Wind causes tree to fall and knock out power on Mount Vernon

A tree on Foxhall Road fell across the road on power lines Saturday night, blacking-out the Mount Vernon campus for about an hour and a half.

The power outage began at about 7 p.m. Backup generators kept only powered hallway lights on throughout the power outage. The GWorld readers that operate entrance locks were not operational, causing some difficulty for students getting into the dorms.

No one was injured and Somers Hall, the closest residence hall to the fallen tree, was not damaged, said Media Relations Director Tracy Schario.

Some students said they could see the fallen tree from their residence halls.

“A huge gust of wind came by, and I heard a cracking sound,” said freshman Sean Cheang, who lives on Somers’ first floor. “Then I saw a spark, and the power flickered out. Then it came back on, then it went back out. I grabbed my flashlight and looked out my window and saw that the tree had fallen on the cables and blocked the road.”

Cheang saw cars drive under the fallen tree, which was suspended in air, supported by the power lines.

“Cars tried to drive under and policemen came to slow traffic,” Cheang said. “A fire truck came and turned back around after looking at the extent of the damage, and after about an hour, an electric company cherry picker came.”

By about 7:10 p.m., a police car was stationed at the corner of Whitehaven Parkway and Foxhall Road to divert incoming traffic.

“It was a good bonding experience,” said freshman Klaas-Jan Lindemann, who heard a “crack and a boom” before the power went out. “We were all in the hall eating snacks. And we realized how badly dependent we are on electrical devices.”

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