Irene’s Winds Bring Down Trees, Knock Out Power

by ARLnow.com August 28, 2011 at 4:07 am 6,167 23 Comments

(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.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Who is going to make the first Donaldson Run comment this morning?

    • Richard Cranium

      I heard it was hit by a blizzard.

  • GCH_Now

    Power is back on in Glencarlyn as of 9:30.

  • Cate

    Power went out near Columbia Pike sometime around 4:30 am. When I went out I heard some talk that it could be off until tomorrow night.

    • Cate

      Scratch that, it’s back. I’m impressed.

      • Piker

        We live close to the Air Force Memorial on the Pike and we never lost power. Kind of a bummer, actually.

        • Tabby

          You could always pretend.

          And that way, you wouldn’t lose tons of food as I have.

          • Piker

            That sucks, Tabs, sorry to hear it.

      • VA

        I live near the Pike and I still don’t have power – it’s been out over 12 hours now.

  • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

    Keep in mind that we are on the trailing end of the storm, so winds could still potentially drop weakened tree limbs and cause additional outages. Be safe if you are out and about.

  • Smilla

    Anyone know if movie theatres in Arlington are open today (Sunday)? I’ve tried calling the ones at Courthouse, Ballston, and Shirlington, but just get automated messages, giving their schedules and locations.

    • JamesE

      Power is fine in ballston so i assume it’s open

      • Smilla

        Thanks, James!

  • eddie vermont

    Who do you call about trees that bring down cable tv/internet lines? Already called comcast but does anyone know how long it might take to repair?

    • NOVApologist

      Given Comcast’s record, I wouldn’t count on getting service back soon. Just make sure to call each day and get a credit for each day you don’t have service.

  • Jim S

    Is there something about how power is distributed in Arlington that makes outage more widespread? I can understand when a tree or limb takes out a line that everything downstream is cut off, but at least in the north, a lot of the outages seem to be transformer related. When we lost ours lat night, I was awoken by a string of three transformers blowing in succession. Something similar happened over the winter. Based on this tweet form last night, I don’t think it’s an isolated problem: “@ARLnowDOTcom We can see transformers blowing up along DC/MD/VA skyline from our rooftop in N. Arlington. Sky is lighting up like xmas tree”

  • Tyrone Max

    Why in the hell were people out jogging last night in the pouring rain? Are people that stupid here?

    • KARLington

      Sigh…apparently, yes. As a runner, I love to run in a nice light rain but there are some who seem to put their workout over common sense…you’ll also see plenty of runners out during/after snow or ice when they can’t possibly have good footing and are impeding cars/plows.

  • Me ke

    Tree branch broke off and got caught in electric wires on North Barton then caught fire…as they burned the transformers started to blow up. Scary scene but no injuries…just wrecked nerves. I am way impressed with Dominion they kicked serious butt in restoring service

  • still without power in arlington village just off the pike since the big bang (assuming transformer blowing) at 2:49am. all of the surrounding businesses (giant, cvs, bars and restaurants) appear open.

  • Newtdog73

    Still without power…oh wait, Im in Afghanistan.

    • drax

      Is that near Donaldson Run?

      • Newtdog73

        Yes….Turn right at the big oak tree 🙂 Seriously, we lost power here (Kandahar) during “Irene”. I thought that was ironic considering I was keeping up with her on ARLnow.


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