ROANOKE, Va (WDBJ7) The sound of Utility trucks, and the sight of caution tape: for residents across the Roanoke Valley this week, those two things have been all too common.
The strong storms that swept the valley Sunday and Monday knocked out power to more than 10,000 people, forcing linemen like Herbert Coles to leap into action.
"I'd say it's been worse this year than it has been in years past," he said.
Coles has been doing this job for more than 30 years. He says lightning is what made this week's storms so destructive.
"And because of the lightning, and the rain and winds that came with it, there were a lot of trees that fell," he said.
And downed trees mean downed power lines. So many, in fact, that Appalachian Power had to bring in contractors from outside the area just to keep up with demand.
Coles's crew spent all day repairing power lines like this one in Roanoke County. In addition to having to reinstall the lines, Coles says his team has to conduct a thorough safety check each time.
"So it took a lot of time at the beginning of that just to make sure we could bring the power up, he said.
But with the sun coming out, and puddles drying up, crews around the region should be packing up, and heading out soon.