outskirts: life and times in charlottesville

…small town life

Every day since July 3rd has been hot. Burning hot. Not a single day has seen a high below 90. A half dozen days have been over 100.

All will and hope hope have been baked out of the village. I’ve been doing my best (as you can see in the self-portrait) to get powers to provide relief (other than Dominion). Will today be the first day where we don’t see 90? Will hope return to the Charlottesvilleites? Will the village survive?

I’ve killed a few lambs so one can only hope.

After 40 days and 40 nights of 90+ degree heat, the curse has finally broken. They are calling for three straight days below 90. Locals are in a state of panic due to these extreme temperatures. I’ve seen many in winter coats. Silly people…coats are for wimps.

After our recent deforestation due to microbursts from hell, the hot baked roads around here are really in rough shape. Be sure to drive carefully.

C-Ville after drought
Current view of poor road conditions in C-Ville.

As the moon rises in the sky the vast majority of Charlottesville is sitting around watching it – due to a city wide blackout.

Worst hit areas I’ve seen are Hinton/Avon and Rugby/Oxford. UVA has power. Downtown mall has 2 blocks of power. Mas has power. That is about it.

Current estimate for fixing this vast disaster are 3-4 days at best, but psychological recover could take much longer. And I fear for all the restaurants that have no generators…that is a lot of food.

P.S. Why do no locals know the laws associated with non-functioning traffic lights. Learn to read, then try to learn. Skip the fish stuff.

This has been the hottest June in the history of the village, even if the temperature doesn’t get to 90 again this month. Luckily, the forecast is for 95ish degrees for the next 10 days, so there is no doubt we will bake.

Rumors have been circulating that the wind may blow, and that only means one thing…the power will go. Village elders haven’t publicly stated it, but there are rumblings that we are living on the cutting edge of power here in the village, and it may be getting worse.

During the rest of this summer they are thinking of doing rolling blackouts across the village to prevent circuits from blowing. Soon we’ll have power on the north side of the mall on even days, south side on odd. The ramifications of this disaster are unimaginable. Let’s face it, one side of the mall is good, the other is evil (even The Hook and C-Ville are on opposite sides). If I get forced to have to visit the evil side I won’t be happy.

The most dangerous part of this baked bean summer is trying to not get crushed by the falling IQ’s. They are falling all around. As locals wander around in this heat for their fourth cig of the morning the brain cells start to die from the excessive heat (plus cigs). It’s scary. Be sure to bring a brain cell umbrella with you whenever you have to venture outside (although being outside is not advisable until November when the weather changes).

historic bound horse
This horse may become a BBQ dinner in this heat.

Although I had to kill a bear to stay warm, I managed to get back home after snapping a few photos. One thing of interest is the state of transit in the village. Things were still moving early in the afternoon, but not much seemed to be moving later.

I also found it fascinating to watch people just walk in the middle of the road (on main roads) and totally ignore the fact that vehicles are allowed to drive in the road. On several occasions motorist tried to explain this to people and voices became raised.

A few shots are here: Flickr 2010 Snowstorm

Here was the before/after on the transit station (1pm and 4pm).

Transit A

Transit B

Earlier story: C-Ville Snowpocalypse 2

C-Ville has been decimated by yet another blizzard to end all blizzards. In this photo you can see that only a few have ventured into the total whiteout situation.

View of downtown mall at 11 am

Whatever you do, stay inside. Single digit temperatures are sure to freeze locals to lampposts as they lick them (they never seem to learn around here).

Image of local who tried to lick this post at 8am this morning. He is still there (this reporter does news and never interferes with the circle of life.

I’m putting on my parka gear. If I survive the trip I might get a few snapshots posted later today. If not…may the wolves enjoy a good snack.

Also, for those that have read this far, you should note that the downtown mall has been converted to the main road through town. This is because it was plowed and no roads have been. Cars have also started parking on the mall since they can easily walk in to the three stores that have remained open. Most storefronts have just become smoker hangouts.

There is a chance of snow this weekend. Local authorities are urging you to get out now and buy your guns and beer. They remind you that these are the two key items to life.

Now go buy. Remember to never drink (more than two cases) and drive. The guy in this photo (I think it is TJ) is ready! Are you?

Snow has blanketed the village. Residents have already cleared the shelves of all milk and bread. Toilet paper is almost gone and the price is now over $5/sheet. All school events have been canceled including sports and SAT Testing (I don’t need no stinkin’ testin’).

Historical Blizzard

This photosimulation (they love that phrase around here) shows the downtown mall in front of the Wachovia Bank (click for full size image). The residents heard rumors there were cigarettes underneath this snowbank so will dig until their lungs give up. I’m betting they’ll be under the snowbanks shortly.

Between snow tires, flares on the side of the road, and begging for toilet paper, this is shaping up to be a very entertaining day.

Update: Photo of the trolley trying to navigate through the blizzard (from The Hook’s Webcam).
C-Ville Trolley in Snow

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 7 PM EST this

Precipitation is expected to begin across the central and northern
Shenandoah Valley and Potomac Highlands around sunrise… and
spread into the central foothills soon thereafter. In the
mountains… the precipitation will start as snow. However… in the
central Shenandoah Valley… it should be a rain snow mix at
onset… and the precipitation likely will begin as rain around
Charlottesville and the central foothills.

Any rain will quickly change over to snow as cooler air is drawn
southeastward. Snow will become moderate to heavy during the late
morning and afternoon hours which may reduce visibilities to one
quarter mile or less. Snow will taper off early in the evening.

Snowfall totals of 5 to 8 inches are expected for areas along and
west of the Blue Ridge. The highest totals can be expected along
Skyline drive… where the cold air will reside the longest. Just
east of the Blue Ridge… snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches can
be expected.

Temperatures are expected to fall into the lower 30s which will
lead to slippery roads.

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow are
expected or occurring.

Hurricane Ida has been parked over C-Ville for the past three days, and needless to say, there is absolutely no milk or bread left in any stores. Supplies of other key products such as diapers are also extremely low.

A brave citizen sent this amazing photo showing the utter chaos that has erupted on the downtown mall.

Ida Hits C-Ville

The wind was so strong that the child was swept away from the parent just after this photo was taken. The aggressive squirrels of the downtown area (of which one attacked the photographer as this picture was taken) quickly dealt with the child in a way that can’t be described in this family-based publication. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Coverage will continue until this storm leaves the area. Unless the squirrels get me. I’m scared. Really scared.

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.

Wall collapse on 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.