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BREAKING: Widespread power outages, trees down and other damage in wake of storms

Update at 11:20 a.m. on 7/31/23 — The number of outages in Arlington is down to 3,154. The GW Parkway remains closed.

Update at 9 a.m. on 7/30/23 — More than 20,000 Dominion customers are still without power as of Sunday morning.

(Updated at 8:30 p.m.) Tens of thousands are without power in Arlington after severe storms ripped through the county Saturday evening.

As of 6 p.m. Dominion was reporting 34,068 customers without power in Arlington alone and more than 83,000 across Northern Virginia. The outages were still above 28,000 as of 8 p.m., suggesting many may remain in the dark overnight.

The peak outage figure from today’s storm is about half that of the 2012 derecho.

The storm damage is widespread and includes numerous trees and power lines down across the county. Significant damage was reported along the Orange Line corridor — Virginia Square, Clarendon to Courthouse, and Rosslyn — including fencing blown over, street lights topped, trees and branches down, and construction debris scattered.

The intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Highland Street in Clarendon was being completely blocked as of 8 p.m. due to window panes that blew out of a building during the storm. A photo sent to ARLnow showed a shattered window pane that fell onto a parked car.

Numerous roads were blocked or impeded after the storm, including some major routes like I-66 and the GW Parkway.

“Numerous trees and large branches blew down blocking eastbound [I-66]” near Rosslyn, according to the National Weather Service; the lanes reportedly reopened around 6:30 p.m. U.S. Park Police is also reporting the GW Parkway blocked near Spout Run due to trees down. Heavy traffic is still reported on both routes as of 6:45 p.m.

Both directions of Spout Run are blocked due to trees down, including one said to be down on a vehicle near Lorcom Lane, per scanner traffic.

ART buses were delayed due to the storm damaged, according to Arlington Transit.

Trees are down on at least eight houses, including one on the unit block of S. Fillmore Street, where people were reported to be trapped. They have since been reported to be out and safe. Other trees were reported down on houses on the 900 block of N. Cleveland Street, the 5200 block of 11th Road N. and the 3000 block of 17th Road S., as well as in yards, on fences, and across neighborhood streets.

A number of structure fires were also reported, mostly due to downed wires or lightning strikes.

Just after the storm passed a house was on fire in the Barcroft neighborhood, near the intersection of S. Pershing Drive and 2nd Street S. Another residential structure fire was reported on the 4900 block of 7th Road S.  As of 6:10 p.m., Arlington County firefighters were responding to a report of a tree down on a house and power lines sparking on top of the roof, on the 2900 block of 22nd Street N. in Maywood.

Additionally, the fire department responded to several calls of smoke inside of homes and other buildings, as well as calls for stuck elevators as a result of power outages.

Arlington fire department resources are maxed out, according to scanner traffic. Authorities are asking residents not to call 911 except in the event of an emergency due to the high volume of calls.

Among the other reports of storm damage in Arlington:

  • 23rd Street S. and S. Hayes Street: 23rd Street S. blocked by downed trees and utility lines
  • N. Illinois Street and Washington Blvd: Numerous trees down, including one that fell into a house
  • 19th Street N. and N. Nelson Street: Trees down blocking street
  • N. Kirkwood Road south of Langston Blvd: Trees down blocking street
  • 19th Street N. and N. Nelson Street: Trees down
  • S. Woodrow Street and 2nd Street S.: Trees and wires down
  • Rosslyn (various locations): Fences blown down and construction debris scattered
  • Wilson Blvd and N. Lexington Street: Tree and utility lines down
  • N. Lexington Street and 8th Road N.: Utility lines down
  • N. Garfield Street and Clarendon Blvd: Utilities line down blocking road
  • Gulf Branch Nature Center: People are unable to leave the parking lot due to a downed tree and lines
  • N. Pershing Drive and N. Fillmore Street — Road blocked by downed tree
  • N. Jackson Street and N. Pershing Drive — Trees down, blocking road
  • Washington Blvd and 13th Street N. — Construction fencing down in front of apartment building under construction in Clarendon
  • WB Route 50 at N. Courthouse Road — Tree down, partially across road
  • 10th Street N. and Route 50 — Traffic lights are “backwards, causing a major issue,” per scanner
  • WB Route 50 at N. Edison Street — Tree down, blocking two lanes
  • 2500 block of N. Upland Street — Tree down onto car, blocking road
  • Key Blvd and N. Herndon Street — Trees down, blocking road
  • S. Wakefield Street near Barcroft Elementary — Tree down onto wires
  • 1700 block of S. Garfield Street — Tree down blocking road
  • 100 block of N. Oakland Street — Tree down across road
  • 10th Street N. between Wilson Blvd and Washington Blvd — Police are blocking intersections due to power outage and debris
  • 2nd Street N. and N. Highland Street — Tree down blocking roadway
  • N. Kenilworth Street and 19th Street N. — Trees down blocking road
  • Arlington Ridge Road near 23rd Street S. — Trees down, road blocked

“There’s stuff down everywhere,” said ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott, after photographing damage across the county. “It’s almost like the derecho in 2012.”

Westcott said he saw many drivers “Wild West-ing it” through darkened traffic signals, rather than treating the intersections as a four-way stop.

The line of storms that crossed Arlington packed damaging wind gusts. A 58 mph gust was recorded at Hoffman-Boston Elementary, while a 60 mph gust was recorded at National Airport. Across the Potomac, a 84 mph gust was reported at George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Campus, according to the National Weather Service.

Some views of the storm and the damage across Arlington via social media:

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