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Outages change Fourth for some
Thousands in Fredericksburg area remain without cooling, electricity

 A family photo shows the trunk of a white oak standing after the rest of it fell on the Williams home on Eskimo Hill Road.
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Date published: 7/4/2012

BY LINDLEY ESTES

This Independence Day, some Fredericksburg-area residents are hoping to be liberated from the heat.

Dominion Power doesn't expect to restore all of the power outages caused by last Friday's "derecho" storms until Saturday, leaving thousands of residents still without electricity on a day when temperatures are expected to hit 94.

Of the more than 100,000 homes and businesses in the region that lost power, 6,588 remained without it as of 9:15 Tuesday night. Though most localities in the Fredericksburg area have scaled back relief efforts, Stafford County remains under a local state of emergency for the foreseeable future and has the highest number of residents without power, at about 2,500.

Area residents without power say they're still celebrating the Fourth, just not the way they initially planned.

Ryan Brosmer of Fredericksburg and girlfriend Tyler Jennings were moving into a new apartment on William Street when the power went out Friday. On Tuesday, they were still among 485 in the city without power.

"So far, we've been staying with my parents," he said. "We might go down to Richmond [for the holiday] since we're not going to be downtown for the best day to be."

Brosmer is a longtime area resident and moved to downtown Fredericksburg two years ago. He said that made it easier to enjoy the Heritage Festival and other such events.

"It's one of the things I love about being downtown," he said. "You have all of that there and can get to air conditioning if it gets too hot. But without power, that benefit is gone."

Sally Blackburn, who lives in the Mountain View area of Stafford, lost electricity in the storm, but she and her husband have been using a generator to power their home. Her father, who lives down the road from their farm, has no electricity.

"I've been bringing him to work with me during the day," she said. "He needs to be in air conditioning."

They will be spending the holiday at a cookout hosted by a friend who lives in the city.

"She has power," Blackburn said. "And she has a pool, so it's even better."

Amanda Sacrey of Stafford said that though power has returned to her home, her grandmother Patricia Martufi is still without air conditioning.


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