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Hanover firefighters responded to 438 service calls in 2 hours

Posted at 12:03 AM, Jun 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-26 00:03:08-04

The Richmond area was hit hard by Monday’s severe weather. From Western Rockville in Hanover to East Richmond there was plenty of debris and damage in between and all around.

There were trees down, almost too many to count, and some busy intersections were blitzed with temporary black outs.

Monday afternoon’s storm blew through in just a few hours but left behind a trail of destruction that could take weeks to clean up.

"I saw this grey cloud twisting,” said Mark Rickey.  “It came up against the house.  I couldn't even get a look outside it was raining so hard.  It was like we were underwater."

The heavy winds damaged a few rows of Rickey’s vineyard.  "It’s gonna’ take a lot of sweat equity to get it back in shape,” said Rickey.  “Hopefully in time for harvest."

At least a dozen trees dropped around his home.  Miraculously, none of them hit the house. "Lucky, just lucky," Rickey said.

His neighbor down the driveway didn’t fare as well.  Tanker trucks were shuttling water in. 

That’s because a crawl space of that home was on fire, but firefighters managed to contain it and knock it down. 

There were obstacles though, not least a huge tree across the driveway that first responders had to cut their way through.  "As far as the neighborhood goes, I think we were one of the worst hit," said Floyd Spencer.

A pair of chain saws went to work on Spenser’s Rockville home. 

There, Spencer’s wife Hunter counted her blessings because Plan A was to drive home and wait in the driveway until the storm passed.  She says thankfully they chose Plan B.  "It's where I usually park my car,” she said, pointing to the huge tree that lay at her feet.  “But we decided to stay at the market.  Just lucky we were there and not here."

Luck.  Everyone in Rockville seems to agree they had plenty.  All of the reported damage was extensive, but somehow, there were no reported injuries.  Clean up and the costs are what will hurt the most.  “A long time to clean up,” said Floyd Spencer.  “But at least we’ll have plenty of firewood."

Floyd Spencer works in the advertising department of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  He joked that he may have to put an ad in the paper to find some debris removal help.  Hanover firefighters say over the course of two hours, they responded to 438 calls for service.