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Danville prepares for its second severe ice storm this week

‘It’s been 10 or 15 years since we’ve had a storm of this magnitude’

The storm from the past weekend left nearly 20,000 customers without electricity.
The storm from the past weekend left nearly 20,000 customers without electricity.

DANVILLE, Va. – Five days after an ice storm left thousands of Danville residents without power, the city is gearing up for round two.

Another storm is expected to coat Danville in a half an inch of ice, which could mean danger for both roads and power lines.

“I think it’s been 10 or 15 years since we’ve had a storm of this magnitude,” said Danville Public Works director Rick Drazenovich.

“We plan for the worst, and hope that it doesn’t happen,” said Danville emergency management director Tim Duffer.

The weather remained clear in Danville on Wednesday, so public works crews had the opportunity to cover the city’s roads with brine before the winter weather moved in. However, Drazenovich said the brine has its limits if Danville receives a sizable amount of ice.

“You can drive a little bit in snow and you can get around, but if the roads truly are iced up, it’s best to stay off the roads whenever possible,” Drazenovich said. “It’s too unpredictable.”

Duffer said the major danger is trees. When ice sticks to them, they can sometimes break under the extra weight, which can then fall on roads or power lines.

“Usually with snow, you have that risk, but not in the same quantity as ice,” Duffer said. “We’re getting our chainsaws ready. We’re making sure our generators are in good shape.”

Downed trees were a major reason why more than 20,000 Danville households were left without power after Saturday’s ice storm.

“I expect there will be many, many more trees coming down on the power lines,” Drazenovich said.