Charlottesville is very windy, but during the past few weeks it has been missing. It returned today. Sirens have been rampant in the downtown area throughout the entire day. At one point in the morning four fire engines went zipping up the hill on High Street (where someone once pulled a gun on me). But a few fire engines was insignificant compared to the near disaster on the historic downtown mall.
The sky had cleared after a four day stretch with rain, drizzle, and fog. The wind had been gusting since around noon. For those on the mall the gusts were causing visibility to become close to zero due to the sand that was getting blown away from the $7.5 million dollar rebricking project. I could barely see but I heard the tearing of wood. One of the construction walls designed to keep pedestrians safe was suddenly shifting in wild sways.
Two people were walking along the wall. As the swaying grew wilder they were lucky that they decided to leap to the side. The wall launched from its mounts and decided to lay flat on the lovely fresh bricks. Both the pedestrians had fallen to the ground as they leaped towards safety, but after the thunderclap of wood hitting the bricks they dusted themselves off and left the scene. I’m sure C-Ville is glad they decided not to sue (as of this writing).
The gusts have continued throughout the day. At approximately 7pm three other blocks had walls that had collapsed. Due to basketball-related events I was not around to witness the additional wall collapses, but one can just hope that breeder results were not compromised. I guess.
Will the mall be repaired by the time I wander around on it on a Monday morning, or will the devastation persist? I can only hope that the Valley of the Skeletor is back to normal in the morrow.