I’ve covered plenty of tornadoes in my years living in Kentucky – but I didn’t expect to cover damage like this in the DC area. Although it wasn’t a tornado that ripped through Alexandria today, it was 60-80 mph straight-line winds. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
Several neighborhoods in Alexandria were hit hard by storms late Wednesday night and those living there woke up to a big mess.
Alexandria neighborhoods like Belle View and Belle Haven were the hardest hit in Wednesday night’s storms. Massive trees were uprooted and thrown onto houses and cars, even blocking traffic.
“I was kind of dumbfounded,” says James Copple, who lives in Belle Haven. “I’ve been working for 5 weeks in a conflict zone, in the South Sudan, this was the most terrifying part of the last 6 weeks.”
Copple grew up in the midwest and says storms like these are all too familiar. “It was very intense, very severe, some minor hail. I went upstairs to my bedroom and I said lets go downstairs this is not normal,” he remembers.
“We thought the same thing,” says another neighbor Carol Learned. “We thought, is this what a tornado is? They eye of some big storm? It was frightening.”
Straight line winds were actually to blame, about 60 to 80 miles-per-hour. Learned and her family also took cover downstairs, away from windows. “We were shocked to see how many trees were down in the morning,” she says.
Thursday morning, she, along with the rest of the neighborhood walked around Belle View, H Street and Boulevard View, taking in the destruction.
Crews already working to remove the trees, fixing what’s underneath, though, will take much longer.
No injuries have been reported so far.