(Updated at 5:50 p.m.) A strong thunderstorm ripped through Arlington during Monday’s evening rush hour, knocking down trees, knocking out power and injuring two soldiers on Fort Myer.
The soldiers were reportedly struck by lightning on or around Whipple Field on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. They were reported to be conscious and alert — with non-life-threatening injuries — and were being tended to by Arlington firefighters and paramedics.
On N. Glebe Road just south of Ballston, a large tree was uprooted by the storm, bringing down power lines and crushing two parked cars. The power lines were live and one witness said the sparking wires “burned a hole through the pavement” below. No injuries were reported, but emergency crews have closed the southbound lanes of Glebe Road in the area of 4th Street N. as a result.
The lane closures on Glebe will stretch well into the night as repairs take place. The repair work and power pole replacement is expected to take 6-8 hours.
As of 5:50 p.m., Dominion was reporting 5,629 customers without power in Arlington County. The power outages have also impacted numerous traffic signals around the county. Dark traffic signals should be treated as a four-way stop.
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
Northbound lanes of the Spout Run Parkway are closed due to a fallen tree.
Traffic heading from Lee Highway toward the GW Parkway is being diverted from Spout Run onto Lorcom Lane.
U.S. Park Police officers are directing traffic while crews work to clear the fallen tree.
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.
(Updated at 4:00 p.m.) A large oak tree fell on the historic, county-owned Fraber House after yesterday’s storms, damaging the home just as the county prepares to sell it.
The early 20th century structure, at 1612 N. Quincy Street in Cherrydale, is set to receive a local historic designation from the Arlington County Board this weekend. The county then plans to sell the home, in “as is” condition, to the highest bidder. The buyer would be expected to fix up and maintain the house, while preserving its historic characteristics.
Thanks to the fallen tree, the home may be a bit more of a “fixer-upper” than the county planned. Visible damage includes a buckled portion of roof, a bent gutter, and a broken lower window.
The tree will be removed tomorrow (Wednesday) according to Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish, and the county will repair the damage.
“Removal of the tree will require use of a large crane,” she wrote. “The property will covered by a tarp to protect it from the weather.”
“After the tree has been removed, we can do a complete assessment of the damage,” Kalish said. “From the damage that we can observe now it appears that exterior repairs will only take about a week to repair — if the weather cooperates. Repairs will be made that are in keeping with the historic nature of the home.”
Kalish said the damage will most likely not impact the Board’s scheduled vote on Saturday.
The southbound lanes of S. George Mason Drive between Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive are closed due to a downed tree.
The closure is expected to be lifted by 4:30 p.m. as crews work to remove the tree.
The northbound lanes of George Mason Drive are still open, according to police.
The tree supposedly came down this past Sunday, according to parks department spokeswoman Susan Kalish, but the resident who first emailed ARLnow.com to ask about the safety hazard said it actually came down Tuesday, during Superstorm Sandy. Regardless of when it fell, the tree remains have been blocking the sidewalk ever since, forcing pedestrians to either walk up a small hill or into the street to get around it. It also blocked a bus stop and a bike lane, forcing bicyclists out into a vehicle travel lane.
The tree was on private property — near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Troy Street, just down the street from the Courthouse area — and Kalish said the county was not notified that it was blocking a sidewalk until ARLnow.com asked about it yesterday.
“According to a property manager at Colonial Village the tree fell Sunday night. They did not have an opportunity to remove it or contact us regarding it until we checked into it for [ARLnow.com],” she said. “The Parks team will clear the sidewalk today.”
County to Ask For Federal Storm Aid — Yesterday, Arlington County ended the State of Emergency declaration put in place for Hurricane Sandy. The county says it will seek federal reimbursement for the estimated $1.17 million cost of responding to the storm. Meanwhile, the county says that one private home was destroyed by the storm, while 17 suffered major damage and 27 suffered minor damage. [Arlington County]
APS Rolls Out ‘Courtesy Bus Service’ — Arlington Public Schools has started to bus some students who lost their eligibility to ride the bus this year as part of changes to the school system’s transportation policies this year. The courtesy service will only be offered this year, school officials say. So far, 83 students have been allowed back on buses. [Sun Gazette]
SoberRide Halloween Stats — The SoberRide program says it provided 157 free cab rides to “would-be drunk drivers” in the D.C. area on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]
Road Closures for 5K Race — A number of roads will be closed near Tuckahoe Elementary School for the National Race Against the Odds 5K race this weekend. The closures will be in place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday (Nov. 4). [ACPD]
Advice for Damaged Trees — The TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria have some advice for property owners whose trees were damaged by SuperStorm Sandy. The organization has been encouraging property owners to read about precautions to be taken when hiring tree services to help with storm clean-up, and about “first aid” procedures for storm-damaged trees.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
As of 10:15 this morning, only 997 Dominion customers were without power in Arlington, compared to more than 5,000 around the same time yesterday and more than 18,000 at the height of Superstorm Sandy.
Last night, Arlington officials reported that there were no dark traffic lights in the county. Six intersections were using generators to keep the signals functioning, however. There were about 20 non-functioning traffic signals the morning after the storm.
As of 5:30 last night, about 18 streets were still blocked or partially blocked by down trees, but county crews were working to clear the debris, according to a county media update.
Dominion says crews will be working on power lines and equipment at the following Arlington locations today:
- N. Henderson Rd & N. 3rd St
- S. 7th St & Buchanan
- Arlington Ridge Rd & S. 28th St
- Columbia Pike & S Buchanan St
- N 15th St & N Vermont St
- N Inglewood St & 17th St N
- 1st Rd & N Irving St
- N Quinn St & N 12th St
- N Stuart St & N 25th St
- N Underwood St & N 25th St
- N Nelson St & N 10th St
- S 5th St & S Aberdeen St
- S Chesterfield Rd south of Four Mile Run
- S. Glebe Rd. & S 9th St.
- Williamsburg Blvd & N Edison St
- Wilson Blvd & N Randolph St
Flickr pool photo by Afagen
The company plans to work on downed lines and blown transformers in more than 40 locations around the county.
As of 10:00 a.m., 5,264 Dominion customers are still without power in Arlington. That’s down from more than 18,000 at the storm’s peak. The company says it plans to have all Superstorm Sandy-related outages restored by Thursday night.
Arlington County crews are continuing to clean up debris-covered streets and assess damage. The county expects damages in Arlington from Sandy “will be in the millions of dollars.”
Dominion is planning to work at the following locations today:
- 10th St & N. Daniel St
- 14th St west of N Longfellow St
- 25th St east of Old Dominion Dr
- 29th St N & Sycamore St
- S. 12th St
- 40th St south of 41st St
- Carlyn Springs Rd & South 1st Pl
- Columbia Pk & Buchanan St
- Hayes St @ 23rd St
- Lee Hwy & N Calvert St
- Lee Hwy & N. Vermont St
- Little Falls Rd & 26th St
- 10th St & N Edgewood St
- North 17th St & North Hartford St
- N 19th St & Lexington
- N 23 Rd St & N Fillmore St
- N 25th St & N 26th Rd
- N 5th St east of N Monroe St
- N Barton St & 10th St
- Yorktown Blvd & N Brandywine St
- N Harrison St & 16th St
- N Kennsington St & 35th Rd
- N 25th Rd & N Kensington St
- N Pollard St btwn Wilson Blvd & 6th St
- N Quinn St & N 12th St
- N Stuart St & N 25th St
- N. Edison St & N. 38th St
- N. Quincy St. & N. 18th S
- N. Stafford St off Lee Hwy
- N. West St & Washington Blvd
- Patrick Henry Dr & Washington Blvd
- N. Oakland St north of Old Domonion Dr
- S 11th St & Frederick St
- S 16th St & S Ives St
- S 24th Rd
- S 4th St & Illinois
- S 4th St & Jefferson St
- S Eads St south of 12th St
- S Glebe Rd & S 3rd St
- S. Shirlington Rd. south of 25th St
- Washington Blvd & N Longfellow St
- Westmoreland St & Williamsburg Blvd
- Wilson Blvd & N Madison St
Whether it was due to a loss of power or downed trees, thousands of Arlington residents have felt the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Marco Delmar and his family are definitely among them.
Delmar might initially be dubbed unlucky because a tree fell into his home. However, upon further inspection he and his family could actually fall into the “incredibly lucky” category, considering all four are still alive to tell the story.
Around 8:00 p.m. on Monday, the family had just finished dinner and left the dining room when a huge tree slammed into their house on the 2800 block of 2nd Road N. in Lyon Park. Delmar and his wife escaped unharmed, along with their children, ages 12 and 17. (A 21 year-old daughter was away at college at the time.)
From the inside, when the tree struck, the family heard a loud crashing sound and could see the plaster falling around them. But they didn’t realize how badly the house had been crushed until they left the house — via the basement, the only way out — and examined the damage from outside. Once they surveyed the mess, the family members felt even luckier to all walk away without a scratch.
“The house is just dirt put together, we’ll build another one,” Delmar said. “I was just thrilled that everyone was fine.”
Delmar said the house was built in the 1920s and he has lived there since 1966. He had a neighbor who worked at the Pentagon and looked up the home in historic records. The neighbor discovered that many of the trees surrounding the house were planted around the time of the Civil War, including the one that crashed into the house.
“You know, my parents owned this house so I bought it when they passed away,” Delmar said. “It was always one of their greatest fears, one of these huge trees would fall.”
Delmar, who is a record producer for Recording Arts, also has a studio in his home and has yet to examine how much of his work may have been affected by the damage. He plans to rent a small place for the family to stay while the house is rebuilt.
Although one of the most severe examples of tree damage from Sandy, Delmar’s case was not the only one in Arlington. Dozens of trees fell in neighborhoods including Bluemont, Waverly Hills, Ballston, Arlington Forest and Aurora Hills (see photos below), some bringing down power lines and utility poles. More reports continue to come in as residents assess damage in their yards and surrounding neighborhoods.
County workers are joining Dominion crews in inspecting hazards and attending to them as quickly as possible.
Photos below by ARLnow.com and various contributors. Contributed photos by photographers as noted.
Superstorm Sandy — nee Hurricane Sandy — brought heavy rain and fierce winds to Arlington Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
Arlington was “spared the worst of the storm’s impact,” according to county officials, but Sandy and her 60 mph wind gusts knocked down dozens of trees across the county, many of which fell onto roadways and into houses.
As of 8:45 a.m., Arlington County was reporting 22 incidents of trees falling onto or into houses. No injuries were reported and authorities made sure all residents were safe. In fact, there are no known storm-related fatalities or injuries, according to county officials.
About 40 roads were still blocked by downed trees, including Washington Boulevard at N. Utah Street in Ballston, seen above. Crews were working to remove the trees, but some fell across power lines, requiring assistance from Dominion.
Approximately 20 traffic signals are not functioning this morning. All dark intersections should be treated as an all-way stop.
As of 9:10 a.m., Dominion was reporting 15,586 customers without power in Arlington, down slightly from more than 18,000 last night.
Statewide, from Sunday to 6:00 this morning, Virginia State Police responded to 2,549 traffic crashes and disabled vehicles, and received a total of 4,605 calls for service. At the height of the storm, state police say they were fielding 155 calls for service an hour. VDOT, meanwhile, has lifted HOV restrictions on I-395, I-95, I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road today.
While winds aren’t quite a strong today, Arlington officials say fallen debris, high standing water and remaining weather impacts are still making travel hazardous.
“We continue to urge caution,” the county said. “Conditions remain potentially dangerous outside. Avoid going out onto the roads. Never drive into standing water.”
Those who must travel today will eventually be able to do so via Metro. The transit agency says it will restore limited bus and rail service starting at 2:00 p.m. Trains and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule.
Update at 10:25 a.m. – Arlington Public Schools says a decision about reopening schools on Wednesday will be made “by early this evening.”
Update at 7:25 p.m. — The number of Dominion customers without power in Arlington is up to 16,828.
(Updated at 6:10 p.m.) More than 5,800 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington as of 6:05 p.m. as the strongest winds from Hurricane Sandy have started to arrive in the area.
Twitter users have been reporting power outages in the Buckingham area, in Westover Village, Lyon Park and in Crystal City, among other areas. Another large outage is being reported by Dominion in the far northeastern corner of Arlington County. Power has also been flickering in the Ballston, Clarendon, Courthouse and Pentagon City areas.
Wind gusts have been picking up over the past hour. Numerous reports of trees and wires down around the county have been pouring in to Arlington’s Emergency Communications Center. Currently, firefighters are on the scene of a tree that fell into a house, causing significant damage, on the 4800 block of 26th Street N. in the Yorktown area (pictured, left). No injuries were reported.
Additional calls for trees falling onto houses and are being dispatched. A large tree fell into the intersection of 5th Street S. and S. Harrison Street, according to firefighters on the scene.
Arlington County announced today that all county offices, libraries, courts, schools, community centers and nature centers will be closed on Tuesday. ART bus service has also been suspended on Tuesday.
Photo courtesy @CAPT258
Arlington County is urging residents to stay put until the heavy rain and wind of Hurricane Sandy blows through the area over the next day or so.
“Arlington emergency managers urge everyone to stay where you are,” the county said in a media alert this morning. “High winds and the danger of falling trees will present an extremely unsafe environment. Get yourself to a safe place and stay there.”
With widespread damage to trees expected during the storm, the county is asking residents to call 703-228-6525 to report downed trees. Only in the event of a life-threatening emergency should residents call 9-1-1, the county said.
For non-emergency assistance, residents can call the non-emergency police and fire line at 703-558-2222. Requests for storm aid can be made by calling the Arlington Department of Human Services at 703-228-1300 or the regional aid hotline at 2-1-1.
Sandy is expected to drop up to 5-10 inches of rain on the D.C. area and pack damaging wind gusts of 70-80 miles per hour. From the National Weather Service:
AT 11 AM EDT… THE CENTER OF HURRICANE SANDY WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 37.5N… LONGITUDE 71.5W. THIS WAS ABOUT 315 MILES EAST OF WASHINGTON DC. SANDY WAS MOVING NORTHWEST AT 18 MPH… WITH MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 90 MPH. SANDY IS FORECAST TO MAKE LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY COAST EARLY TONIGHT… WITH A LITTLE STRENGTHENING POSSIBLE BEFORE LANDFALL. SANDY WILL SEVERELY IMPACT THE REGION WELL BEFORE IT COMES ASHORE.
SUMMARY OF THREATS —————— * THE MAIN IMMEDIATE THREATS FOR SANDY WILL BE STRONG WINDS RESULTING IN WIDESPREAD DOWNED TREES AND POWER/COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGES… AND HEAVY RAINS WHICH WILL RESULT IN EXTENSIVE FLOODING OF LOCAL STREAMS AND CREEKS. * BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST IN THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS AT ELEVATIONS ABOVE 2000 FEET WHERE 18 TO 24 INCHES ARE FORECAST. * MAJOR RIVER FLOODING IS LIKELY TO OCCUR… STARTING THIS AFTERNOON ON SMALLER WATERSHEDS WHICH WILL LEAD TO FLOODING ON THE MAIN-STEM RIVERS SUCH AS THE POTOMAC AND THE SHENANDOAH.
CHANGES SINCE LAST LOCAL STATEMENT ———————————- * THE TIMING OF THE PEAK WINDS FROM SANDY ARE NOW EXPECTED FROM LATE THIS AFTERNOON TO DAYBREAK ON WEDNESDAY. * RAINFALL AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN INCREASED. THE GREATER BALTIMORE METRO AREA IS NOW FORECAST TO RECEIVE 8 TO 12 INCHES OF RAIN… WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. * THE POTOMAC RIVER IS LIKELY TO GO INTO FLOOD STAGE BEGINNING AROUND WEDNESDAY AND LASTING THROUGH FRIDAY.
HIGH WINDS ———- * WINDS WILL INCREASE STEADILY TODAY… WITH THE MAXIMUM WIND GUSTS OCCURRING LATE THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING. * GENERALLY… SUSTAINED WINDS OF 30 TO 50 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 60 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION. * HURRICANE FORCE WIND GUSTS OF 70 AND POSSIBLY 80 MPH ARE EXPECTED TO IMPACT A REGION LOCATED BETWEEN BEL AIR MD… POINT LOOKOUT MD… AND HAGERSTOWN MD BETWEEN 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM TUESDAY. THIS INCLUDES THE GREATER BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREAS. * COUPLED WITH HEAVY RAINS FROM SANDY… THE HIGH WINDS WILL RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE AND POWER LINE DAMAGE.
RAINFALL AND FLOODING ——————— * 8 TO 12 INCHES OF RAIN IN NORTHEAST AND NORTH CENTRAL MD INCLUDING THE BALTIMORE METRO AREA AND ALONG THE WEST SHORE OF THE BAY. * 5 TO 10 INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED ACROSS THE FREDERICK… WASHINGTON AND FREDERICKSBURG METRO AREAS. * 3 TO 6 INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED FOR EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA AND VIRGINIA… WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE DC METRO COUNTIES… AS WELL AS WESTERN MARYLAND WEST OF HANCOCK MD. * THIS AMOUNT OF RAIN WILL LIKELY RESULT IN EXTENSIVE AND DANGEROUS FLOODING OF LOCAL STREAMS AND CREEKS STARTING THIS AFTERNOON AND LASTING INTO WEDNESDAY.
MAIN-STEM RIVER FLOODING ———————— * THE POTOMAC RIVER WILL LIKELY START FLOODING TUESDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUE THROUGH THE END OF THE WEEK. * THE MONOCACY RIVER IS FORECAST TO FLOOD LATER TODAY AND CONTINUE TO BE IN MAJOR FLOOD THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY. LEVELS FORECAST HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE AGNES IN 1972.
Update at 6:10 p.m. — Glebe Road has reopened, according to scanner traffic.
Update at 4:05 p.m. — Crews are hoping to have Glebe Road clear and reopened by 6:00 p.m., we’re told.
Glebe Road is completely blocked in north Arlington near Chain Bridge due to a large downed tree.
According to initial reports, traffic is being diverted on to Old Glebe Road and Chain Bridge Road.
No word yet on whether the road is expected to be back open in time for the evening rush hour.