Update at 10:50 p.m. — Fewer than 1,000 Dominion customers are now in the dark in Arlington. A possible water main break has also been reported in Fairlington.
Nearly 3,000 Dominion customers were without power in Arlington Tuesday night after a line of severe storms packing gusty winds blew through the area.
Most of the power outages were concentrated in south Arlington, in the Pentagon City area. Storms appear to have caused only minor damage in most parts of Arlington, but a reported transformer fire on the 1600 block of Arlington Ridge Road has caused numerous power outages along the east end of Columbia Pike and in Pentagon City, Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge, according to Twitter reports.
Police closed Arlington Ridge Road near the blown transformer, while Dominion crews worked to fix it.
Despite the outages, the storms did have some upside: temperatures have cooled down significantly and residents were treated to a spectacular double rainbow at sunset as the storms passed.
Arlington County and much of the D.C. area was under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning earlier. Forecasters said a line of storms approaching the area was packing “destructive” winds, large hail and frequent lightning.
From the National Weather Service:
A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 830 PM EDT FOR THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA… THE CITY OF FAIRFAX… THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH… THE CITY OF MANASSAS… THE CITY OF MANASSAS PARK… PRINCE WILLIAM… FAIRFAX… CALVERT… ANNE ARUNDEL… PRINCE GEORGES… ARLINGTON… HOWARD AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA…
AT 715 PM EDT… SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WERE DETECTED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM LAUREL TO KENILWORTH TO FRANCONIA… AND WERE MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.
THESE STORMS ARE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.
LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… RIDGEWAY… SEVERN… SUITLAND… DISTRICT HEIGHTS… SOUTH GATE… PRINCE GEORGES STADIUM… GAMBRILLS… MORNINGSIDE… SEVERNA PARK… HERALD HARBOR… CROWNSVILLE… CLINTON… CAPE ARTHUR… RIVERDALE… CHELSEA BEACH… PASADENA… SILLERY BAY… LAKE SHORE… BODKIN POINT… NAVY-MARINE CORPS MEMORIAL STADIUM…
THIS IS A DANGEROUS LINE OF STORMS. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH… MOVE INDOORS TO A STURDY BUILDING AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO… REPORT SEVERE WEATHER TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
THIS LINE OF STORMS HAS A HISTORY OF PRODUCING WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE. SEEK SHELTER INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.
The outages are centered around Rosslyn and parts of Columbia Pike, according to Dominion’s outage map. An “Arlington Alert” message suggested the Pike power outage is due to “equipment failure.”
The utility is hoping to have electricity restored no later than 11:00 p.m.
The current temperature at 7:00 p.m. was 92 degrees. Today (Tuesday) the high temperature at Reagan National Airport was 97 degrees, breaking the previous June 17 record high temperature of 95 degrees, set in 1991, according to the National Weather Service.
Photo by Tyler Zarfoss
Arlington wasn’t immune from problems caused by this week’s heavy rains.
Among other rain-related issues, the water-saturated ground caused a tree to topple over onto power lines in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood Thursday afternoon.
As a result of the felled tree, part of 17th Street S. was closed near S. Joyce Street, and we’re told parts of the Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge neighborhoods lost power for a few hours.
Dominion Power cut the tree back off the lines but it’s still partially hanging over the sidewalk, according to neighborhood resident Jim Oliver.
Photos courtesy Jim Oliver
The power outage struck at the beginning of the evening rush hour on Wednesday, knocking out power to traffic lights at several key intersections. Arlington County police are on scene, setting up cones and directing traffic.
Several hotels were reported to be without power, and the fire department is responding to one for reports of multiple people stuck in hotel elevators.
No word so far on the cause of the power outage or when the lights might come back on.
About 5,000 Dominion customers in Arlington were reported to be without power early Saturday morning.
The outages appear to be concentrated along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
Dominion’s web site estimates that power will be restored by 8:00 a.m.
Update at 11:40 a.m. — The number of customers without power in Arlington is down to 316, according to the Dominion website.
A significant power outage has been reported in the Pentagon City area.
Power flickered off in the area around 10:30 a.m. The outage set off fire alarms and caused at least one occupied elevator, at the Crystal Tower Apartments (1600 S. Eads Street), to become stuck. Firefighters were able to quickly free the people trapped on the elevator.
Traffic lights are reported dark on S. Eads Street and and S. Fern Street, between 15th Street and Army Navy Drive. Arlington County Police are on scene, setting up cones and directing traffic.
According to the Dominion Power website, 1,224 customers in the area are without power.
Arlington Mill Community Center Modifications Approved — The County Board approved modifications to the Arlington Mill Community Center project that are being called safety and utility upgrades. The county will use already approved project reserve funds for improvements such as parking garage security doors, an in-building wireless system antenna to aid first responder communication and a revised design for the intersection at 9th Street S. and Arlington Mill Drive. As reported last week, a Pan American Bakery and Café will open in the structure. Construction is on track to finish by early August, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 28. [Arlington County]
Arlington Receives Funding to Fight Childhood Obesity — The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth has granted more than $36,000 to the county to fight childhood obesity and promote healthy living. This is the second year of a two-year grant. The money will help continue to fund community gardens, healthy school vending machine options and active recess. [Arlington County]
APS Hiring Hundreds of Staff Members – More than 260 full time and part time employees have been hired ahead of the Arlington Public Schools 2013-2014 year. That’s about two-thirds of the more than 350 open slots APS aims to fill. Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy expects to be fully staffed by the beginning of the school year. [Sun Gazette]
Alexandria Approves BRT Station Design — Alexandria approved the design for its Route 1 Bus Rapid Transitway stations. The seven stations include real-time bus arrival displays and will cost about $200,000 apiece. Construction of the bus dedicated lanes in the middle of Route 1 began in July 2012 and is expected to finish late this year, with the line becoming operational early next year. The BRT will eventually cover a five mile stretch to connect the Braddock Road Metro station with the Pentagon City metro station. The Arlington portion of the line is expected to open in summer or fall of 2014. [Del Ray Patch]
Father of Deceased Skateboarder Found Dead — Friends and family of 18-year-old John Malvar — a Washington-Lee High School student who died following a skateboarding accident — were supposed to gather at a memorial service for the teen on Saturday, but his father never showed up. Several friends visited the man’s apartment and had a maintenance man unlock the door, where they found George Malvar dead on his bed of natural causes. After learning of George Malvar’s death, the friends and family decided to continue on with the memorial service for his son. [Washington Post]
Snake Causes Power Outage — More than 10,000 Arlington and Alexandria residents experienced a power outage on Saturday night and Dominion says it was caused by a snake. The reptile apparently slithered into some electrical equipment and knocked out electricity at a substation on Four Mile Run. Power was restored by Sunday morning. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Christopher Skillman
WMATA took to Twitter to inform passengers of the outage and that all of the station’s escalators and elevators are currently out of service. Buses have been requested to the station, the agency said.
Spokesman Dan Stessel said the localized power outage is “not a big deal” and the station is still open for business.
There have been no reports of delays from the outage.
About 2,000 Dominion customers are currently without power, according to the utility’s outage map. At 10:30 p.m., Arlington County said the outage was impacting 2,800 customers.
Power is expected to be restored sometime between pre-dawn and mid-morning, according to police radio traffic.
(Updated 6:10 p.m.) A short lived, yet strong, string of storms left patches of destruction and power outages after it whipped through the area this afternoon. Although all parts of the county sustained some damage, the worst reports seem to be coming from South Arlington.
According to Dominion Virginia Power spokesman Chuck Penn, as of 5:45 p.m. there were about 6,500 Arlington customers without electricity. Most of the 33,000 Dominion customers currently without power are in Alexandria. However, Penn noted that “this is a very dynamic, unfolding situation” so numbers are changing almost by the minute.
Crews are out right now determining what is causing outages in each neighborhood and fixing the problems as rapidly as possible. One area hit especially hard is in South Arlington at S. Columbus Street and Chesterfield Road. Penn says multiple power pole cross arms were broken and there are spans of wire down. Dominion crews re-routed the circuit and restored power to a number of customers in the surrounding neighborhoods, but others are still in the dark.
“It’s a rather labor intensive job that our workers are engaged in,” said Penn. “We are very much in the restoration mode right now.”
There are numerous reports of trees down and flooded streets. Motorists are reminded not to attempt driving through standing water, as it may be deeper than it appears. Drivers should also treat any dark traffic lights as a four way stop.
Arlington remains under a Flash Flood Warning until 7:30 p.m. and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9:00 p.m. The Capital Weather Gang predicts storms off and on throughout the evening.
Photos via @Rock_Thrower, @Mrs_Dietz_, @Bruno8a
All storm warnings and watches have been cancelled in Arlington, but more than a thousand Dominion customers are without power.
A line of storms with strong, gusty winds made a mad dash across the county this afternoon, downing some trees and utility lines but not packing quite the punch that many feared.
As of 4:45 p.m., Dominion was reporting 1,327 customers without power in Arlington.
Among other reported road hazards, a utility pole was down on Carlin Springs Road just north of Columbia Pike, blocking the road and detouring bus routes. A number of other trees and lines were reported down in various parts of the county.
Update at 3:45 p.m. — Dominion reports that the cause of the outage was an underground equipment failure and power has been restored to all customers.
Dominion crews are at the scene of a power outage that has left part of Ballston dark.
Dominion Power spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson confirms that around 250 customers are affected by the outage. Numerous ARLnow.com readers in the 4200 and 4300 blocks of N. Fairfax Drive report being without power since about 1:15 p.m.
Drivers and pedestrians should also be aware that the traffic light is out at the intersection of N. Fairfax Drive and N. Taylor Street.
A number of Dominion workers, apparently investigating and attempting to fix the problem, have been spotted along N. Utah Street near Fairfax Drive. So far, there is no confirmation of exactly what caused the outage or when customers should have power again.
This week, gay marriage has come to the forefront of American politics as the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments regarding California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In light of the proceedings, Rep. Jim Moran (D) is reiterating his stance as an advocate of LGBT rights, including gay marriage and full marriage benefits.
DOMA overwhelmingly passed in Congress in 1996, but Moran notes he was one of the few who voted against the law. He released the following statement on Wednesday, following oral arguments in the case of United States v. Windsor, which challenges the constitutionality of DOMA:
“DOMA is unjust and un-American, contradicting long-standing legal principles and blatantly discriminating against specific legal marriages just because they involve gay and lesbian couples. DOMA flies in the face of our nation’s commitment to civil rights. I am proud to have been one of the 67 representatives who voted against this law’s passage in 1996.
“It’s also disturbing that House Republicans have wasted over $3 million defending DOMA in court over the past three years. I find it unconscionable that while budgets are being slashed by sequestration and many federal workers face furloughs, Republicans in the House voted to pay private lawyers $525 per hour to defend this discriminatory law.
“I strongly support the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry and have full access to the benefits and obligations of marriage. While churches should continue to be able to sanction marriages consistent with their faith, discrimination has no place in the laws that govern our country.
“In addition to being the truly ‘pro-family’ position, marriage equality is an issue that tests our nation’s fidelity to our fundamental values. The Declaration of Independence affirms that ‘all men are created equal’ and that every American has a right to ‘the pursuit of happiness.’ Surely these principles cannot be fulfilled without the ability to marry the person you love.”
Power has been restored to most of the customers affected by a power outage that occurred in the Clarendon, Courthouse and surrounding neighborhoods. However, there are pockets that may be dark for another hour or two.
At the height of the outage, more than 6,600 customers were without power. As of 10:20 a.m., Karl Neddenien with Dominion Power said less than 1,000 are still dark. Those customers are expected to have power restored by noon.
According to Neddenien, the outage occurred due to a problem in an underground equipment vault near Washington Blvd and N. 10th Street. Crews continue to work to figure out exactly what went wrong. There were reports of a flash and a couple of loud bangs just before the outage, but Neddenien isn’t able to confirm yet if that’s related to the outage.
“We need to get in there and determine just what happened,” Neddenien said. “But more importantly, we need to work on getting power back to everyone.”
Police have been assisting with directing traffic at busy intersections where the traffic lights went out, particularly at Lee Hwy and N. Veitch Street. Most of the affected traffic lights have come back on, but there are reports of some still out in Clarendon. Drivers who encounter dark lights without police directing traffic are reminded to treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
At about 9:15 a.m., a tree fell on power lines along Lorcom Lane, in the area of N. Jackson Street, causing several transformers to blow. That knocked out power to 3,827 customers, according to Dominion. Power was restored by noon, the company said.
Shortly after that outage was reported, another began.
“Around the same time we had another outage involving a tree on a power line in nearby northern Arlington,” Dominion spokeswoman Daisy Pridgen told ARLnow.com. “It affected 2,455 customers. Power was restored in two hours and 25 minutes.”
Traffic lights were reported dark on busy Lee Highway near I-66 as a result of the outages.