By Jeff Stapleton
First there was lots of rain and then came the winds. Windy conditions on Friday coupled with moist ground from the rain led to many trees falling down during the early part of the day on Friday in Caroline County, which brought down power lines and closed roads. The latter part of the day on Friday brought brush fires as the ground quickly dried up throughout the day.
Friday was also a day off for Caroline County Public School students. Initially, early Friday morning, schools were on a 2 hour delay. That changed to closed as the winds started whipping up Friday morning.
Caroline County Fire-EMS Chief Jason Loftus says that between the early morning hours of Thursday to the early morning hours of Sunday, Fire-EMS responded to 141 calls. 104 of those were fire calls and 37 were EMS calls. “We had 17 woodland fires or brush fires that burned an estimated 318 acres.” There was no personal property damage reported during the brush fires.
During that period, there were also 2 working house fires that resulted in total losses for the houses. One fire occurred at 3307 Goose Hill Road in Ruther Glen. The other occurred at 16082 First Street in Milford.
“Everybody in the county was extremely busy,” Loftus said. “Every station responded. It was a very short and intense duration for activity.” In addition to the fire and EMS calls, Loftus said that they also responded with the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office for numerous trees that were down due to winds. Loftus did not estimate how many calls involved tree removal.
In Caroline County, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reported outages in the thousands on Friday on their website. By Monday morning, that number was down to only 12 and there was a notice.