6:36 PM EDT, October 30, 2012
Our WDBJ7 crew drove by Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg on U.S. 460.
What we saw was one sad looking tent city, at least 20 large party tents. Most blown over.
Aluminum poles twisted like big soda straws and canvas canopies barely holding up.
Five pound metal stakes that normally hold down the large tents, have been ripped out of the ground. Others were hanging on string, dangling in the wind.
Turns out last weekend, Virginia Tech hosted the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's and Women's Cross Country Championship on this tract of land.
The school rented out the party tents AND the 20 Porta Johns, most which were also blown over.
At first, the university said the property didn't belong to Virginia Tech. So we asked Smithfield Plantation Director, David Mckissack, if it owned the land. "I don't know who's responsibility it is to pick up all that Orlando. But it's not Smithfield property."
Here's what happened.
The rental company that put up the tents is from Richmond. They were planning to take them down on Sunday, but couldn't. Then changed the date to Monday, but had to cancel because Sandy was getting worse. Then overnight, with winds gusting at 40 and 50 miles an hour, the tents and the toilets came crashing down.
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