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    Hurricane Sandy barrels through Loudoun; floods roads, leaves thousands without power

    photo Severe flooding at the intersection of Route 15 and Oatlands Road. Photo Courtesy/Virginia State Police

    Aside from major outages and flooded roads, Loudoun County was spared from significant damage as Hurricane Sandy barreled through the Northern Virginia region Monday.

    Still more than 9,000 are without power this afternoon in Loudoun County.

    As of 1:30 p.m. Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) reported 2,629 without electricity. Approximately 15,000 NOVEC customers were without power in the Northern Virginia area this morning.

    A NOVEC service technician who had finished restoring power in Upperville was nearly swept away by storm waters last night when he crossed the bridge over Beaverdam Creek about 10:52 p.m., according Loudoun Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Mary Maguire.

    “Water torrents picked up the bucket truck and shoved it against a bridge railing,” said Mason Hollcroft, manager of NOVEC’s construction department.

    Water rose past the truck’s door, rising an inch every five minutes, according to Hollcroft. A co-worker in the truck behind them called 911, who was able to rescue the man. The rescue took an hour, Maguire said, and the scene was cleared by 12:50 a.m. Tuesday.

    “We’re very grateful to these first responders,” Hollcroft said.

    As of 1:30 p.m. Dominion Virginia Power had 6,200 in Loudoun still without power.

    “We’re hoping by the end of the day to give exact restoration figures,” said Dominion spokesman Dan Donavan.“There are certain places where we are still trying to gain access because there’s big damage.”

    A full-time crew of 5,500 are working today to get power restored to customers, Donavan said.

    Loudoun Fire & Rescue responded to 144 incidents yesterday, Maguire said, including 24 electrical wires and poles down, 12 flooded basements and nine fallen trees. There was also one structure fire with no injuries. They’ve responded to 49 incidents today, including seven electrical wires and poles down, five flooded basements, and one tree into a structure.

    Calls were up about 50 percent Monday compared to an average day, Maguire said.

    “Things have not been catastrophic,” Maguire said. “Citizens have helped by staying home.”

    Roads are closed throughout the county as a result of the storm.

    Route 15 is closed north and south of Goose Creek due to flooding and nearby East Lime Kiln Road is closed to Steptoe Lane.

    Route 50 is closed from the Fauquier-Loudoun County border to Atoka Road in Fauquier.

    Numerous other secondary roads, many near Purcellville and Lovettsville in western Loudoun, are flooded or impassable. An updated listing of closed roads can be found here.

    Loudoun County schools, county government offices and Leesburg Town offices are closed again today as crews work to restore power to the area.

    In addition, the Leesburg Kiwanis Halloween parade has been canceled for the first time in 56 years.

    While the worst of the rain and wind is over, forecasters at the National Weather Service expect more rain today, possibly mixed with some snow. No snow accumulation is expected.
    Winds could gust as high as 33 mph today.

    The same forecast is expected for tonight, with the winds dying down to 8 to 16 mph with a low of 38 degrees.

    By Wednesday, there’s a 20 percent chance of showers with winds of up to 16 mph.

    photoGoose Creek floods over Route 15. Photo Courtesy/Virginia State Police.
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