Manassas Journal Messenger | Rough winds cause power outages

The wind advisory issued Wednesday by the National Weather Service was the sort that sends kite-flying enthusiasts into a frenzy, but the 50 mph gusts predicted for Manassas and Prince William County never materialized.

Still, as of Wednesday afternoon there were 127 customers without power near Haire Street and Coles Drive in Manassas.

“We’ve had outages in the region throughout the afternoon,” said Le-Ha Anderson, a spokeswoman for Dominion Power. “They were most likely due to the wind.”

The highest wind speed recorded in Manassas was a 37 mph gust around 2 p.m., according to meteorologist Cindy Woods of the National Weather Service, but by 3:30 p.m. the average wind speed was down to 20 mph, with gusts around 25 mph, Woods said.

Other areas in Northern Virginia got a little closer to the National Weather Service prediction. Leesburg recorded a peak wind speed of 47 mph, and Dulles topped out at 45 mph.

Anderson said that at one point Wednesday afternoon the Dominion Power facility in Woodbridge showed 247 homes without power and the majority of outages occurred in Fairfax County.

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative didn’t report any power outages in Prince William County, Manassas or Manassas Park, though outages did occur in Fauquier, Loudoun and Fairfax counties.

According to the National Weather Service, a cold front crossed over Northern Virginia early Wednesday morning, towing cold air and windy conditions in its wake.

The weather service issues a wind advisory when sustained winds are forecast to be 31 to 39 mph with gusts between 46 and 57 mph. According to its Web site, “winds of these magnitudes may cause minor property damage without extra precautions.”

At 4:19 p.m., the weather service cancelled the wind advisory, though kite addicts willing to brave the cold could still take advantage of 30 mph gusts.

Area law enforcement said no accidents or significant property damage had been reported as a result of the winds as of Wednesday afternoon.

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