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Mount Vernon District Residents Cope with Heat, Power Outages

Sherwood Regional Library was a popular choice for local residents seeking relief from the heat Sunday.

Over the weekend, Bob and Gail Trimble found themselves temporarily homeless in the face of temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees.

The Trimbles, who live in Mason Hill, survived Friday’s violent storm, which knocked a large oak tree into their garage and part of their home. Without a safe place to stay, they have been sleeping at a hotel at Fort Belvoir, although it doesn’t have working air-conditioning.

“It’s always the worst,” Bob Trimble said of his neighborhood. “We lose power first and we are always last to get it back.”

On Sunday, the couple kept cool by attending church services, eating out for lunch and stopping by , where they joined countless others seeking relief from the heat and widespread power outages.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in the greater Alexandria area hit 98 degrees Sunday afternoon. At 4 p.m. Sunday, Dominion Power reported 127,058 customers still without power in Fairfax County, most in the county’s eastern side.

Fairfax County has designated the at 2017 Belle View Blvd. as an emergency cooling shelter, but on Sunday, staff at the center said they knew nothing about a cooling shelter. Crystal Bryant of Franconia and Kenneth Woods of Mount Vernon stopped by the RECenter Sunday afternoon, although both have electricity at home.

“The first day, the first night, my neighborhood got back power, so we haven’t had it so bad, but traffic lights have been worse,” Woods said.

Bryant said a good friend was married Saturday, but the reception venue was without power and had to be changed at the last minute, and the food prepared for the reception apparently went bad.

“That was really tough,” she said. “It was a beautiful ceremony, but the reception … not so much.”

Guests dined on cheese and crackers and wine, Bryant said.

Fort Hunt resident Espedito Gasparo also took his family to Sherwood Regional Library Sunday while power was out at home, in Stratford Landing. The family is sleeping in the basement, the coolest part of the house.

“The worst part is just to keep them busy,” Gasparo said of his two sons, ages 7 and 10.

Yet there is an upside to a power outage, said Bob Trimble: Time to sleep.

“I was sound asleep by nine o’clock,” he said Sunday afternoon. “It was awfully nice to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and feel completely rested.”

Peggy Cousins July 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I bundle with COX for Phone, Internet and TV. I can't reach friends by phone since electric power was restored for Belle View. Is anyone else having problems? A Belle View resident
Mandy July 02, 2012 at 06:28 PM
I am not complaining as I think Dominion Virginia Power has done an excellent job since my power was only out for 16 hours. Phone service was a little confusing to me as my landline phone with Verizon was out until this morning but is working today as well as our cell phones using Sprint and AT&T towers. I do have to give credit to AT&T as that cell phone always had contact throughout the outage. I do wonder why the corded landline phone service went down as usually during outages the landline with a corded phone still works. I guess it was just such a massive outage, everything was overwhelmed. Considering how many people were without service I do want to say thanks to all the people who worked around the clock to get electricity and phone service working again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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