Old Church historical home, trees damaged in ice storm after family goes 24 hours without power

Hanover County

OLD CHURCH, Va (WRIC) – A Washington, D.C. firefighter and an emergency room nurse in Old Church are assessing damage on and around their home after going 24 hours without power in the ice storm.

It’s a home split across two buildings called the Tavern at Old Church, built in the 1800s. It has a spot on the National Register for Historic Places.

“We love the old construction, the historic piece of it,” said Susan Ortmann. Ortmann and her husband David Auerbach have lived in the home for 30 years.

Power in their home has finally been restored by Dominion Energy crews after 24 hours. Crews have continued to work 24 hours a day to get power restored across Central Virginia after what they said was the most damaging and widespread ice storm in Virginia since January of 2000.

Ortmann and Auerbach say their biggest issue was that loss of power for a day.

In that time, they lost heat, and their pumps stop working without power, making it hard to control water coming into the building.

There is also damage to gutters on the home and fallen trees across the property.

Ortmann says the restorations she and her husband have done to the home meant a lot and it’ll be hard work to repair what this ice storm has damaged.

“If we have no power and we have no heat, the walls are historic, plaster. Plaster starts to crack, so that requires all sorts of repair work, which my husband does himself which is tedious and painful in more ways than one,” Ortmann said.

Ortmann and Auerbach said the magnolia tree that sits in the middle of their yard and was planted over 20 years ago when their son was born, lost about 20 to 25 feet off of its top.

They said it’s another sad loss for them in this ice storm.

For now, Ortmann and Auerbach said they will take time to completely assess the home for damage before starting back on preserving and restoring the home.

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