Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment are organizing their annual Potomac River watershed cleanup next weekend, and are looking for a few extra pairs of hands.
This is the 27th year of the annual watershed cleanup. It’s coordinated all along the river, from West Virginia to the Chesapeake, by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Last year, the cleanup day recovered 576,000 pounds of trash at 671 different sites. More than 14,000 volunteers participated.
Arlington’s contingent will meet Saturday, April 11 at 9:00 a.m. at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Chain Bridge Road. The area is steep and rocky in spots, so ACE advises children younger than 10 years old to be left at home, and children younger than 16 to be accompanied by a parent.
Interested volunteers can sign up here. Next Saturday, they should wear long sleeves and pants, sturdy shoes that can get wet, work gloves, sunscreen and bottled water. All cleanup materials will be provided.
File photo courtesy Rob Laybourn
A week after the powerful storms that left 68,000 Dominion customers in the dark in Arlington, all but four dozen have had their power restored.
As of 2:00 this (Friday) afternoon, 48 Dominion customers were without power. The company says that it expects all known power outages in the area to be restored by later tonight. According to Arlington officials, all county traffic signals are now functioning. Some 96 traffic signals were knocked out by Friday’s storms, largely due to power outages.
In a press release, the county noted that one of Arlington’s most historic trees was a victim of the storms. The Revolutionary War-era Post Oak (pictured), in the Westover area, is set to be cut down due to wind damage.
“On Monday, County crews plan to remove the ancient Post Oak, believed to be the oldest tree in Arlington and perhaps in the Commonwealth, that was severely damaged during the storm,” the county said.
Dominion and Arlington County crews are continuing to clear downed trees, power lines and debris from around the county. As of this afternoon, 10 county roads are still completely blocked. Arlington officials released the following statement about the continued clean-up efforts.
The County’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation continues to clear partially and completely blocked roads of debris and downed trees. Operations have been complicated by piles of debris unavoidably pushed into some roads during clearing operations by County crews, utility companies and residents. The County’s priority, in clearing debris, is to make it possible for residents, emergency equipment and utility companies to use the streets. We also clear County buildings, sidewalks along heavily traveled roads, and “safety zones” around high-use recreational facilities, such as parks. Once all these priorities are met, crews focus on the clean-up phase.
Five Dept. of Parks and Recreation crews continue to work solely on road-clearing operations, and will continue through the weekend. … The County’s Solid Waste Bureau Earth Products Recycling Yard, located at 4300 29th St. S, will be open Saturday, July 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for residents to drop off brush. County crews have collected 768 tons of debris. The County will suspend debris collection on Sunday, to rest crews, some of whom have worked 13 days straight. Cooling centers still available to residents without power.
Even though the vast majority of homes now have power, the county is continuing to advise residents to utilize Arlington’s libraries, community centers, pools and shopping malls in the event that they need to seek relief from this weekend’s expected extreme heat.
New Bikeshare Stations Coming to Pike, Trails — A new “Transit Development Plan” for Capital Bikeshare calls for new stations to be installed along Columbia Pike, in Shirlington, at the Pentagon, at Arlington National Cemetery and along the W&OD and Four Mile Run trails. Installation of most of the planned stations is expected to take place in 2013. [The Wash Cycle]
Southwest Comes to DCA — Southwest Airlines will begin operating its first scheduled service from Reagan National Airport on Sunday (July 8). The airline will be flying between DCA and Austin, Texas. [Sun Gazette]
Media Inquiries Prompt Storm Clean-up Work — In at least two instances, calls from media outlets apparently prompted Dominion and Arlington County to send crews to areas of Arlington where trees and wires had been down for days and residents were growing restless. [Washington Post, WJLA]
Resident Uses Girl Scout Skills to Brave Outages — Arlington resident Mary Bielefield says living in a home without power is sort of like camping. The former Girl Scout has been relying on matches, bags of ice, flashlights and a battery-powered radio. [WUSA 9]
As of 2:30 p.m., Dominion’s outage website showed 1,438 customers without power. That’s down from 3,960 at the same time yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. Dominion reports it’s on track to have electricity restored to nearly all customers by Friday night.
“In a few instances, work in Northern Virginia may continue into Saturday where there was extreme damage,” said Rodney Blevins, Dominion vice president of Electric Distribution Operations, in a statement.
Arlington County says 11 roads remain blocked by trees and wires, down from 17 yesterday. Workers have collected and processed 646 tons of brush since Saturday. Collection efforts are expected to continue for the next two to three weeks.
Due to the power outages and closures, the Arlington Public Library has adjusted due dates for some users. Any checked out materials that were due back between June 30 and July 4 are now due this Saturday, July 7. Materials with any other due date must be returned at the originally designated time.
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
As of 2:30 p.m, there were 3,960 Dominion customers in Arlington without power. That’s down from 15,654 as of 10:00 yesterday (Tuesday) morning. Dominion says it’s a day ahead of its storm restoration target.
“Service for virtually all customers in Northern Virginia and the Richmond metro area who lost electric service because of the storms should be restored by Friday night,” the company said.
“We have more than 5,000 employees, retirees, contractors and utility crews from 18 states and Canada who will continue to work straight through the July 4th holiday and will not stop until we get the lights back on for everyone,” said Rodney Blevins, Dominion vice president of Electric Distribution Operations, in a statement.
Arlington County, meanwhile, said this morning that 17 County roads remain blocked following the storms. Crews are working through today’s holiday to clear road of downed trees and debris. The county said that two trees came down on roads last night, and cautioned residents to be aware of damaged trees and tree limbs, which can still pose a danger.
Four county intersections are without functioning traffic signals, while five traffic signals are on generator power.
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Qunicy Street) is open until 9:00 tonight for residents who want to seek relief from the heat (or read a book).
Flickr pool photo by alvesfamily
Arlington County says it is making good progress in its continued storm recovery efforts. The county released some updated facts and figures today regarding the storm cleanup.
- 10 county intersections are still without functioning traffic signals, down from 96 immediately after the storm.
- 18 county streets are currently blocked by fallen trees and debris, down from a peak of 45 after the storm.
- County crews have collected more than 395 tons of storm-related debris.
- Tree limbs and other plant debris is being turned into mulch.
- Nine county crews are out collecting brush today.
- Power and air conditioning has been restored the Culpepper Garden senior living center. Dominion had been asked to prioritize power restoration to the facility.
- 911 is now accessible by cell phone, but landline callers are being asked to call the non-emergency number at 703-558-2222.
- While those who can’t reach emergency dispatchers via phone are being asked to report the emergency at the nearest fire station, only one such incident has been reported. One person went to a fire station to report a grease fire at the Harris Teeter grocery store on Glebe Road.
- Regular trash and recycling pickup was completed yesterday, except where streets were blocked due to downed power lines.
- “Hundreds” of trees are down in parks, along with other plant debris. Park-goers are asked to “please use caution in County parks, outdoor facilities and trails.”
- Long Branch Nature Center is expected to “remain closed for several more days.”
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
Dominion says its on track to restore power to 80-85 percent of customers affected by Friday’s storms by the end of the day today. The company says 90-95 percent of affected customers should be back on line by Thursday night, with “virtually all remaining customers” restored by Saturday night.
Dominion crews and mutual aid crews will be working through the Fourth of July holiday, the company said.
As of 10:00 a.m., there were 15,654 Dominion customers still without power in Arlington, according to the company’s outage map. The planned power line work sites today are:
- 14th St S
- 16th St South
- 4th St N & Washington Blvd
- 6th St & N Lincoln St
- Arlington Ridge Rd @ S 23rd St
- Barton St & 2nd St
- Carlyn Springs Rd & S 1st Pl
- Columbia Pike & S Scott St
- Lorcom Ln & Nellie Custis
- N 23 Rd St & N Fillmore St
- N 26th St & N Glebe Rd
- N 29th St & Westmoreland St
- N 30th St
- N 36th St & N Kensington St
- N Columbus St
- N Kenilworth St
- N Kennebec St
- N Nelson La & N 27th St
- N Pershing Dr @ N Oxford St
- N 9th St & N Fairfax Dr
- N Somerset St & Little Falls St
- N. 13th St. & Buchanan St.
- N. 26th St & N. Harrison S
- N. Harrison St & N. 26th St
- N. Woodrow St & 21st St
- S 17th St.
- S Courthouse Rd
- S Frederick St
- S Highland St
- S Pollard St
- S Taylor St
- S Veitch St
- S. 16th St & S. Nelson St
- Washington Blvd
- Wilson Blvd & N Liberty St
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
Tree limbs down the the score. Fallen utility lines coned off and marked with orange flags. Neighbors out with shovels and snow blowers. Kids, off from school, toting around plastic sleds. Stretches where power and traffic lights were out (including a busy section of Lee Highway between Kirkwood and Veitch). Police and firefighters responding to call after call after call.
In the aftermath of what caused so much frustration last night were more glimpses of the good that snow brings out in many of us. On side streets, many of those neighbors with shovels and snow blowers were out helping to clear the still un-plowed roads. Others could be seen clearing public sections of sidewalk so others didn’t have to walk in the street.
From reader Ann B.:
I have to give a shout out to two great neighbors today.
I’ve lived near the corner of N. Adams and Lee HWY for over 6 years now. This morning, two neighborhood guys actually shoveled the snow from the southeast corner to the bus shelter on Lee. This is one of the few times this has ever happened in 6 years.
I had a young one with me and it made all the difference. It’s nice to see neighbors giving a hand!
Although it was difficult to find a navigable place to park in many parts of the county, here are some of the photos we managed to snap around North Arlington this afternoon.
The group, which cleaned up the portion of the stream that runs through Barcroft Park, filled 28 trash bags with items found in or around the water. Among the items they found were a bicycle, a computer, a 70 pound metal beam and — most amazingly — the severed head of a goat, horns and all.
“I have no clue what it was doing down there amongst the plastic bottles, pens, styrofoam cups, baseballs, etc… but it smelled quite foul and we bagged it with all the other garbage,” Dan Bronson of Arlington’s Community Volunteer Network wrote in an email. “It still had the skin on it so it hadn’t been there too long.”
Bronson said “everyone was mystified” as to how the goat’s head got here in the first place. One theory was that it washed downstream during Thursday’s storm.
To say the least.
Saturday’s stream clean-up was a joint effort of several volunteer organizations. There were six wounded warriors on hand from the veteran groups Team River Runner and The Mission Continues. Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and the Community Volunteer Network sent volunteers and helped to organize the event. A couple of Lockheed Martin employees also joined the clean-up.
In addition to the stream clean-up, volunteers also pulled and threw away a number of invasive plants found around the park.
Above: A pile of snow nearly reaches to the second floor of an abandoned motel in Crystal City. This was one of the county’s dump sites, described in this post from last night.
With brilliantly clear skies today, and a dry weekend predicted, the roads may actually get fully cleared before Monday, when our next batch of snow is expected to arrive.
In other news, the Arlington County government and courts WILL be open tomorrow. Schools, however, remain closed.
Arlington County snow crews continue to work around the clock, focusing their efforts on main roads and emergency routes. The county says crews will not reach most neighborhood roads until Monday.
Here’s a list of safety guidelines from the county’s press release.
- Hunker down. Stay off the roads and at home if at all possible.
- Wear light-reflective clothing if you are walking.
- If you must walk in the street, walk along the sides of the roads, not in the middle. Watch for emergency vehicles, snow plows.
- Shovel your driveways, walkways, and the sidewalks in front of your property – make sure fire hydrants are cleared of snow.
- If you have a downed tree blocking a road or on a power line, call 703-228-2222.