No, that’s not thunder. Navy EOD team sets training near Farmville

Published 7:48 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The headline doesn’t lie. Over the course of the next week, you’re going to hear several things that might sound like very loud thunder during the daytime hours. In this case, however, Mother Nature has nothing to do with it. The noise will be courtesy of the U.S. Navy EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal ) Team, which will be working near Farmville, along with Cumberland and Buckingham counties. 

Specifically, from Sept. 11 to Sept. 15, the Navy team will be conducting an Innovative Readiness training operation in the Appomattox River. According to Navy officials, this training program uses explosives to remove logjams from the river channel. These obstructions block navigation and contribute to severe erosion of the river banks. There’s several benefits here. Reducing erosion of the river banks will decrease the amount of sediment entering the river, improve the aquatic health of the Appomattox River, and ultimately improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. 

In addition to cleaning up the river, the training also helps team members learn how to properly place explosives. This is the same group that diffuses IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) in foreign territory, as well as recovery missions that require diving expertise, so it’s a good experience for them, Navy officials said. 

You might feel Navy EOD team’s work

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Now here’s where the warning comes in, because while the explosion may sound like thunder, it’s a bit more intense. Navy officials say that blast overpressure may vibrate windows and shake items in homes throughout the area. To be clear, there’s no danger. Just like severe thunderstorms can rattle the walls at times, this will do the same. And it will only happen during the day. 

“Should residents become alarmed, remind them that these military professionals are part of the same team that is called to diffuse and dispose of terrorist bombs or old artillery found in historic battlefields,” Navy officials said in a statement. “They are trained professionals who protect us daily.” 

This training operation is organized, in part, through the efforts of the Friends of the Appomattox River. The local nonprofit group has been coordinating this since 1989.