The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Arlington and the surrounding region.
* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA… WEST CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… EASTERN ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… SOUTHEASTERN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… SOUTHEASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
* UNTIL 1115 PM EDT
* AT 812 PM EDT… NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED VERY HEAVY RAINFALL CAPABLE OF PRODUCING FLASH FLOODING FROM A THUNDERSTORM OVER THE WARNED AREA. RAINFALL RATES OF ONE TO TWO INCHES PER HOUR CAN BE EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.
* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE AFFECTED BY THE HEAVY RAIN INCLUDE ALEXANDRIA… ARLINGTON… BALLSTON… DUMFRIES… FORT BELVOIR… FRANCONIA… LORTON… NEWINGTON… ROSSLYN… SPRINGFIELD… WOODBRIDGE… HYATTSVILLE… LANDOVER… LANGLEY PARK… ADAMS MORGAN… ANACOSTIA… GEORGETOWN… AND DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON.
EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLOODING OF SMALL CREEKS AND STREAMS… URBAN AREAS… HIGHWAYS… STREETS AND UNDERPASSES AS WELL AS OTHER DRAINAGE AREAS AND LOW LYING SPOTS.
A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. IF YOU ARE IN THE WARNING AREA MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY. RESIDENTS LIVING ALONG STREAMS AND CREEKS SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS SWIFTLY FLOWING WATERS OR WATERS OF UNKNOWN DEPTH BY FOOT OR BY AUTOMOBILE.
Men in various states of nudity caused quite a bit of trouble over the past week. This week’s Arlington County crime report lists five separate indecent exposure cases, including two arrests.
EXPOSURE-ARREST, 09/23/11, 2400 block of Arlington Boulevard. On September 23 at 4:45 am, an officer witnessed a man running nude on the highway. Mark Dewitt, 48, of Arlington, was charged with Indecent Exposure. He was held on a $3,000 bond.
EXPOSURE-ARREST, 09/23/1, 2300 block of Walter Reed Drive. On September 23 at 1:50 pm, a man was seen exposing himself on a bike trail. Russell Bixby, 48, of no fixed address, was charged with Indecent Exposure and released on a summons.
EXPOSURE, 09/23/11, 3200 block of Arlington Boulevard. On September 23 at 7:40 am, a man was jogging and suddenly stopped in front of three teenage girls. He acted as if he was going to tie his shoe, but exposed himself instead. The girls went to school and reported the incident. The suspect is described as a white male, 5’8”, and 165 lbs. wearing black running shorts and a baseball cap.
EXPOSURE, 09/25/11, 1300 block of N. Meade Street. On September 25 at 8:20 pm, a woman was walking and noticed a man walking behind her who was exposing himself. The suspect was 25 year-old a white male, 5’10” wearing a light colored shirt, dark pants, and large glasses.
EXPOSURE, 09/25/11, 1500 block of N. Rhodes Street. On September 25 at 9 pm, a man approached a woman sitting on a step smoking a cigarette. He touched her leg and when she pulled away, he exposed himself. The suspect was a white Hispanic male in his mid-20’s, 5’5” and 150 lbs. He was wearing an orange baseball cap, blue t-shirt and dark shorts.
Also this week, a woman who got into a vehicle she initially thought was a taxicab was touched inappropriately by the driver. Later, she realized the car was, in fact, probably not a taxi.
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 09/25/11, 4600 block of Washington Boulevard. On September 25 at 2:30 am, a woman reported that she got into a car in Washington D.C., assuming it was a taxi. She sat in the front seat and the driver touched her breasts. She fled the car at her designation, and now believes the vehicle was not a taxi. The suspect is a white Hispanic male in his mid-40’s, 5’7” and 180 lbs.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Katz hails from southwest Florida, where he served as director of Smart Growth/Urban Planning for Sarasota County. He’s taking over the position after former planning director Bob Brosnan succeeded the retiring Susan Bell as director of the county’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.
“Peter brings to this critical position a deep knowledge of the planning principles that Arlington is all about,” Brosnan said in a press release. “He understands and appreciates the robust community engagement that is a hallmark of planning in Arlington. We expect Peter to provide strong leadership and vision as we continue the work of building a sustainable community.”
As planning director, Katz will oversee the department that guides and regulates Arlington’s short and long-range development. That includes zoning and code enforcement, plus reviewing and issuing permits for residential and commercial development.
His first day on the job will be Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Next week is national Mental Health Awareness Week and Arlington County is using the occasion to emphasize ways residents can help prevent suicide.
From 2005 to 2010 there were 102 suicide deaths in Arlington, according to the county’s Department of Human Services. During those six years, 71 percent of the deaths were among males, and most of those males were in their 30s or 40s.
Arlington’s average yearly suicide rate is 8.21 deaths per 100,000 residents. Though that rate is lower than the comparative national rate of 11.1 suicide deaths per 100,000 people (36,000 deaths in the U.S. per year), Arlington County is reminding residents that they can help prevent a tragedy by recognizing the following early warning signs of suicidal behavior.
- Talk, threats or plans about hurting oneself, death or suicide
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling uncontrolled rage or anger
- Acting recklessly, seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped
- Increasing or excessive alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family, society
- Feeling anxious, agitated or unable to sleep
- Dramatic mood swings
- Feeling purposeless, with no reasons to live
If someone you know exhibits any of those signs, you’re encouraged to call the Arlington County Mental Health Emergency Service 24-hour hotline at 703-228-5160. If you yourself are having thoughts of suicide, seek help by calling CrisisLink at 703-527-4077 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
The bumpy and pothole-ridden stretch of Columbia Pike between George Mason Drive and Four Mile Run will be getting some much-needed repairs this fall, according to Arlington County officials.
“The excessive heat and rain this summer, combined with construction and regular bus traffic, have taken a toll on the Pike,” admitted county spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel.
“Road repairs will happen over the next few weeks as crews assess trouble spots, patch the road and make needed improvements,” she said. “There will not be full paving between George Mason Drive and Four Mile Run, however signficant patch work will be done in that area to the sub-grade level.”
Whalen McDaniel encouraged residents to report potholes or bad sections of road on the county website or via phone at 703-228-6570.
The repairs can’t come soon enough for some drivers, who have complained about the possibility of damage to their cars from the bumps and holes.
“Potholes, bumps, ridges, and giant mounds of destroyed asphalt along the sides of the road are far too common on the stretch of road,” said one tipster. “The conditions are daunting for most sedans to traverse. Perhaps the county should consider licensing the road to Land Rover as a test track for offroad performance testing.”
Further east on the Pike, meanwhile, more utility work is underway, between S. Quinn Street and S. Courthouse Road. One westbound lane has been blocked during the day as a result of the construction.
A Jeep skidded off the eastbound Spout Run Parkway this morning, careening down a small ravine and into Spout Run itself.
The driver of the Jeep was taken to the hospital with what were reported to be minor injuries. U.S. Park Police are on the scene while tow trucks attempt to get the vehicle out of the creek. One lane of eastbound Spout Run is blocked as a result.
The Arlington County Board’s recent vote to change the name of Old Jefferson Davis Highway to “Long Bridge Park” was preceded by a thorough dissing of the former namesake by Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman, the Sun Gazette reports this morning.
“I have a problem with ‘Jefferson Davis,’” Zimmerman said of the former Confederate president. “I don’t believe Jefferson Davis has a historic connection to anything in Arlington… He wasn’t from Virginia. I don’t really see why we need to honor him.”
Though last week’s vote may be a victory for the anti-Jefferson Davis crowd, it only renames a narrow, pothole-ridden backroad that connects Crystal City with a future county park. The much larger and more heavily-traveled State Route 1 will continue to be known as Jefferson Davis Highway.
Meanwhile, another state route — Route 29 — is named after an even more prominent, but slightly less controversial Confederate leader: Robert E. Lee. While Jefferson Davis Highway runs north-south through south Arlington, Lee Highway runs east-west across north Arlington. Both serve tens of thousands of commuters each day.
Though the Civil War figures prominently in the history of Arlington, should these roads be renamed for something or someone not associated with slavery and the losing side of a horribly costly war? Or should we preserve our history, warts and all?
Hard Times Cafe Opens in Verizon Center — Local staple Hard Times Cafe has opened a new concession stand in the Verizon Center. Located on the main concourse near section 119, the stand opened in time for the first Capitals preseason game on Monday. In addition to brick-and-mortar locations in Clarendon and around the D.C. suburbs, Hard Times also operates a stand in Nationals Park.
Arlington Sheriff Elected to Association — Arlington Sheriff Beth Arthur has been elected vice president of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association. [Sun Gazette]
Housing Fair This Weekend — The Arlington County Housing Fair will be held on Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event features “practical advice for managing money, improving credit and avoiding eviction or foreclosure;” home buyer workshops; meetings with county staff, housing specialists, landlords, real estate agents and finance professionals; and “access federal, state and local housing programs and resources.” The fair is being held at the NRECA Conference Center in Ballston (4301 Wilson Blvd). [Arlington County Housing Fair]
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