental health.
The negotiators presented their budget to their fellow lawmakers in time for the required 48-hour review, which could be completed by Friday night with a chance to adjourn their 2017 session before Saturday’s target date.
Republican leaders in the House and Senate praised the spending plan’s conservative fiscal policies. > Read more.
A section of Charles City Road, from Lewis Road to South Airport Drive, will be closed beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 as part of a project to widen and improve the road.
The Henrico County Department of Public Works expects the closure to last for a few weeks.
Westbound traffic on Charles City will be detoured around the work zone by way of South Airport, Seven Hills Boulevard and Laburnum Avenue. > Read more.
By Rodrigo Arriaza and Maura Mazurowski, Capital News Service 02/24/2017 General AssemblyGeneral Assembly 2017
Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union called on Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday to veto Republican-backed legislation banning local governments in Virginia from designating themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. They also said they plan to fight federal and state policies that they believe violate immigrants’ rights.
At a news conference, representatives of the ACLU of Virginia and other civil rights organizations criticized anti-immigrant measures passed by the General Assembly. They also condemned the recent spike in deportation raids on immigrant communities in Virginia by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. > Read more.
St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.
Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.
Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.
Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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CalendarHenrico County and its Heroin Task Force will present a community summit on heroin and opioid abuse and addiction from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Glen Allen High School. FBI Director James B. Comey will be the keynote speaker. These potent, highly addictive drugs, which include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, are threatening every community and segment of society, regardless of age or income. The summit will offer information from local community service providers and include a showing of “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opioid Addict.” A panel discussion will follow. Admission is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, go to http://HeroinOpioidCommunitySummit.eventbrite.com or call (804) 727-8574. Full text