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Hard-Hit Fairlington Cleans Up

by ARLnow.com — August 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm 1,283 11 Comments

As chainsaws buzzed, residents walked the streets of Fairlington tonight, surveying the damage from this afternoon’s wicked storms. At least 40-50 trees were down in the area, according to Arlington County spokesperson Diana Sun.

Fairlington appears to be Arlington’s hardest-hit neighborhood. It was hard to find an older tree without large branches missing. It was hard to find a block without at least one car damaged.

Much of the area was still without electricity four hours after the storm, but the outages were spotty — some of the neighborhood’s garden apartment buildings had power while others across the street were dark.

Almost a dozen people gathered near Fort Reynolds Park, where a line of utility poles had split in half and fallen to the ground. A car with a Dominion logo on the side briefly parked nearby, then drove off ten minutes later.

Resident Bill Nesper said the storm brought back memories of living on the east coast of Florida during Hurricane Andrew.

“I looked outside and it looked like a hurricane,” he said. “The rain was going sideways… there were tree limbs everywhere.”

Nesper said the damage was caused so suddenly that “it must have been a quick set of wind gusts that did it.”

Nesper’s neighbor, who had two cars damaged by falling tree limbs in the storm, said the damage was close to the destruction Hurricane Isabel caused in Richmond, where he had been working as a police officer at the time.

One resident said training from her time in a war zone came in handy during the storm.

“I didn’t go near the window… having been in a war zone they said don’t get near the windows,” she said. “It was so black and dark… I almost went into the closet.”

  • http://jnschul2@aol.com bob

    What is the status of storm damage at 35th Street and South Stafford Street on the South Side?

  • arlingtonian

    Anyone know what is going on over at the Drafthouse? Lots of emergency vehicles there.

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      Haven’t heard anything.

  • Fairlington Resident

    The most dramatic damage I saw was on Martha Custis Drive. One one block a huge tree came through a roof of the row houses, and another huge tree damaged at least three cars, with one of them absolutely crushed.

  • Fairlington Resident

    Is there an update on power in Shirlington? the Dominion website map isn’t very specific.

    • Dan

      I see the biggest dot in the Shirlington area on the Dominion map has an estimated restoration of 12pm, yet the surrounding dots day ‘pending assessment’. I live in the 10-story high rise there and still do not have power. The poles down in Fort Reynolds Park looked ugly and as of 7am, unattended to. I hope it gets fixed soon to save my freezer food.

  • Fairlington Resident

    Dan, I live in the same high rise, so this is just what I need to know. I went to stay with friends but would really like to go home.

  • Dan

    I’m currently at work in Old Town Alexandria, but was able to get an actual human on the phone from Dominion. He claimed our area was scheduled to be back on at noon. Guess I will try to call the front desk soon and find out.

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      Some of the outages were expected to be cleared by noon. Others 5:00 p.m. Electricity should be restored in most places by 10:00 p.m.

  • Dan

    Just spoke with Dominion again…now they have no estimate for time. All they could say was the damage was severe. Really would like to know a time so I know what to do w/ my freezer food….just passed the 22 hour mark.

  • Cindy-Fairlington Resident

    The car windows blew out in Shirlington due to pressure. They is why they advise you to leave opposite windows or doors open in your home when a tornado happens so you can more equalize the two pressures. I live on Abingdon st. and came upstairs at one point to try to close my curtains in case the windows blew out and a whitish gray spinning cloud like thing was passing over the outer edge/street side of the building. It did not look like winds to me.

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