Press Club

Irene’s Winds Bring Down Trees, Knock Out Power

(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Tropical storm-force winds from Hurricane Irene, combined with a steady, soaking rain, brought down at least 75 trees throughout Arlington last night, completely or partially blocking at least 35 streets, authorities said.

The falling trees blocked main roads, like Columbia Pike and westbound I-66, and knocked out power to various parts of the county. The 100 block of N. Liberty Street, Rock Spring Road and N. Wakefield Street, N. Quantico and N. 18th Street and N. Edison and Little Falls Road all remain blocked this afternoon, according to authorities and residents. County crews with chainsaws are helping to remove fallen trees and tree limbs from the roadway.

Some trees fell onto power lines and the roofs of houses, courtesy of wind gusts up to 59 miles per hour. A tree also fell onto the Blue Line tracks near Arlington National Cemetery, forcing Metro trains to single-track through the area.

Dominion was reporting more than 14,000 customers without power in Arlington as of 6:00 a.m. Numerous traffic lights were either dark or flashing as power flickered in many parts of the county overnight. The number of reported power outages dropped to just below 8,000 by noon on Sunday.

So far, only one minor storm-related injuries has been reported, according to Arlington County spokeswoman Jennifer K. Smith.

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