Roads Closed, Power Out Around Cherrydale

by ARLnow.com September 27, 2012 at 10:53 am 5,145 71 Comments

(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) — Power has been restored to nearly all of the 2,200 customers who were without power due to a vehicle accident in Cherrydale. The intersection of N. Quincy Street and Lee Highway, however, remains a mess.

According to an officer on the scene, just before 10:00 a.m., the driver of a large truck was attempting to make a right turn onto Lee Highway from northbound Quincy Street. Somehow he snagged a cable anchored into the sidewalk, which supports a utility pole. The top of the pole snapped and brought down wires, a transformer and part of another pole.

“This is all just because some guy couldn’t make a turn correctly,” the officer said.

The officer declined to comment on whether the driver received a ticket.

Traffic signals were dark in parts of Cherrydale, Ballston and Virginia Square in addition to the residential customers without power. Dominion was able to re-route power and all but 166 customers had electricity restored within an hour, according to Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson. As of 2:40 p.m., there are only 9 remaining customers who don’t have power, and they are in the immediate vicinity of the accident.

Dominion crews are on the scene and have to replace the smashed transformer, one utility pole, the cross beam of another utility pole and will have to reconnect all the power lines. They also have to clean up the fluid that leaked from the smashed transformer, which Anderson said is harmless mineral oil. Crews had first hoped to have all the work finished sometime around 5:00 p.m., but due to the extent of the damage, the new estimate is in the 7:00-9:00 p.m. range.

Quincy Street remains closed between 20th Street and Lee Highway. Police are at the intersection to help with traffic control.


  • B22201

    Hopefully this doesn’t affect the ability to get a foot massage, and some tea.

  • charlie

    Some very bad power flickers in Rosslyn, this must have been it.

  • B Div

    I’ve lived here for getting on for 20 years, and it seems we’ve had more power outages in the last year than in the previous 19.

    • DarkHeart

      Too few coyotes = too many squirrels.

  • JimPB

    “ONROE Street?
    Fairfax Drive and onroe Street

  • The road construction at Quincy and Lee Highway has been horribly mismanaged.

    Potholes doesn’t begin to describe it.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised if a construction vehicle took out a power line etc.

    • Arlingtoon

      You’re not kidding. What particularly frosts me is that they’ve gone ahead and dug up the road, and then appear to have left entirely — nothing has changed for the last three months.

      (Well, almost nothing. The alignment of my front end is substantially worse than it was before they started.)

      • emanon

        I find the officer’s comment to be somewhat uncalled for. Yes, someone failed to turn properly. But unless I have my internal compass pointed in the wrong direction as I think about this, it was a large truck, the angle of the turn is far greater than 270 degrees (or less than 90 degrees, depending on how you look at it), and that intersection is a disaster with all the construction. Who knows what else he was avoiding. So it’s too bad it happened, and perhaps some number of trained truck drivers would not have made such a mistake, but I don’t think snippy comments from the police to the media are necessary.

        • Eric

          Agree. Sternbeck is a little too full of himself lately.

          Issue the driver a ticket or STFU.

        • Matt

          The guy drove off the road and took out a cable and knocked out power to 2,000 people. The cop wasn’t calling the driver any of the many names he could’ve been called. Instead, he simply stated the obvious, that someone couldn’t turn correctly. The end.

        • Sensible Driver

          Disagree. You’re incorrectly reading emotion (“snippy”) into a factual statement. The power outage and road closures resulted from a driver that couldn’t negotiate a turn correctly. Simple as that.

      • gnushell

        Yes my car’s front end has suffered greatly from that ongoing mess. Looks like one of my strut mounts has gone south as a result. I’ve been avoiding that stretch as much as possible but sometimes you have to drive there.

  • Id

    It was caused by a serge in the use of electric vibrators last night.

    • Will Rubin

      Yup, that Serge … he really knows how to show a lady a good time.

      • Mike

        Thanks for clarifying – I assumed Id was talking about fabric (a blue serge suit), which didn’t make sense.

        • Id

          And who doesn’t love Serge?

      • nom de guerre
  • arlgal

    My power flickered in Courthouse about an hour ago, I wonder if it was related to this.

  • nunya

    i volunteer on saving all the ice cream at baskin robins. all 31 flavas.

  • Martha

    I live in Lyon Village near Lee Highway. Yesterday we had a power surge. This morning we had 4 power surges. Some were quick on/off and some were sustained. Power is on here. I called Dominion this morning and they said I was the only call — no other reports. Lesson learned: call when there are surges.

  • 1RLI

    “So far there’s no work on what caused the transformers to blow…”
    Perhaps “So far there’s no WORD on what caused the transformers to blow…” Credibility ARLNOW. Credibility.

    • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

      relax man.

      • 1RLI

        Oh…okay. Thanks.

    • drax

      Should be a comma after the first “credibility.”

      • 1RLI

        Thought about it, as well as a semi-colon. Went with the period for emphasis.

    • 1RLI

      Thanks for making the correction.

  • BrianKal

    Half of Archstone Ballston Square is without power … that was after a lot of flickering/surges this morning too.

  • Jack

    If you take the 3A/B/E/Y bus, they are taking Old Dominion dr. skipping over the 21, Thomas, Utah Street, etc stops. I was dropped off at Stafford Middle School.

    • nom de guerre

      Where in Arlington is there a “Stafford Middle School?” Do you mean HB Woodlawn which is the former STRATFORD Junior High School?

      • Jack

        Yep, you got it.

  • The Jimmy

    Don’t be alarmed. It is all in the name of the greater Cherrydale Revitalization Plan. Look for more good things to come down the road.

    • Huh

      ” Look for more good things to come down the road.”

      I assume that you meant, ” Look for more good things to come down ON the road.”

  • Westover Leftover

    I hope Cherrydale Auto has power, I need to pick up my truck today.

  • Lola

    My building’s electricity was out all day yesterday.

  • Mike

    There were a couple of outages yesterday in Ballston – I never heard what caused them.

    • BrianKal

      I called Dominion to report and automated system said something about problem at substation

  • Banksy

    Took my car to Brown’s Honda this morning for some maintenance and headed to work. Got a call from them about an hour later, saying that a truck had crashed into the utility pole, which caused the outage.

    Brown’s: “Hello, this Brown’s Arlington Honda. I’m calling to let you know that a truck crashed…”

    [me thinking, “…into my car?? Whose insurance is going to pay for that?”]

    Brown’s: “…into a utility pole, and knocked the pole down…”

    [on top my car? Oh my God, it’s totalled, isn’t it?]

    Brown’s: ”…so we have no power. Your car is on one of our lifts right now, and I don’t know how long it will take for them to restore power…”

    Me: “Oh, okay. Thanks for letting me know. Call me when you have an update.”

    • PL25rd

      LOL, I would have been having the same internal freak-out during the phone call, too!

    • Suburban Not Urban

      I thought the lifts were pneumatic – so why can’t the just bleed the air/fluid out of the lines to lower the car.

      • CW

        Probably because the work isn’t finished yet, or else it wouldn’t be on the lift to begin with?

      • Dude Where’s My Car

        I don’t know anything about auto lifts, but sometimes there’s a “fail safe” — i.e. it’s designed so that the LOSS of something (electrical power, hydraulic fluid, compressed air) doesn’t cause a catastrophic failure (car dropping on someone’s head).

  • McChipstah

    What happened to the helpful “puppy tracks” that used to guide cars turning left from Quincy on to Old Dominion? Without them, many people do not know how to navigate that turn safely.

    btw: my power was out for about 45min this morning. Also out briefly last night. Seems to be occurring more frequently lately.

    • R

      The neighborhood hated the puppy paws. They got the County to take them out.

      • McChipstah

        WHY???? Nobody knows how to turn now! It’s a melee every time I go thru that light at rush hour. What was the rationale?

        • Down With Dog Signs

          Because they could be considered to be a form of advertising…there is probably some animal related business around there !!!

  • NoVapologist

    Power was out all over Cherrydale, Maywood, Woodmont, etc… from about 1:30-5:30am on Tuesday morning as well.

  • MaydayMalone

    Things like this happen and it really makes you think:
    Wow. The Carriage House restaurant is still in business.

    • Lee-n-Glebe

      Seriously. I’ve never seen more than 2 or 3 cars there and can’t think of a single person I know who has eaten there. It just looks too depressing to try.

      • doug drabek

        i lived right near there for years, I finally went there once.

        food was not very good, I am sorry to say.

        It was a weird atmosphere. Friendly older guy who is the waiter, I think his daughter or someone is the cook. A few couples were there that seemed to be regulars.

        How do they make any money??? The joking rumor is it is front for something else but who knows.

    • nom de guerre

      This week’s special at the Carriage House features Ballston squab, brined in a tamari infused red sea salt mixture and smoked over locally sourced, derecho harvested apple wood, accompanied by sustainable Belgian endive sautéed in pork belly fat and topped by organic micro greens, surrounded by a sherry, shallot and mustard reduction, along with a porcini mushroom and blood orange risotto topped with aged gorgonzola cheese.

      • Strato

        Worst part about this site shows up again like a bad case of herpes. When will they come up with an interface that allows us to ignore specific users?

        • Quoth the Raven

          Disagree. I still think it’s funny.

          • Strato

            Well there’s no accounting for taste.

          • Quoth the Raven

            True that.

          • Dude Where’s My Car

            I know. I was like “gorgonzola? Ew.”

          • Down With Dog Signs


      • Dude Where’s My Car

        bonus points for “locally-sourced, derecho-harvested apple wood.” 😀 that totally needs to be a thing.

      • Courthouse Diva

        yum – pigeon with mac and cheese!

      • Arlingtoon

        You’ve outdone yourself here. “Ballston squab”?

        Too funny.

      • Lee-N-Glebe

        Ahh – thank you! I was wondering what their specials would be like! I expected some sort of foam or emulsion – perhaps another day’s special?

      • BlueLoom

        Ah, my dearest “Nom”! I’ve missed your menus. Please keep them coming. Might even bring a customer or two to the Carriage House.

        I had to pick up plates for my new car at Koons this afternoon around 2:00. What a mess that intersection was. Glad I came down Old Lee Hwy from the west. Went back that way, too.

    • DarkHeart

      Yelp likes it, for what that’s worth. Menu is pricier than what I’d have guessed.

      • NoVapologist

        From what I understand, the car salesmen from Browns and Koons drink there frequently.

        • Dude Where’s My Car

          “Rough day?

          “This MBA in a cashmere hoodie wanted to haggle over a Prius. I’m like, ‘It’s a new *Prius.* What part of ‘waiting list’ did you not understand?” [drains tumbler of Jack Daniel’s]

          • BlueLoom

            Nah. No more waiting lists for Prii. Just bought one. Coulda driven out with it the day I walked in but I had to make a few calls (insurance, etc.–that kinda crap). Of course, this is a 2012 Pri, not a 2013 (assuming they’re even out yet).

  • local

    I was hoping these photos would contain evidence that people eat at Essy’s

  • NoVapologist

    You seem pretty familiar with the behavior of herpes. Just saying.

  • Pole Anchor Placement

    Here’s the question I haven’t seen yet — looking at the Picture 1 from the scene, WHY IS THE POLE ANCHOR SO CLOSE TO THE CURB?

    Looks like when the sidewalks were repaved or the street widened, Dominion was too lazy to move the pole anchor and now it’s only a foot from the street. It was only a matter of time for a wide vehicle to clip that wire.

    Don’t these poles require a much further setback?

  • Mc

    Can no one consider the possibility that this is just another case of wreckless driving in Arlington?

    • Arlingtoon

      I’m not sure I’d use the word “wreckless” given the damage the driver has caused.


  • Rick

    I just drove by Lee Highway / Military Drive and it down to one line going East bound. Traffic backed up as the street is torn up again in front of Koons


Subscribe to our mailing list