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.”