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Microburst Destroys Historic Snow Creek Barn

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

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SNOW CREEK - A strong thunderstorm complex blew through the area Friday evening with damaging winds reported from West Virginia through the Carolinas. Within the line of storms, an intense microburst produced significant damage in the Snow Creek area of Franklin County. 

A historic barn and building owned by Phillip and Debbie Haynes were destroyed in the storm, along with other roofs and barns. Around 100 trees were blown over a fence line on Haynes' property.

Winds were likely at or above 70-80 mph in the microburst itself. Microbursts can produce damaging winds similar to a tornado, but in a diverging direction - opposed to a converging pattern that you would see in a tornado. 

Severe thunderstorms developed in the heat and humidity that grew as the day went on. As the line approached our area, the heat of the day was near its peak, allowing the storms to tower high into the sky very quickly. That quick rising of air has to come down at some point, gathering momentum and heavier rain-cooled air as it does. That's what's know as a microburst. 

The heaviest damage was about 1/4 of a mille wide according to Steve Oakes, who lives about a mile away from the hardest hit area. Parts of Snow Creek were without power after the storm blew through. 

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Bedford & Franklin Heritage Trail Set To Launch July 23

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

821b3940-85cc-43c6-9a5f-bc3d5a7d5f90FRANKLIN COUNTY - A joint county heritage trail project featuring historic landmarks and properties within Bedford and Franklin Counties will debut with a special inaugural tour to be held Saturday, July 23 from 10 am to 4 pm.

The tour includes four historic properties: Big Otter Mill, Historic Avenel, Jubal A. Early Homeplace, and The Hook- Powell-Moorman Farm. The Hook-Powell- Moorman Farm, Big Otter Mill, and Historic Avenel are not normally open to the public making this is a rare opportunity to view these private historic sites. The cost of the tour, which includes all four properties, is only $5 person/$10 family (cash or check) and will be sold on site at any of the four locations.

Tour guests can also visit the Booker T. Washington National Monument and receive discounted admission to The National D-Day Memorial. 

The project has been several years in the making and was initially developed by Carla Whitfield, Superintendent for the Booker T. Washington National Monument. It is anticipated the tour will become an annual event featuring a different theme and set of historic properties to be highlighted.

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Appalachian Power to Build New Six Million Dollar Substation in Redwood

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

7103295 GREDWOOD – Appalachian Power has announced a project that will increase electric reliability for its customers in Franklin County.

The proposed Redwood Substation project will update the company’s local electric delivery system with a new substation and by replacing about 4 miles of existing distribution line. The $6 million project will provide a robust energy hub for customers from Rocky Mount to Smith Mountain Lake while meeting the growing electricity demands of the region.

Appalachian identified the need to improve its local infrastructure following extreme weather conditions during the last two winter seasons. Aging equipment combined with severe weather pushed the company’s system to capacity. This project will help alleviate stress on the system and reduce the possibility of extended power outages.

“Our focus as a company is to provide reliable service to our customers at an affordable price,” said Larry Jackson, external affairs manager for Appalachian Power. “This project will ensure the residents of Franklin County continue to receive the highest quality of service while providing them with a system that is capable of handling the future power needs of the region.”

The new Redwood Substation will be built on a piece of land owned by Appalachian Power near the intersection of Powells Store and Webster roads. The company will also build about 600 feet of transmission line and two transmission structures to connect the substation to an existing transmission line, all on company property. The 60-year-old Glade Hill Substation will be retired and removed after the new substation is placed in service.

Appalachian is seeking local approval for the substation. If received, construction is expected to start this fall and be complete by the end of 2017. The Redwood Substation project is estimated to add approximately $20,000 in taxes annually to Franklin County.

The Redwood Substation project is part of the $650 million investment in announced Appalachian Power energy system upgrades in southwestern Virginia.