Busch Gardens Skyride reportedly damaged by weekend storm

WILLIAMSBURG – About 2,500 residents in the Williamsburg area lost power due to a storm that passed through the area Sunday evening.

Williamsburg Acting Fire Chief Larry Snyder said more than 2,500 customers were without power at the height of the outages. The most extensive damage from the storm, which hit the area around 5:30 p.m., came from several fallen trees, some of which struck power lines.

A tree reportedly hit a cable on the Skyride at Busch Gardens, according to social media accounts. Another downed a power line and started a brush fire, damaging a footbridge in Redoute Park.

Fire crews responded to Williamsburg Park at 12:51 a.m. and extinguished the blaze in about an hour. Due to the damage, public access to the Redoute 1 trail is closed indefinitely. The park retains two redoubts which were built to guard Quarterpath Road during the Battle of Williamsburg in May 1862.

“Other than that, there were no injuries, no fatalities,” Snyder said. “It’s a chance, and we are happy that there were no injuries.”

According to meteorologist Mike Montefusco, the National Weather Service office in Wakefield has received several reports of stronger winds and damage around Virginia, including the Colonial Triangle area and the Hampton Roads area.

“We had a cold front moving through the area and we had a lot of showers and thunderstorms that moved in,” Montefusco said.

As of Monday afternoon, only 15 residents remained without power, Snyder said, with Dominion Energy working onsite to restore it.

In Colonial Williamsburg, high winds from the storm toppled several tables in Merchants Square and caused minor damage to fences and signage in the historic district. Colonial Williamsburg employees clear debris from the storm today, spokeswoman Ellen Peltz said.

At Busch Gardens, a tree fell on a cable connected to the Skyride, according to photos posted on social media. Busch Gardens did not return messages Monday requesting information on how the park was affected by the storm.

Sian Wilkerson, [email protected], 757-342-6616

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