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Kristie Atwood vs. Warren County Building Department

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Victor and Kristie Atwood talk to their attorney David Silek on the phone. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

After some exchanges in a “loud tone” over the phone with Ms Atwood’s attorney David Silek over not properly notifying him of the hearing, the meeting was started. Two Board members, George Cline and  David Buracker recused themselves and stepped down from the platform. After nearly an hour of discussion, the appeal was postponed until July 18, 2019.

The Royal Examiner’s camera was there:

Here’s the report from ABLE Building Inspection:

First, David P. Rushton from ABLE provided a summary list for the appeal session on a few of the report item numbers that he believed would be of concern to David Beahm County Building Inspector.  Mr Rushon stated that Mr. Beahm would not interested in cosmetic or aesthetic concerns as a building official, that he would be primarily concerned with construction deficiencies and possible code violations. Rushon said, “Of course, Mr. Beahm will have his own thoughts about the issues in your home. This is just my idea of the issues that may be of concern to him”.

These numbers reference the main report provided below:

2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 31, 33, 37, 38, 40, 41, 43, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 63, 69, 70, 76, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 106, 111, 116, 118, 119, 120 and 125.

This is the first report provided by ABLE Inspection on September 11, 2017:
Time Start: 9:45 AM Time Finish: 6:15 PM
Weather: Cloudy, temperature about 65⁰ F.

Click here to download photos.

General Notes
A. Directions, e.g. front, rear, left and right, are as viewed from the street facing the front of the house.
B. The inspection was limited by belongings and storage in the home and garage.
C. This report was prepared with the following information:
i. Meeting with Kristie Sours Brown on September 20, 2017,
ii. Copy of construction plans provided by Ms. Sours Brown,
iii. Copy of construction plans files and approved by Warren County, VA,
iv. LP SmartSide Install Instructions Strand,
v. LP SmartSide Trim and Soffit Install Instructions, and
vi. The 2009 Virginia Residential Code.
D. The final building inspection was issued on July 18, 2016.
Contract Administration
1. The construction contract was issued by Buracker Construction, LLC, and signed by Martha A. Buracker. Buracker Construction, LLC, is not registered as a licensed contractor in Virginia.
2. The building permits for the construction of the home were issued by the Warren County Building Department on or about July 22, 2017 to the applicant, Buracker Construction, LLC, a business entity that does not have a valid contractor’s license.
3. The construction contract calls for written and signed change orders for all contract changes. There were numerous plan and material specification changes through the course of the contract. No written changes orders were provided by Buracker Construction, LLC.
4. The construction contract specifies an initial draw payment, a payment when the house is one half complete and a final draw upon completion. Overages or refunds were to be adjusted at closing. Eight actual draws were provided during the course of construction.
Structure and Framing
5. The garage roof trusses are not 12 in 12 pitch as shown on the building plans. OSB flooring was installed on the roof trusses for storage accessed by pull down stairs into the garage. Per information from Ms. Sours Brown, the attic storage room and stairway shown in the original plan were to be installed with conventional framing. The finishes for the garage storage room were the only items that were to be deleted from the construction specifications. All other construction in this area was to remain as originally specified. No change orders were provided to document this construction change.
6. Diagonal bracing is recommended for the garage roof truss system and the upper, main attic conventional framing system.
7. The upper roof framing is 16” on center. 24” on center was specified for the framing in the plans.
8. There were signs of moisture through the foundation walls in the cold cellar. The foundation insulation installed on the inside of the basement walls limited the inspection of these walls for moisture penetration concerns.
9. Cardboard was visible under the cold cellar roof structure steel pans. This may cause settling of the concrete slab above and be an attractant for termites. The cardboard should be removed and metal shims or non-shrink grout installed in any openings created by the cardboard removal.
10. The joist hangers are missing fasteners and adhesive at the basement stairway.
11. The floor and roof support beam bearing is inadequate at the right side porch. The design size of this beam should be confirmed by a registered design professional.
12. The post for the porch roof is not properly supported on the beam below the porch floor.
13. The support for the ends of the diagonal beam under the front deck is inadequate.
14. Joist hangers are missing at the diagonal beam at the front right corner of the porch floor.
15. The porch posts have no restraint against vertical uplift or horizontal forces at their connection to the patio slab.
16. The porch posts have structural screws installed diagonally as restraint against vertical uplift at the lower connections to the deck. Are these screws rated for uplift in this installation? Evaluation by a registered design professional is recommended.
17. The porch posts and diagonal bracing are secured to the roof beam with finish nails. No structural fasteners are visible in these connections. Evaluation by a registered design professional is recommended.
18. One support post was cut too short for the beam under the front porch. Shims were installed under the beam. These shims were not installed vertically and will shrink allowing the beam to settle more at this post than the others.
19. The access to the rear attic is not a minimum of 20” wide.
20. A ceiling joist is cut with no header at the fireplace chimney through the rear attic.
Exterior
21. The installation of the exterior LP Smartside siding and trim materials does not comply with the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
22. The concerns with the LP Smartside installation are:
a. Flashing is missing at the horizontal siding joints on the gable ends,
b. Some fasteners do not appear to be galvanized or stainless steel in an exterior installation,
c. The fastener installation for the trim does not comply with the manufacturer’s nailing instructions,
d. The fasteners for the trim were not installed flush but were overdriven in past flush,
e. 1” minimum space was not provided between the concrete patio, the siding and trim,
f. The required 3/8” space at butt joints in the siding and at joints between the siding and window and door trim, and inside and outside corner trim has not been provided,
g. The cut ends of the siding and trim have not been sealed,
h. The siding and trim joints have not all been caulked,
i. A minimum clearance of 6” between the siding and grade has not been provided,
j. The siding projects past the corner trim on the garage,
k. The siding trim is in direct contact with the stone veneer of the fireplace chimney, and
l. The gutters do not terminate at least 1” away from the siding. The siding and trim installation problems will affect the manufacturer’s warranty on the products.
23. The porch guardrail posts do not extend through the decking and are not fastened to the structure except with diagonal finish nails. Finish nails are not considered to be structural connectors in guardrail applications. The wood members of the guardrail have shrunk and are no longer tight. The guardrail should be designed to withstand 200 pounds of horizontal force at any location and 50 pounds of horizontal force per linear foot of railing.
24. The porch floor trim boards are loose and twisting.
25. Siding batten spacing is 24” apart. Ms. Sours Brown was shown several houses by Martha Buracker and was told that the siding and trim installation would match that of the other houses. The example houses had the battens spaced 16” apart per Ms. Sours Brown.
26. Board and batten siding was not installed on the right garage gable wall. Horizontal siding was installed on this gable wall.
27. The aluminum cap trim is not cut tightly to the wood posts. The gaps have not been caulked.
28. The aluminum trim is wavy and loose.
29. The cap trim repair where the posts were relocated on the rear and right side porches does not match the other trim.
30. The aluminum trim is buckled and dented on the garage door frames.
31. The flashing is lifted and loose at the chimney.
32. The stone veneer and mortar on the chimney is bleeding onto the chimney and the adjacent roof shingles. The stone veneer is bleeding onto the porch floor.
33. Head flashing was not found above the front circle head window. Water stains are visible in the interior finishes around this window.
34. The pre-finish on the LP siding has been damaged in numerous locations.
35. The touch ups of the LP siding paint do not match the original finish.
36. Sealant is missing on the left side of the right front dormer.
37. The stair stringer attachment at the both porch steps is inadequate. The front porch steps are settling and pulling away from the porch. Metal stair hangers are recommended. This is a safety concern.
38. No foundation was provided at the stair stringers to support the stairs.
39. The front porch steps do not flare out as specified in the construction contract addendum.
40. Some fasteners in the cedar porch posts and trim appear to be corroding prematurely. Stainless steel or double dipped galvanized fasteners are recommended with cedar due to the natural acids in the wood that contribute to its’ weather resistance.
41. No foundation to frost line was found below the rear patio slab that was poured between the basement cool storage room and the garage.
42. The right side porch floor does not overhang the concrete block foundation wall. Water is running from the floor and wall above down the foundation wall. The parging on the wall is subject to freeze/thaw damage in this area.
43. No drain holes were found at the base of the masonry wall on the rear porch.
44. The cap has not been installed on the right side rear porch wall.
45. The front entry door latch is broken.
46. The master bathroom exterior door knob handle is loose and comes off.
47. The master bathroom exterior door deadbolt does not lock.
48. The rear porch has no screened in section as shown in the plans.
49. The rear porch has no bay style bump out for the roof and floor as shown in the plans.
50. No windows were installed in the garage upstairs gable end walls.
51. The basement entry door lock is damaged.
52. The basement door threshold has not been secured or sealed to the concrete floor.
53. The rear garage entry door threshold has not been secured or sealed to the floor.
54. The rear porch concrete slab projects past the end of the side deck.
55. The rear left corner of the patio by the garage is settling excessively.
56. Grading and drainage at the front does not slope away from the foundation a minimum of 6” in the first 10’ especially under the front porch.
57. The stone veneer is set tightly to the roof shingles at the chimney. A minimum space of 1” is recommended in these intersections. Weep screeds were not found at this location.
58. Kick out flashings are missing at the breezeway roof into the garage and house walls.
59. The openings in the basement foundation wall at the door and windows have not been covered with stucco. The stucco mesh does not extend over the joints between the foundation wall and wood frame. This joint will crack immediately and re-crack after every repair.
60. The rear entry door is scratched.
61. A concrete form board has not been removed outside the basement entry doors.
62. The contract plans call for cedar ceiling on the porch. Vinyl ceiling panels were installed.
63. The dirt and masonry demolition and construction debris was pushed over a hill. It does not appear to be buried. Large pieces of concrete and concrete block are visible in the debris.
64. The driveway does not have the final grading completed. The front lawn drains across the driveway causing erosion and chronic maintenance in this area.
65. Final grading, seeding and straw cover were completed but the grass failed to grow. The final grading was not completed per the discussion between David Buraker, George Cline, the excavating subcontractor, Vincent Atwood, Jr.and Kenny Sours, Kristie’s father. The yard has areas that remain wet in spring and wet weather.
Roofing
66. The left side porch roof shingles are stained from the air conditioning condensate draining onto the shingles. Replace the stained shingles is recommended.
67. The roof flashing has been sealed with roof cement at the lower ends of the front dormers.
68. The downspout is dented at the front left corner of the garage.
69. A roof/ wall vent has not been installed at the front porch per the plans.
Plumbing
70. The plumbing vent pipes should be supported every 4’ through the main attic and pitched to drain down into the drain system.
71. The tub faucet spout is loose in the upstairs right bathroom.
72. The front shower handle is loose in the master bathroom.
73. An access panel was not found for the tub motor.
74. The toilet seat is broken in the master bathroom.
75. The laundry and whirlpool tub plumbing are located on exterior walls and subject to freezing.
76. A tempering valve was not found for the master bathtub. This is a potential scald hazard.
77. The two stage toilet in the powder room does not refill properly.
78. The upstairs bathroom toilet was running during the inspection. It needed the handle to be jiggled to stop the water flow.
79. The basement floor drain is not accessible under the heat pump air handler. This is a maintenance concern.
80. The frost-free hose bib near the basement entry door freezes in winter. The bib is not pitched to drain water down and out of the fixture.
81. The foundation drain outlet is damaged and restricted in the right side yard.
Electrical
82. A single, small gauge copper wire is running through the garage attic to the electrical panel. This may be a bonding wire for the whirlpool tub. Small gauge wires are required to be protected with running boards when installed across framing members through an accessible attic.
83. The electrical panels were installed in the side wall of the garage rather than in the basement per plan/contract reference.
84. A GFCI receptacle is recommended in the basement for the water conditioning equipment.
HVAC
85. The exterior fireplace glass doors were binding and not closing. The fireplace doors shattered during the third use of the fireplace.
86. The fireplace in family room is different manufacturer and model than shown on the receipt from Acme Fireplaces.
87. Family room fireplace damper is damaged and not closing tightly.
88. The interior of the family room fireplace is damaged and bent at the damper/ chimney pipe connection at the top of the firebox. This is an unsafe condition (fire hazard).
89. The family room fireplace refractory lining is significantly damaged and cracked.
90. Significant smoke evidence and heat damage is visible on the exterior metal and stone veneer of the family room fireplace.
91. The glass doors are not installed on the family room fireplace. The doors were damaged during the second use of the fireplace.
92. The family room fireplace chimney system does not match fireplace itself but is made by a different manufacturer. Metal fireplace and chimney systems are tested and listed as complete systems. This is an inappropriate installation and an unsafe condition.
93. There is less than the 2” required minimum spacing between the living room fireplace metal chimney system, the roof framing and fiberglass insulation in the attic.
94. The upstairs heat pump primary condensate drain in the attic discharges through the attic side wall and onto the porch roof below. The condensate drain line should be brought down through the interior of the home and discharge into the sump pump or outside onto the ground.
95. The insulation is incomplete at the refrigerant line to the air handler in the attic.
96. The flexible duct in the basement was not fully extended. This is a manufacturer’s installation instruction and system efficiency concern.
97. The heat pump disconnects are located behind the exterior equipment. Access to the disconnects is restricted.
98. The wood fired boiler noted in the extra cost addendum was not installed.
Interior
99. The stair riser heights differ by more than 3/8” from the house into the garage. The top riser height exceeds 8 ½” measured to the top of the door threshold.
100. The attic pull down stairs are missing fasteners to secure the stair frame to the garage ceiling framing. This is a safety concern.
101. The attic stairs, wood corner trim and plastic access panel breech the fire separation between the garage and the attic. This is a fire safety concern.
102. The access to the rear portion of the upper attic should be at least 20” wide.
103. Have the garage roof trusses been designed to accommodate anticipated storage loads?
104. 7/16” thick oriented strand board has been installed for storage across the garage ceiling trusses spaced 24” apart. This material is not intended for use as flooring. It may break under storage or personnel loads creating a safety concern.
105. No shelving was installed in the basement or garage.
106. Firesafing material has not been installed in the following locations:
a. At the fireplace chimney firestops in the attic, and
b. The electrical cables into the attic (visible above the main panel), and
c. At the tub drain in the basement.
107. The interior drywall finishing and painting is incomplete at the upstairs left bathroom and the upstairs family room wall. Touch up of all drywall and paint was to be provided by Buracker Construction LLC per Kristie’s conversation with Martha Buracker.
108. A square shoe molding has been installed throughout the house at the base moldings on the hardwood and tile floors. This square profile is difficult to clean. A ½ x ¾” tapered shoe molding is typically installed at this location.
109. The entry foyer wood floor is stained in front of the powder room wall from a toilet that was stored on the wood floor.
110. The ceramic tile is loose at the rear of the master bathtub platform.
111. The master walk-in closet does not have adequate space between the rods and shelves to hang clothes and walk between the clothes.
112. Several windows are stuck and/or binding. Adjustments are recommended.
113. Three pocket doors were specified in the contract. No pocket doors were installed in the home.
114. The tile work in all the bathrooms was repaired several times during the final completion of the home. The tile in the master bath shower is misaligned and out of square. The niche in the shower wall has a joint at the sill that will permit water to enter the wall behind the tile.
115. The root cellar in the basement measured 6 x 6 ½’. The contract calls for a 6 x 8’6” room.
116. The door thresholds were not cut out in the basement interior walls. This is a trip hazard.
Kitchen, Baths, Insulation and Ventilation
117. The insulation has been displaced in the garage and upper attics. This lessens the performance of the insulation and increases the heating and cooling costs of the home.
118. The bathroom fans from both upstairs baths vent into the upper attic. Exterior terminations are required for both fans.
119. No exterior termination was found for the master bathroom exhaust fan.
120. Insulation is missing on both attic hatches and the bathroom bay cantilever.
121. The floor is loose in the kitchen cabinet mounted over the refrigerator.
122. The right side of the kitchen cabinet over the refrigerator is damaged by a nail.
123. An anti-tip bracket should be installed on the kitchen range. This is a safety concern.
124. The flexible dryer vent is restricted behind the dryer.
125. Foam insulation is exposed on the basement wall behind the heat pump air handler. Foam insulation should be covered per the manufacturer’s requirements.
126. Foam insulation should be installed on the ceiling and walls of the root cellar and covered with 1/4” tile backer board to provide a non-combustible, water and mold resistant finished surface.
If you have any questions about the above information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,
David P. Rushton
President
ABLE Building Inspection, Inc.
(540) 636-6200
Virginia Licensed Home Inspector
New Residential Structures License #3380 000161 NRS

Click here to download photos.

Board of Building Code Appeals

Pursuant to Section 36-105 of the Code of Virginia, there shall be established within each local building department a local board of Building Code appeals which hears and determines appeals from any order, requirement, decision, or interpretation made by the Building Official or his agent in the administration or enforcement of the Virginia Statewide Building Code. Any person aggrieved by the local building department’s application of the Building Code or refusal to grant a modification to the provisions of the Building Code may appeal to the local board of Building Code appeals.

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Update on train derailment: ‘hazardous material’ cars removed from scene

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Early Friday evening Warren County Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico responded to Royal Examiner’s inquiry on details of the train derailment in the Linden area of eastern Warren County that morning. Maiatico said that “proper authorities”, likely as in a national and/or state transportation oversight agency, would conduct the accident investigation, so declined to theorize on a cause of the derailment.

Royal Examiner is awaiting a response from Norfolk Southern Railroad on a request for additional information on the accident investigation and cleanup of the scene.

As for the number of involved railcars, the county fire marshal explained, “The train consisted of five locomotives and 44 railcars. The five locomotives carry a large quantity of fuel and various other fluids that can be potentially hazardous when released. The fuel tanks and other containers holding liquids in the locomotives remained intact and did not rupture in the derailment.”

As can be seen in Royal Examiner’s exclusive video of the accident scene, while derailed the five-unit train engine complex remained upright.

In these still images from our video at scene, above, you can see the slightly listing lead engine and trailing locomotive cars remaining upright though derailed; below, a closer look at the start of the derailment behind the engine apparatus. Royal Examiner Video/Mark Williams

“Of the 14 cars that left the track, all but two were empty. The two with cargo consisted of a wood and plastic product,” Maiatico added.

As to the “limited hazardous materials” reported to have been carried by railcars not involved in the derailment, Maiatico said, “Several cars that remained on the track behind the 14 derailed cars were transporting various materials meeting the classification of hazardous. These cars have been removed from the area by disconnecting and transporting away on the unaffected track.”

We will continue to update this story as additional information becomes available through investigative agencies and Norfolk Southern Railroad.

Sheriff’s Office adds to train derailment information; Route 55 could be closed various times over the weekend

No injuries or immediate threat determined from Linden train derailment

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Victory Garden Update

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About two weeks ago, volunteers from our community planted the first Victory Garden here in Front Royal. Our publisher Mike McCool stopped by the garden Saturday, May 30, 2020 to check on the progress. He spoke with Fern Vasquez one of the organizers of the Victory Garden.

The volunteers have formed an organization called CHEO. It stands for Citizens Helping Each Other. Click here to reach their Facebook page.

CHEO is looking for volunteers to water and weed in the garden. You must have a signed waiver on file to volunteer in the garden. Waiver forms are available at Fussell Florists or by e-mailing CHEOcommunitygarden@gmail.com.

Community gardens help everyone of all ages to come together, participate, contribute, and get a sense of pride in helping one another. CHEO (Citizens Helping Each Other) Front Royal is a group of citizens, working with the support of the County leadership, to help our neighbors in need and promote unity in our community. 2020 sees the launch of the Pandemic Victory Garden Program. CHEO is not a program of local government. CHEO is an alliance of private citizens and community service groups.


See the first story on our Community Victory Garden.

Local volunteers start community Victory Garden to support area food banks

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Sheriff’s Office adds to train derailment information; Route 55 could be closed various times over the weekend

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A Warren County Sheriff’s Office Press Release on the Linden train derailment was distributed from the County Administration Office at 12:19 p.m. Friday. That release presented some seemingly contradictory information on the number of train cars being pulled by the involved five-locomotive engine apparatus. The sheriff’s office release cited 12 cars, as opposed to the 50 mentioned, with 14 leaving the tracks, in an “Incident Report” posted earlier on the Warren County Fire & Rescue Facebook page.

Calls to the Sheriff’s Office and Fire & Rescue to attempt to clarify the discrepancy prior to publication were unsuccessful.

Sheriff Butler asks that drivers consider using an alternate route instead of Route 55 toward Linden. Watch for detours and stopped traffic in that area.

Here is the WCSO release in its entirety:

“An inter-agency response that included members from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Warren County Fire & Rescue, Virginia State Police (VSP), and Norfolk Southern Railroad (NSR) occurred on Friday, May 29, 2020 at approximately 8:52 AM due to a train derailment.

“The train consisted of five locomotives and twelve cars, mostly empty at the time of the incident. No fire or explosion occurred, no hazardous materials were involved, and no injuries were reported. The cause of the incident is undetermined at this time; however, it is under investigation by the VSP and NSR.

“As of 10:15 AM, the derailment did not affect vehicular traffic on major County roads or the interstate. The only affected area consisted of four small roadways in proximity to the incident. These roads are Pickrell Drive, Keyser Wood Lane, Winona Drive, and Red Barn Lane. There are approximately ten residences in that area, all have been notified by the Warren County 911 Center by use of the reverse 911 System and RAVE alert system.

“The time for reopening of all roadways is estimated to be between 08:00 and 10:00 PM this evening. Updates to follow if this time changes.”

See Royal Examiner’s on-site video of the derailed train scene with a related story:

No injuries or immediate threat determined from Linden train derailment

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LFCC virtual commencement scheduled for Saturday, June 6

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LFCC will celebrate its graduates at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 6, with a virtual commencement ceremony. The ceremony will feature the national anthem, remarks from President Kim Blosser, a student speaker, student awards and the conferring of degrees.

LFCC student Rebecca Hoffman will perform the national anthem, which will be followed by remarks from President Blosser and the presentation of the Outstanding Graduate Awards for the Fauquier Campus and the Middletown Campus. A faculty member from each campus will also address the Class of 2020.

Nursing graduate Shannon Weisbrodt is the student commencement speaker. She is also the mother of our 2018 commencement speaker, Morgan Ryan, who is a 2020 graduate of Mary Washington University.

Graduates’ names will scroll across the screen, and throughout the video, photos of those who submitted them will be shown. The college provided free mortarboards and tassels to all those students who RSVP’d to attend the virtual graduation ceremony.

LFC has never had a commencement ceremony like this one before, President Blosser noted.

“The saddest announcement I’ve had to make over the past few months was that we wouldn’t be able to gather together in person to celebrate the most special college event of all – commencement,” she said. “But, despite the physical restrictions, all of us at LFCC have worked hard to create a meaningful way to commemorate your hard work and accomplishments. We hope our graduates will gather together with their loved ones – in person or remotely – to watch the ceremony together. While we won’t be together in person for a traditional commencement ceremony, please know that all the faculty, staff, and your fellow students, are celebrating your accomplishments and wishing you the best.”

The Class of 2020 consists of nearly 1,300 students. Below is the number of graduates per service region:

  • Clarke County, 47
  • Fauquier County, 188
  • Frederick County, 321
  • Page County, 85
  • Rappahannock County, 24
  • Shenandoah County, 160
  • Warren County, 146
  • City of Winchester, 164
  • Other, 161

The ceremony will go live at 1 p.m.,  Saturday, June 6 at www.lfcc.edu/commencement. A recording of the ceremony will also be available on the site for future viewing.

Emma Revis is one of the graduates who submitted a photo for LFCC’s virtual commencement ceremony.

LFCC is also naming two professors emeriti for all they have done to serve the college and its students:

  • Frost McLaughlin, professor of English from 1997-2019
  • Ernest “Ernie” Grisdale, professor of chemistry from 1988-2019

Nursing graduates will have a virtual pinning ceremony that will go live on the site at 1 p.m., Sunday, June 7.

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No injuries or immediate threat determined from Linden train derailment

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Still images from the scene – Photos / Warren County Fire and Rescue Facebook Page

Just prior to 9 a.m., Friday morning, May 29, Warren County Fire & Rescue responded to a report of a train derailment in the 4000 block of John Marshall Highway/Route 55 East of Front Royal in the Linden area of Warren County. A notice of the incident was posted shortly after 10 a.m. on the county fire & rescue Facebook page.

County Emergency Services reported no injuries or public health threat from the derailed cars. According to the department’s initial “Incident Notice”, first responders found all five locomotives and 14 of 50 rail cars being pulled, derailed. However, traffic in the area was not impacted.

And while it was reported that some “limited hazardous materials” were part of the Norfolk Southern train’s cargo, none of the cars containing that material were among those that derailed. First responders also determined that none of the “limited hazardous materials” had leaked from their tanks on the still upright rail cars.

So, it was determined there was no immediate public health threat from the derailment.

Both the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police, as well as Norfolk Southern Railroad personnel were assisting at the scene. Those units were awaiting the arrival of additional Norfolk Southern personnel to begin the cleanup.

Additional information on the cause of the derailment, what the “limited hazardous materials” were, and the cleanup process will be reported as it becomes available.

Royal Examiner Videographer Mark Williams went to the scene around 11 a.m. and took this exclusive video footage:


Fire & Rescue Incident Notice

Following is the entirety of the original Warren County Fire & Rescue “Incident Notice” posted on the department’s Facebook page shortly after 10 a.m.

“The Department of Fire and Rescue Services, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and Norfolk Southern Railroad are currently operating on the scene of a train derailment in the area of the 4000 blocks of John Marshall Highway. There is currently no threat or danger to the community.

“At 8:57 AM, the Department of Fire and Rescue Services responded to a reported train derailment in the 4000 blocks of John Marshall Highway. Units arrived on the scene to discover 5 locomotives pulling approximately 50 rail cars. Five locomotives and 14 cars left the track and derailed, leaving the remaining cars on the track.

“Fire and Rescue personnel were able to determine that no injuries occurred. While the train was hauling limited hazardous materials, no hazardous materials cars derailed or product leaked from their tanks.

“Units are currently awaiting the response of Norfolk Southern Railroad to begin the cleanup process.

“Citizens are urged to stay clear of the area, no traffic is effected at this time.”

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Governor Northam COVID-19 update briefing – May 28, 2020; Phase 2 could start June 5th

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Governor Northam joins the Virginia Emergency Support Team to share the latest updates on the COVID-19 response. Here are the highlights:

The Governor said that earliest the state could enter Phase Two would be Friday, June 5. Phase Two would look like this: stay at home for vulnerable populations, no social gatherings of more than 50 individuals, continued social distancing, continued teleworking, face coverings in public, and further easing business limitations.

He also mentioned the requirement to wear face masks starting Friday, May 29, people will be required to wear masks inside retail shops, restaurants, personal care, and grooming establishments, places people congregate, government buildings, and public transportation.

Exceptions will be allowed, including while eating or drinking, exercising, those with trouble breathing or health issues, and children under age 10. The governor stated enforcement would be done through the Virginia Department of Health, not by local Sheriff or Police.

Here’s the latest briefing:

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Front Royal
65°
Sunny
5:49am8:32pm EDT
Feels like: 65°F
Wind: 7mph N
Humidity: 47%
Pressure: 30.18"Hg
UV index: 5
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71/47°F
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82/67°F