Water, Power Bills Keep Climbing in Virginia Water, Power Bills Keep Climbing in Virginia

Some Pittsylvania County residents have to boil their water, the General Assembly approves foreclosure reform and Thursday was a day for accidents.

Daily Number

100 yards– That’s how far out from shore you could walk on the frozen Chesapeake Bay during “The Great Blizzard” of 1857. The storm went three days from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18, delivering a foot of snow to Norfolk. You could walk from the lighthouse at the mouth of the Chesapeake straight out 100 yards on the ice.


Some Chatham Residents Have to Boil Water

This week’s ice storm did more than shut off power. For some residents in Chatham, it caused problems with their water as well. Flooding in Cherrystone Creek caused debris to break a section of a water line.

As a result, the Town of Chatham put out a notice Thursday that all residents in the Tightsqueeze area, from Davis Road and along Dry Fork and Pleasant Gap Roads, have to boil their water for the current time.

Town officials said they would begin repairs later today, but couldn’t give a timeline for when that would be finished.


A Rough Day For Virginia State Police

Virginia State Police did everything they could to ask people to stay home. Unfortunately, when that advice was ignored, bad things happened. The agency responded to 442 accidents and 310 disabled vehicles due to the ice storm.

Officials also provided a breakdown of where the incidents occurred. Fairfax reported the most traffic accidents and disabled vehicles, with Richmond a close second.

Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • Appomattox Division : 47 traffic accidents and 28 disabled vehicles
  • Chesapeake Division : 53 traffic accidents and 47 disabled vehicles
  • Culpeper Division : 54 traffic accidents and 51 disabled vehicles
  • Fairfax Division : 107 traffic accidents and 57 disabled vehicles
  • Richmond Division : 100 traffic accidents and 55 disabled vehicles
  • Salem Division : 54 traffic accidents and 42 disabled vehicles
  • Wytheville Division : 27 traffic accidents and 30 disabled vehicles

Due to temperatures again dropping below freezing, VSP officials ask residents not to go out until the early afternoon hours today.


Question of the Day: Were Local Cities/Counties Prepared For The Storm?


General Assembly “Preserves the American Dream” With Vote

Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s Preserve the American Dream Act got final approval Thursday, through a 37-1 Senate vote. The one senator to vote against the bill was Sen. William DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach). The House previously approved it.

The bill is designed to protect Virginia homeowners from foreclosures. It requires mortgage companies to give a 60-day notice period to homeowners that are facing foreclosure. That’s a major increase from the current 14-day requirement.

Any foreclosure notice also has to include legal assistance information and resources for the homeowner. Cities and counties, meanwhile, will have to develop plans to maintain and improve manufactured housing.

The bill now goes to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.


Terry McAuliffe Talks Pay Equity and Fixing the Economy

COVID-19 caused a devastating wave of unemployment across the commonwealth. And last December, it hit Virginia women at an alarming rate.  On Thursday, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a plan to address the issue.  

First, he would increase the minimum wage in Virginia to $15 by 2024. Second, he would work to get companies to provide paid sick days and family leave, as well as increase support for child care and caregivers. Here’s more of Thursday’s discussion.

During the conference, McAuliffe talked to kindergarten teacher Ginger Hudson and at home caregiver Thomasine Wilson about their experiences and what they want to see in a post-COVID workforce. Overall, they both agreed that women, especially those in caregiving roles like K-12 teachers and daycare workers, need more protections and incentives for the hard work they do. 

“It’s important that we’re getting paid sick days,” said Wilson. “I’m going to help extend someone’s life, but I’m not being provided for.  I need to be able to go to the doctor and make sure I can pay for my medication.”

Important Dates Coming Up

  • Feb. 22-High school football starts a six-game season under the new guidelines for spectators.
  • Feb. 24-Free, no appointment drive-thru COVID-19 testing event in Arlington County (from 2 to 6 p.m. at 601 S. Carlin Springs Road.)
  • March 8 – International Women’s Day
  • March 15– All schools in the Commonwealth have to submit a plan to return to in-person learning.
  • March 16 – Freedom of Information Day
  • March 23 – Special election for District 38 Virginia Senate. Democrat Laurie Buchwald will compete against Republican Travis Hackworth.


When The Pandemic Hit, The Sussex Health Dept. Left

A disturbing story today out of Sussex County. There’s never a good time for a county’s health department to close, but the worst is probably during a pandemic. However that’s what the Sussex County Health Department did. In March, the department closed their doors with no warning to local residents. 

Local officials didn’t get a warning either. Dogwood’s Arianna Coghill reports on the state’s explanation, what they’re offering instead and the response from Sussex County.