July 10, 2012

"Eleven days after the windstorm, more than 2,300 Amherst County residents remain without power."

"To beat the heat, some chose to stay in an unlikely shelter — the old Amherst County Jail."
Seventeen people took refuge in the jail Monday morning. At the height of the power outages, the jail housed as many as 40 people.

The old jail, which closed Dec. 31, 2011 after a new regional facility opened in Madison Heights, served a cooling station in the aftermath of the storm.

Empty cells transformed into rooms. Children played in the recreational yard once occupied by prisoners. A crib sat inside a sparse cell.
Life in Virginia, one of the united states of America.


edutcher said...


Life in Barry's America.

Chef Mojo said...

There's been a lot of that around there.

You have to understand that Amherst Co. is in a very rough and rugged area of the Blue Ridge. They got hit very hard in the derecho, as did Nelson Co. Hell, the whole area got plastered.

Folks up there did what they always do. They got together and helped each other out. I'm in southern Albemarle Co., and lent some time and effort at a shelter up in Nelson and handing out bottled water to motorists. We had a novel solution to that; A pile up of upside down milk crates that we placed on the dividing line of the road in a 25 mph zone. Piled cases of bottled water donated by a local grocery, and handed the cases out as needed as vehicles stopped for them. It was something that we had started doing in my town the week before. 100 degree + heat over the last week or so. Everyone pitched in. Nobody waited around to see what would happen.

Chef Mojo said...

@ edbutcher:

Yeah. Life in Barry's America, but not the way you mean.

Like I said, folks got together and got it done.

YoungHegelian said...

Hell, there are people in DC & its suburbs who still don't have power, like if you were unlucky enough to have damage to the power feed to your individual house.

West Virginia also got the shit kicked out of it, too. I'm sure there are folks still without power in the hills & hollers, just nobody from the press has found them yet.

Folks who do not live close to the Appalachians do not realize just how rugged some of that terrain is. There's a damn good reason settlers headed west went through the Cumberland Gap.

ndspinelli said...

Maybe hatboy can save these inmates.

Chef Mojo said...

Boys like hatboy have a tendency to get lost up there in the hollers.

Best he stay put where he is.

And, hatboy? It ain't a gay thing.

rhhardin said...

I have a 12v fan that blows cool basement air at the first floor computer desk, where I am.

Solar air conditioning.

Ralph L said...

I've been told by a native they don't pronounce the "h" in Amherst, if you ever go there.

In the 70's, my female neighbor went to look at Sweet Briar College, an exclusive girls' school in the county. They asked if she'd be bringing her horse.

I'd have thought the Blue Ridge would have protected them from the wind a bit, but I guess not.

Paul said...

Sure would be nice of some of that TRILLION DOLLAR STIMULUS money had actually been spent on PUTTING POWERLINES UNDERGROUND.

But no, the pissed it off on flower pots on the loops.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama Nation.

Paula said...

My dad was born and raised in Amherst Co, VA. You're right, Ralph L, that the H is not pronounced. I grew up in Rockbridge Co. which is right next door. The people who live around there are tough and resilient and very helpful to one another. It's no surprise to me that they would look for a solution and make do until things improved, even if it meant sleeping in the jailhouse.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...


That is how people in relatively rural places do act when there's widespread distress. So do the vast majority of people in cities, but the small number of people who see a blackout or a storm or a controversial verdict as an opportunity to loot whatever store has the most stuff they happen to want at the time has made the much larger volume of decent behavior almost invisible.

My folks (in Maryland) got hit badly by the derecho, but they're OK (as are the three dogs, the parrots, the foster cats, and the finches), thanks to neighbors, friends, and a pretty efficient local downed-tree crew.