As night fell in Colonial Beach, Hurricane Sandy reached out and turned off the lights for hundreds living in the riverfront town.
And 15 miles to the northwest in King George, a Dominion Virginia Power lineman had to pull the plug on the power running to homes on La Grange Street so he could safely fix a fuse. Hurricane Sandy was sending a few calling cards to Central Virginia.
By late afternoon, the winds whipped so violently at times it was difficult for workers to use their extender pole. So they had to go up in a bucket instead, with crews braving the elements. Some spectators didn’t heed the warnings from local leaders to stay inside. “It’s a lot of fun to watch,” said Colonial Beach resident Tim Riddle. “I like to watch the river rise. It can get pretty wild around here.”
The sideways rain and wind was a constant for the better part of two hours in Colonial Beach. It felt like ice pellets were mixed in. The folks living in this tiny town said their biggest fear involved the river. They said if Sandy’s outer bands lashed out enough, it could cause the river to rise and lap over Route 205 and shut it down.
Ultimately, though it was not river water but a tree that did just that. Route 205 was temporarily closed after a tree fell and took several power lines with it. Police on the scene diverted traffic, certain it would be the first of many 9-1-1 calls they’d respond to in connection with Hurricane Sandy.