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Storm blamed for barge crashing into Virginia transmission tower

Accident happened in Chesapeake area during rainstorm

Dominion Energy transmission tower in Chesapeake, Virginia, hit by a barge during a morning rainstorm, Jan. 3, 2022. (Photo: Chesapeake Fire Department)

Dominion Energy is currently evaluating a transmission tower in southeastern Virginia that was struck by a barge during a Monday morning rainstorm, according to a report from WTKR in Norfolk.

The Chesapeake Fire Department said the tower is on the Elizabeth River, just north of the High Rise Bridge on Interstate 64. This is just south of Norfolk. The fire department got the call about the accident at 9:36 a.m. Monday.

When crews arrived, firefighters found a high-voltage transmission tower leaning. They believe the high tide, along with wind gusts exceeding 40 mph during the storm, caused the river barge to hit the tower. The rain turned to snow Monday afternoon as high winds continued to howl.

Dominion Energy is making plans for repairs. Company officials said all power lines are intact and, if necessary, power can be redirected to other lines. No widespread power outages were reported in the area as of late Monday afternoon.

Firefighters said marine traffic in the river has not been impacted by the incident. 

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.