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County to Open Shelters for Residents Impacted by Storm

Albemarle County officials have declared a local emergency in the wake of powerful thunderstorms that passed through the area on Friday evening at approximately 9:00 pm.  The storm caused significant damage to a number of structures in the area including several trees falling into houses.  Roads throughout the area have been blocked by falling trees and downed power lines.  Emergency crews have responded to a number of structure fires, natural gas leaks, and alarm activations.  Approximately 30,000 local residents were without power at 3:00 am.

Officials are reporting 2 fatalities as a result of the storm.  A man was killed by a falling tree while standing on a deck at a home on Decca Lane.  A woman was killed by a falling tree while walking on Route 29 South.  Identification of the victims is pending notification of next of kin - that information will be released by the Police Department later today.

Officials have opened a shelter to provide services for residents without power at Burnley Moran Elementary School (1300 Long Street) this morning.  Anyone coming to the shelter should bring basic supplies including medication, toiletries, clothing, formula, baby food, diapers, sleeping bags, special dietary needs, any necessary medical equipment, and identification.  People are also encouraged to bring books, games and activities to keep themselves and their children occupied.  Pets in cages will be accepted at the shelter.

Anyone with questions about the shelter including information about bringing pets should call the Emergency Communications Center non-emergency number at 977-9041.  Those needing emergency assistance should call 911.  Residents should be on the lookout for hazards and should not attempt to deal with downed power lines.

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