Memories of the Storm
Tracey Moorhead and her family were displaced for more than six months following the Aug. 5, 2010 storm.
Tracey Moorhead says a day doesn’t go by where she doesn’t recall the Aug. 5, 2010 storm that ravaged Alexandria.
“Every time I pull onto my block I see all the trees missing,” the Virginia Street resident said. “I go out in my backyard and it’s full sun.”
Like many, Moorhead wasn’t in Alexandria when the storm hit. She was still in her office in Washington, D.C.
“I have a view straight up 7th Street over the river,” she said. “I could see the storm was right over Alexandria. … My niece called, who was staying with us, to tell me there was a tree on my house. Of course, I got home as quick as I could.”
When Moorhead returned to Alexandria, she said she was amazed. In total, three trees struck her home (see the image in the attached gallery). The force of impact knocked the roof several inches off the house. She said she tried to move as much clothing out of a third-floor bedroom as possible before the city workers arrived on the scene.
“The inspector showed up within two hours and issued the condemnation notice,” she said. “I was really pleased with reaction from the city.”
The damage displaced Moorhead and her family for almost seven months while the home was repaired. The Moorheads stayed with friends for the first week and then rented a house just off Braddock Road.
“Our neighborhood, our block are forever changed,” Moorhead said.
A week after the storm, Moorhead remembers her kids getting upset when another storm came through Alexandria. Her oldest daughter, Ava, then 6, was particularly shook up. She was comforted by her sister, Ruby, then 2, who said, “Don’t worry, all the trees have already come down.”
“The wisdom of a child,” Moorhead said.
Taryn Salinas: I remember how crazy it was driving home from D.C. in order to get my kids in Del Ray.
Kimberly Jefferson: I was on a plane at DCA when the storm began. We were just about to take off. Needless to say, that didn't happen until about four or five hours later. The storm was so strong it rocked the plane.
Bridgette Moore: I was nine months pregnant about to walk to get a pedicure when I noticed it didn't look too great outside. Luckily I stayed home. My little girl was born a few days later on Aug. 10.
Melanie Chansky: I was also nine months pregnant, so the two-day power outage on my street following the storm was not fun (Thankfully a friend who had electricity in Park Fairfax let us stay at her place while she was out of town that weekend). It took me three hours to drive from Loudoun County to Del Ray!
Gayle Todsen Reuter: First Thursday was supposed to take place that night and I was trying to get home from D.C. (which took 3 hours). I couldn't figure out why everyone said we needed to cancel it—from where I was, it looked like the rain and storm was over. What a shock when I actually saw the streets in Del Ray. It was so sad to see all those beautiful old trees down.
Eric Wagner: Damage on our block was generally not that bad. It took me just a bit longer to get home on my bike than usual, nor more than 10 additional minutes. My neighbors who were driving home had commutes that went from 20 minutes to 90 minutes or from 1 hour to 3 hours. We all convened at a neighborhood porch and decompressed afterwards.
@pollyandfiona: We lost power and were having a playdate. Somehow the girls hid the flashlights. When it got dark, we went to a hotel!
@mdphunk: Somehow we only lost power for 10 minutes and had no damage to our house. As new homeowners we were thankful! (Second Tweet) Went out exploring that night with flashlights. I remember Fireflies advertising "come in for burgers and beer." #stormageddon