Arlington County will participate in a statewide tornado drill tomorrow (Tuesday) as part of Tornado Preparedness Day.
The County is reminding residents that a tornado can strike in Arlington, and that it’s important to prepare for such an event ahead of time.
From an Arlington County media release:
March 12, 2013 is Tornado Preparedness Day in Arlington County. Unlike hurricane season, there is no such thing as a “tornado season,” and no part of the Commonwealth is immune from tornadoes. They can hit at any time of the year and at any time of the day.
Every family, business and organization should do two things to get ready:
- Get a NOAA Weather Radio with SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) alerts.
- Participate in the statewide tornado drill Tuesday, March 12, at 9:45 a.m.
Arlington schools, businesses and residents have an opportunity to practice their tornado safety plans. At the same time, the National Weather Service (NWS) will be testing their public warning systems.
“The best and fastest way for anyone to get a tornado warning is by NOAA Weather Radio,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “With a weather radio, you get weather data directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. When we issue a tornado warning, the weather radio sounds an alarm or flashes lights and then gives information on where the storm is, which way it’s moving, and telling people in its path to take cover. This radio could be a lifesaver.”
NOAA Weather Radios with SAME alerts are available at electronics and sporting goods stores, discount and department stores, and online. They come in battery-powered models, and many also have AM/FM bands. A special needs NOAA Weather Radio is available as well. The special-needs NOAA Weather Radio can warn deaf and hard-of-hearing persons of hazardous conditions, giving them around-the-clock, up-to-the-minute weather information.
The general rule for tornado safety is “go low and stay low”, which means go to the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and crouch in a low position with your head covered.
A tornado watch means current weather conditions may result in a tornado. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted. If a tornado warning has been issued for your area, you should take cover immediately.
The majority of tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 pm. Think of where you would normally be during that time…at school, work, home, or in the car. You may only have a few seconds to react. Decide NOW where you would go if a tornado warning were issued.
Tornadoes can occur with little or no advance warning. It is important to have a weather radio nearby so you can listen for tornado and other severe weather watches and warnings.
If the National Weather service issues a tornado warning for Arlington, your weather radio will sound an alert, indicating that you need to move to a safe area immediately.
Sign up for Arlington Alert to receive free emergency messages within seconds to pagers, cell phones and e-mail. This is a great way to receive emergency information and critical safety messages when you need them most. To sign up at no cost, go to www.arlingtonalert.com. Alerts are available in Spanish, also.
Pre-set your battery operated radio to 1700AM Arlington for up to date emergency information including weather emergencies. You may also access 1700AM Arlington by calling 1-415-655-0811. (Long distance charges apply.)
For more information about tornado preparedness, visit the Arlington Office of Emergency Management website.
For help in conducting a tornado drill and to register for the statewide drill, go to www.ReadyVirginia.gov. Although registration is not required, people participating in the statewide drill are encouraged to sign up to show their support. The annual drill is a joint effort of Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and NWS.
Arlington and the entire D.C. area is under a Tornado Watch through 7:00 tonight.
Forecasters say a line of strong storms will make its way through the area between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. The storms could produce damaging winds, heavy rains and isolated tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED ALONG AND AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT THROUGH THIS EVENING. HEAVY DOWNPOURS COULD LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING. IN ADDITION…SOME THUNDERSTORMS MAY BE SEVERE AND PRODUCE DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND ISOLATED TORNADOES. THE MOST LIKELY TIME FOR SEVERE WEATHER LOOKS TO BE FROM 1 PM TO 7 PM.
Update at 8:45 p.m. — The number of Dominion customers without power in Arlington is currently listed as 5,762.
Update at 4:55 p.m. — Dominion is now reporting 9,262 customers without power in Arlington, mostly in South Arlington.
Update at 4:50 p.m. – The Arlington 9-11 Memorial 5K race is still on, but may follow an alternate route due to flooding on Long Bridge Drive. The race start time may also be slightly delayed, organizers say.
Update at 4:35 p.m. — Traffic on southbound I-395 is backed up from the downed tree near King Street to the area of the Pentagon. Most of the potential for severe weather in the area has now passed, according to forecasters.
Update at 4:25 p.m. – Numerous trees and power lines are reported down in parts of south and north Arlington. A tree is currently blocking the southbound lanes of S. Eads Street in the area of 12th Street, in Pentagon City.
Update at 4:15 p.m. — At least 1,000 Dominion customers in Arlington are currently without power, mostly in South Arlington along S. Glebe Road and S. Walter Reed Drive.
Update at 4:10 p.m. — A tree is down across all but one lane of southbound I-395 near King Street.
Update at 4:00 p.m. — Arlington County is dispatching a technical rescue for a report of a person trapped under a stage at the Rosslyn Jazz Festival. Update: The individual is no longer trapped and being evaluated by medics.
Arlington County is under a Tornado Warning through 4:15 p.m.
From the National Weather Service:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WARNING FOR… CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… SOUTHERN ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… EASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
* UNTIL 415 PM EDT
* AT 343 PM EDT… A CONFIRMED TORNADO WAS REPORTED NEAR FAIRFAX… AND WAS MOVING EAST AT 50 MPH. THIS TORNADO HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY COUNTY OFFICIALS.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ALEXANDRIA… HUNTINGTON… CRYSTAL CITY… BALLSTON… THE WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE… REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT…
TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR VEHICLE… MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.
MOTORISTS SHOULD NOT TAKE SHELTER UNDER HIGHWAY OVERPASSES. AS A LAST RESORT… EITHER PARK AND STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE… OR ABANDON YOUR VEHICLE AND LAY FLAT IN A LOW SPOT.
THIS TORNADO MAY BE WRAPPED IN RAIN AND HARD TO SEE. TAKE COVER NOW.
The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Arlington and the rest of the D.C. region. The watch is in effect through 9:00 p.m.
The Arlington Office of Emergency Management issued the following statement about the impending severe weather earlier today:
The National Weather Service has advised that the metropolitan area can expect pop up spotty scattered showers/thunderstorms from mid to late afternoon today. This evening as the cold front approaches, the storm system will be more organized as it moves East. Between 7 and 10 pm, there is a better potential for large hail, 60 mph winds and possible tornado activity especially in those areas that see multiple thunderstorms. Rain totals will be 1-1/2 inches in those areas where multiple storms occur. Flooding may occur in those areas.
During a power outage Dominion Virginia Power has a toll free service number for reporting power outages. 1-866-366-4357. Call if you lose power and use the automated reporting system for fastest access.
Today is also the beginning of hurricane season. It is critical that everyone understand something about a hurricane. There are some simple, low-cost steps each of us and our families can take to get ready for hurricanes or any disaster: Be Informed, Make a Plan, Prepare an emergency kit, and Get Involved.
If you have a smart phone, download the free Arlington Prepares app. There is information about how to prepare, how to respond to specific emergencies and you may download your own personal and contact information. To get started, go to www.arlingtonva.us/oem.
You already receive Arlington Alerts, but the other ways to get emergency information are through the County’s web site, www.arlingtonva.us, 1700 AM radio, AVN Comcast 25 or Verizon 40 and local media.
Make a Plan:
Making a family disaster plan involves discussing the hazards and threats for your area and what your family would do during an actual emergency. As you create your plan, decide on a meeting place if your family cannot return home, designate an out-of-town friend or relative as a point-of-contact and plan for the specific needs of your household, such as an evacuation shelter for pets or transportation for medical equipment. For more information, visit www.arlingtonva.us/oem.
Prepare an Emergency Kit:
An emergency supply “Go Bag” kit includes, among other things, essential items to last at least three days such as a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, food and water, flashlights, a first aid kit and medications. For more specific information on what to include in your “go bag”, visit www.arlingtonva.us/oem. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management also has information on preparation for emergencies at www.vaemergency.com
There are several opportunities to become involved in emergency preparedness activities, including assisting should a hurricane hit Arlington. Become a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member. The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and Volunteer Emergency Support Team (VEST) uses volunteers in emergencies. For information on these volunteer programs, visit www.arlingtonva.us
Tips for Homeowners:
Now is a good time to stroll around your property and prune any dead branches from trees. Treat all downed lines and anything touching them as energized and dangerous! dlp/oem
First Day of Spring / Tornado Drill — Today’s the first official day of spring, though it’s hard to think of the warm weather the past couple of weeks as “winter.” Along with the start of spring comes the start of the most active time for tornadoes. With that in mind, Virginia is holding a statewide tornado drill at 9:45 this morning.
County Budget Hearing Tonight — Arlington County is hearing a public hearing on its proposed FY 2013 budget tonight. The hearing is being held in the County Board room at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard and is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. A public hearing on the county’s proposed tax rate changes is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. [Arlington County]
Leonsis Helps Raise Money for AFAC — Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has helped the Arlington Food Assistance Center raise an additional $21,000. Lenonsis offered tickets to his box at the Verizon Center to anybody willing to donate $3,500 to AFAC, which six donors quickly did. [Sun Gazette]
Update at 12:30 p.m. — The tornado watch has been canceled.
This morning the National Weather Service extended a regional tornado watch until 3:00 p.m.
Stay here for live updates as storms make their way through our area tonight.
12:55 p.m. — With the exception of some isolated storminess in North Arlington, it looks like we’ve been spared from the latest batch of severe weather.
7:10 p.m. — This round of storms looks like a bust, at least for Arlington. But there are more storms to the southwest that are heading our way later tonight. The National Weather Service has extended the tornado watch for the region until 2:00 a.m.
6:40 p.m. — Storms are passing to the south and north of Arlington at the moment.
6:15 p.m. — A tornado warning has been issued for Fairfax County.
* TORNADO WARNING FOR… STAFFORD COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… CHARLES COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND…
* UNTIL 645 PM EDT
* AT 606 PM EDT… NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR TRIANGLE… OR 6 MILES NORTH OF STAFFORD… MOVING NORTHEAST AT 50 MPH.
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the region.
Arlington is among the counties placed under the tornado watch until 8:00 p.m. Storms are approaching the area from the southwest.
A tornado watch has been issued for the greater D.C. area until 9:00 tonight. From Arlington Alerts:
The National Weather Service has issued a TORNADO WATCH for jurisdictions within the National Capital Region effective immediately. The Tornado watch is in effect until 2100 this evening (Saturday 16 April). Possible wind gusts up to 60 mph. A TORNADO WATCH means that conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area
Arlington will be testing its outdoor warning systems in Rosslyn, Courthouse and Pentagon City this morning.
Between 10:00 a.m. and noon, the county’s Office of Emergency Management will sound a series of three loud beeps in each area, followed by a voice broadcast in English and Spanish.
Today is Tornado Preparedness Day in Virginia, with a statewide tornado drill scheduled for 9:45 a.m. A test tornado warning will be broadcast on television and radio stations, as well as on NOAA weather radio. The period between March and May is generally considered peak tornado season.
Update at 12:50 p.m. — The tornado watch has been canceled.
Warm temperatures are going to give way to strong storms as a cold front moves through the region later today.
The National Weather Service just issued a Tornado Watch, warning that the storms could include tornadic activity. The watch is in effect until 4:00 p.m.
This morning’s heavy rain and high winds have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a number of alerts and advisories for Arlington and the surrounding area:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED TORNADO WATCH 762 IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS
ABERDEEN… ALEXANDRIA… ANNAPOLIS… ARLINGTON… BALTIMORE… BEL AIR… BERRYVILLE… CHANTILLY… CHARLES TOWNN… CHESAPEAKE BEACH… COLUMBIA… CULPEPER… EDGEWOOD… FAIRFAX… FALLS CHURCH… FALLSTON… FREDERICK… FRONT ROYAL… GAITHERSBURG… HAGERSTOWN… HAVRE DE GRACE… JOPPATOWNE… LAUREL… LEESBURG… LURAY… MADISON… MANASSAS… MANASSAS PARK… MARTINSBURG… MCLEAN… RESTON… ST MARYS… STANARDSVILLE… STERLING… TOWSON… WALDORF… WARRENTON… WASHINGTON… WASHINGTON… WESTMINSTER… WINCHESTER… WINCHESTER AND WOODBRIDGE.
… WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM EST THIS MORNING…
A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM EST THIS MORNING.
* TIMING… GUSTS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH MID MORNING. GUSTS WILL SUBSIDE BEFORE NOON.
* WINDS… SOUTHEASTERLY WIND GUSTS OF 45-50 MPH.
A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 45 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT… ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.
Special Weather Statement:
… HEAVY RAIN TO AFFECT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA… ARLINGTON… MONTGOMERY… PRINCE GEORGES… CALVERT… STAFFORD… LOUDOUN… PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK… CHARLES AND FAIRFAX COUNTIES…
AN AREA OF RAIN WITH EMBEDDED VERY HEAVY DOWNPOURS WILL MOVE OVER THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE. RAINFALL RATES OF UP TO 1 INCH PER HOUR WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY AND WILL CAUSE PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS AND OTHER LOW LYING AREAS. MOTORISTS ARE URGED TO USE CAUTION.
Flash Flood Watch:
… FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…
THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR
* PORTIONS OF MARYLAND… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND VIRGINIA.
* UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON
* A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION THIS MORNING. RAIN AMOUNTS OF ONE TO TWO INCHES ARE EXPECTED. THIS AMOUNT OF RAIN MAY CAUSE SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS TO RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS.
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.
MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.
NWS: No Sign of Tornado in South Arlington — Despite photos of car windows blown out and mass tree devastation, a team from the National Weather Service found no evidence that a tornado caused the worst of the damage in South Arlington. More from Fox 5.
Arlington FBI Impersonator Sentenced — Arlington resident Brenna Marie Reilly, 29, who told people she was the director of the FBI’s Forensic Division and later convinced a neighbor to quit his job and serve as her assistant, was sentenced on Friday. She will serve 30 days in prison, four months of house arrest and three years of probation. More from the Washington Examiner.
Cat Fight Breaks Out Over Roaming Pets — In June, the Sun Gazette ran a opinion piece from someone who wasn’t too happy with his neighbor’s cat roaming in his yard. “Do I need my neighbors’ cat in my backyard when my wife and daughter are allergic?” he asked. Now, courtesy of the Huffington Post, we get a counterpoint. Blogger Tamar Abrams is apparently the owner of the offending feline. She shoots back: “For the record, his dog has peed on my yard. His dog has barked many times. But I can’t imagine complaining about that.”