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Sandy Fells Trees, Knocks Out Power

by ARLnow.com October 30, 2012 at 9:20 am 8,847 50 Comments

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.”

  • JD

    Houses fell onto or into houses? Now that was one powerful storm…

    • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

      We’re not in Kansas anymore.

    • AJ

      houses falling onto houses! cats and dogs lying down together!

  • Clarendon bud

    A joke of a storm for dc area. Government should apologize for the chutzpah for calling work off. Unreal.

    • Deadite

      Clearly they should have consulted Clarendon bud and his crystal ball before taking any necessary precautions. If the government had required everyone to report to work and the storm ended up being much worse than it was, you’d be crying about how the gov had the chutzpah to force people to go to work during such an awful storm.

      • D’man

        Let alone trying to sleep with wind gusts of 60MPH and fear off falling trees damaging my property. Good call closing up, now time to clean.

      • Freddie

        Crystal Bahls will be performing at Freddie’s Follies next Sunday at 8pm.

    • Andy

      Ha, ha. If anyone drove yesterday they know it was slow going and that was with nearly empty roads … if everyone had been trying to get back from work it would have been much worse. Could they have made the decision this morning? Perhaps but too many people have to juggle kids to make decisions that late.

      I think the storm was plenty bad and I’m not saying that just because of the trees lying down in our back yard.

    • drax

      Commuting in that storm would have been highly dangerous.

    • Seriously?

      You haven’t had a chance to get out of your parent’s basement yet to check out the area?

    • Josh S

      I’m sure at 9:24 AM, you’ve had a chance to tour the entire county and assess all the damage that you can’t see by looking out your window.

      Get your head out of your *ss.

    • Tannehill

      Total joke. This area is so soft.

  • Buckwheat

    No power since 6:30 last night at N Daniel and N11th St ‘hood.

  • Right of Center

    “nee” so French of the reporter.

    • CW

      We are the reporters who say “nee”!

    • WeiQiang

      You do realize, of course, that it is the proper way to – journalistically and grammatically – refer to ones maiden name? In this context, it’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but I say ‘kudos’ to ArlNow for keeping it classy.

  • Gov Gal_ ARL

    While Gov buildings were closed to the public, most employees were teleworking. The Gov now calls it early so that there is not a mass exodus clogging all of the transportation thuroughfares, such as what happened during Snowmagedon.

    • Bon Air

      Metro and Metrorail closed anyway

      • CW

        I am sure that was a collaborative effort. Fed offices shut down, then they pressured metro to do it so it wouldn’t be chaos of 1 million people trying to get downtown other ways. Really the only logical step.

        • Josh S

          I heard the news the other way around.

          • CW

            I heard federal offices at 6 and metro at 7, but who’s counting. I’m certain that there was some communication between OPM and metro beforehand.

  • NewsCat

    I live in Washington & Lee apartments and my power went out at 5:55 pm and as of 9 am hasn’t come back on. Weirdly though…have the apartment complex has power. The apartments across the parking lot (about 70 feet away) have power!

    • drax

      It’s almost as if different wires go to different places.

      • Right of Center


  • Alan

    They blew it with today. Just sprinkles outside and all the public sector shut down. Wimps.

    • JackFan

      Again – please see discussion string above. I love all these Monday morning quarterbacks questioning the wisdom of the decision to shut down the government in light of a potentially dangerous storm. These are the very same people that would be rabidly angry and second guessing the government if it were business as usual and something tragic happened.
      In short – complainers will always complain…

      • Alan

        Monday closing was the right call. But it should have been clear by early this morning that it was over. I turned in around 2am and it was over by then.

        • drax

          Metro and most bus service was closed. Many roads were closed. Go back to bed.

    • FYI

      Alan’s Manly Men club will be meeting at Ruby Tuesday’s tonight to discuss the proper use and storage of string trimmers.

      • Alan

        Don’t hate

    • Id

      Over compensation for letting Fed workers go late when we had that quick burst snowstorm that created chaos on the roads to the extent people abandoned cars and the time to travel 5 miles took 9 hours.

  • RebeccaK

    Hey Arlnow: give us more photos!

  • JamesE

    I just drove into work, 66 and access road are perfectly fine, some branches on the side streets but nothing major. I think we got lucky, also never lost power.

  • DB

    No power since before 8pm last night on the western end of C Pike. We’re in South Arlington, so I imagine it will be awhile before we get it back.

  • Seeing it like it is

    Dominion is sure taking their sweet a$$ time getting power back on compaired to the rest of the state. Check out the numbers. http://m.dom.com Does the county ever do anything???

    • LM

      Thank you. I have been without power since 6 pm last night, and as of 10:58 am, no power.

    • Paul

      Yeah, cause there’s nothing better than an elected official having a hissy fit on camera to get the lights back on, just like Martin “Boots” O’Malley.

    • Phil

      What I see is outage numbers a fraction of those after the derecho. Let’s have a little perspective. And yes, I’m one of those of 15k. N Columbus street east of Lubber Run Park lost power about 6 last night just as the strongest gusts hit.

    • Id

      Making sure they spend all of your money on the Artisphere and jets for the Streetcar

    • drax

      Here comes the whining!

      Dominion gets power up according to a plan that uses lots of factors. The fact that you really really really want your power on NOW is not one of the factors.

  • Please Adopt

    Please adopt one of the many lost tuba-carrying children who have been blown far from their homes. Many of these children are wandering aimlessly around Arlington and need to be taken in.

    • other side of the river

      The Donaldson Run shelter is open.

  • AWP

    It would have been irresponsible to leave schools open Monday and/or Tuesday. However, unless there are still schools without power or with trees on them, there is no reason to close them on Wednesday. In fact, it would probably get many kids out of homes with no power, so if anything it would be the best thing to do!

  • Lotus

    I’m thinking that over 15,500 customers without power is indeed a big deal. Not to mention traffic light outages & no metro service. Obvi Clarendon dud has power & is a sorry excuse for a troll.

  • Banksy

    I’m counting myself lucky that our power didn’t go out at all (Courthouse area). A miracle, considering it goes out all the time. Maybe the derecho in June had already taken down all of the trees/branches that would have fallen.

  • ARL Resident

    Power is still out in parts of Crystal City. But the Crystal City Shops have power. Most of the businesses and restaurants are open. I don’t think they ever lost power last night, so there shouldn’t be any food refrigeration issues. (Basement dwellers: Please try to refrain from cluttering up the comments with snarky statements for at least one day, please.)

    So if you’re tired of canned food, head over there for some hot food.

  • South Awwlington

    Where did the jerks around the region learn to drive?

    Traffic signals WITHOUT power should be treated as four way stops.

    I am so sick of people never seeming to learn this lesson.

    • drax

      Don’t you read the comments here? Every bad driver in Arlington is from Maryland.

  • undecimo

    Power went out in 11th and Fillmore area of Clarendon around 6:30 last night. Condos and apartments came back online quickly (9:30) but Dominion is blowing off the lower density parts of the neighborhood. Currently estimating multiple days before power will be restored.

  • mikeD

    If you think think storm was weak and overblown, you are an idiot. Drive around and see how many trees are down in the Falls Church area. Roads are blocked, power is out. Dont be a moron.


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