Severe storm damages Public Works facility in Covington

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 1:50 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Va. (WDBJ/City of Covington Release) - A storm with heavy lightning severely damaged the Public Works building in Covington late Thursday or early Friday.

Around midnight Thursday night, city officials believe, lightning hit the fence of the Public Works lot and traveled through the ground, striking an unused underground gasoline storage tank, according to the city. This came from what the city calls “an unpredicted storm system that moved through the area with extreme wind, rain, thunder, and lighting.”

Damage was done to the surrounding Public Works lot and office, and two city vehicles. No injuries have been reported.

The city has taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of the scene, and asks the public to stay away from the area. The city believes there is no threat to public safety or employees as a result of the storm.

Public Works employees have begun to move equipment to other locations within the city and will resume normal operations again Tuesday, June 20, and ask the public to be patient throughout the weekend during the move.

City Manager Krystal Onaitis issued the following statement:

A big thank you goes out to Covington Fire Department, Covington EMS, Covington Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, Public Works Department, and other City Staff for coming out in the middle of the night to assess the damage and secure the scene and make sure everyone was safe and secured. We do not anticipate any inability to resume normal work on Tuesday.

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