Hurricane Irene Liveblog
Written by Walter Hickey|
August 29, 2011
By Walter Hickey
Most people responsibly vacated the City of Williamsburg to seek shelter in other locations. Online Editor Walter Hickey remained in Williamsburg with a few friends to document the event. Check back frequently for updates on how the city and college are weathering Irene.
Final Update (with pictures): 8:30 AM, August 28
And, we’re back. Power remains out for close to one million customers of Dominion Power (According to the only local radio station active, 93.7 FM).
Campus doesn’t look too damaged. We had heavy winds and possibly lightening last night, so William and Mary is now covered on nearly every inch with leaves and branches. In some cases, trees fell. Some trees seemed to have exploded at some point during the night. In one confirmed case, a tree fell on a campus building.
I snapped some pictures of campus this morning. The full album can be viewed here:
I checked out a few buildings in particular. Wawa held up. The Dellys seemed to have weathered the storm well, as did Wren. Fallen trees blocked the entrance to the Music building.
The Sunken Garden did not, in fact, sink, and the same could be said for Morton Hall, where I couldn’t find any flooding. The Crim Dell seemed filled to its brim, and one of the pine trees next to the Daily Grind fell, but did not damage any buildings in an obvious way.
A tree exploded outside the Jamestown residences, with no obvious damage to either building. Likewise for two trees in front of Dupont Hall. A tree fell on Page Hall in the Randolph Complex, but the damage did not seem too severe.
I’ll post any updates I have on my end, and probably host a few of the pictures locally once internet improves. Until then, stay indoors if you’re getting hit, enjoy the sun if you’ve already endured it.
Update 9:50 pm
We lost power around 1:30 pm. I’ll update tomorrow morning in all probabilty. Right now Williamsburg is entering the roughest weather seen today.
UPDATE: 1:20 pm, August 27
We’re hit. Not much to report as we ride out the storm, but stills from NOAA indicate that we’re about to get the worst of it over the next few hours. Interestingly, depending on the size of it, the storm is in a trajectory to possibly give Williamsburg a glimpse of the hurricane’s eye.
Right now we have winds and torrential rain. The house lost power briefly, but we got it back after getting all of the candles going. Water is still running and, most importantly, we still have WiFi. I’ll update during the storm, but for now there’s just not much to report.
Do you have any new information on Irene in Williamsburg? Are you riding the storm out in CW? Let us know about it in the comments.
9:30 PM, August 26
A few updates on how the city itself is faring; the public library will be closed tomorrow for the storm, as will Pottery Barn, according to a post on the City’s website. Williamsburg Area transport will run service on its core lines tomorrow until 1 PM, when the bus system will shut down until Monday. The college remains closed until Monday at noon, pending storm developments.
Closer to home for students, the Richmond Road Wawa will remain open tomorrow “as long as we have power,” said one employee in response to a telephone call. The Wawa’s shutters have been closed in preparation for the hurricane.
The College Delly’s patio area is boarded up with plywood, but exclaim “STILL OPEN” in spray paint nonetheless. Regarding business tomorrow, a Paul’s Deli employee said the restaurants would “go for as long as we can” when the hurricane hits. The Green Leafe indicated that it will remain open for at least Saturday morning.
8:03 PM, August 26
I’m right now sheltered in an off campus house on Cary street. Yesterday, before most of the actual tenants vacated the premises to find shelter in Northern Virginia, we duct taped all of the windows in the house and invested in supplies to survive the weekend. We’ve bought bottled water, candles, food, and an edition of Monopoly, as well as various diversions to pass the time.
Provided the Internet connection remains active, I’ll update the live blog as the weekend continues, and we’ll find out whether Irene is over-hyped or actually disastrous. Either way, check back so you know what to expect when you return to campus.
So far, so good. It’s just under 90 degrees outside, with no rain yet but total cloud cover. Weather.com insists that we have only an 80% chance of rain, which seems a bit wishful.