Arlington, VA

Update at 8:40 p.m. — Closures along Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road, among others, are expected to remain in place into the morning rush hour, according to Arlington Alert.

Update at 7 p.m. — Lee Highway is blocked at N. Nottingham Street, just west of the District Taco, due to a downed tree, according to scanner traffic. Reported power outages are down to about 28,500 in Arlington.

Update at 6 p.m. — Power outages in Arlington have reached a new peak of 35,719 customers, per Dominion’s website. Firefighters, meanwhile, are continue to respond to numerous reports of trees and wires down on houses — and across sidewalks and roadways — as well as a number of vehicle crashes. A tree is reported down on a car at the intersection of N. Kennebec Street and 11th Road N. in the Westover neighborhood, according to the National Weather Service.

Update at 5:20 p.m. — Dark traffic signals is causing gridlock on local roads. A Google traffic map shows significant delays, particularly around the Ballston area. Arlington Public Schools and Arlington Transit buses are reported to be delayed due to heavy traffic.

Video recently posted of the storm arriving in Ballston shows a transformer explosion.

Update at 4:55 p.m. — Dominion has posted the following message on its website about the storm recovery.

Dominion Energy’s northern region has been impacted by severe thunderstorms, which included 70 mph wind gusts and lightning. These locations are the most impacted:

  • Alexandria
  • Fairfax
  • Woodbridge
  • Springfield
  • Leesburg
  • Fredericksburg

Customers have reported several spans of wire, trees and tree limbs down on the ground and over roadways.

We are still getting impacted by this line of storms. Our crews are working as quickly and as safely as possible to restore power. As soon as we are able to do a thorough assessment of the damages, we will be able to establish an estimated time of restoration.

Please stay back from all downed wires or damaged equipment, and call us immediately to report these damages at 1-866-DOM-HELP or 1-866-366-4357. You may also report power outages online by clicking here. If using a generator, please follow your manufacturer’s guidelines to operate it safely.

We appreciate your patience.

Dominion Energy

Update at 4:50 p.m — Due to the extensive storm damage, some parts of Arlington are not expected to have their power restored for hours. Dominion’s map shows the estimated restoration time for some large outages as 5-10 p.m., while others do not have an estimated time of restoration. N. Glebe Road is expected to remain closed south of Ballston, near 4th Street N., for about 12 hours per an Arlington Alert.

Volunteer firefighters have started responding to some calls to help work down the fire department’s backlog, per scanner traffic. Among the calls handled by ACFD are numerous stuck elevators, caused by power outages; several people were just freed from a stuck elevator at Don Tito’s in Clarendon, per scanner traffic.

Update at 4:35 p.m. — Dominion is now reporting just under 35,000 customers without power in Arlington. Among the neighborhoods without power is a large portion of residential north Arlington; several neighborhoods along Columbia Pike; most of Clarendon, Virginia Square and Ballston; Shirlington and Fairlington; and Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge.  

Updated at 4:20 p.m. — Photos from the scene show extensive storm damage to trees and power lines on N. Glebe Road south of Ballston. Police have requested additional units to the area for crowd control. Arlington’s 911 call center is “slammed” with calls and police have a 20-call backlog, per scanner traffic.

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Update at 2 p.m. — Police have released additional details about the stabbing and the suspect. Per a press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested and charged a suspect following a malicious wounding investigation at Gateway Park. Wondwossen Kassu, 40, of No Fixed Address was charged with three counts of Malicious Wounding and three counts of Unlawful Wounding in the Commission of a Felony. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 9:27 p.m. on May 21, police responded to the report of multiple stabbings in Gateway Park located at 1300 Lee Highway. Upon arrival, officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, officers located three male victims suffering from lacerations. The victims were transported to area hospitals and all are reported in stable condition.

Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears two of the victims were sitting at a table inside Gateway Park when the suspect approached them and initiated a conversation before producing a knife and stabbing the victims. The third victim was walking in the area when he came upon the initial assault. The suspect then turned his attention towards the third victim and stabbed him as well. Two victims were able to leave the scene to seek assistance. They were located by responding officers in the 1900 block of Fort Myer Drive and the 1800 block of N. Nash Street.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective S. King of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4243 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Earlier: Arlington County Police are investigating a reported stabbing spree in Rosslyn.

Initial reports suggest three people were stabbed in or near Rosslyn’s Gateway Park. Two people were seriously injured but expected to survive, while the other victim suffered minor injuries.

A police presence has been reported at Gateway Park, the Continental lounge, and Turnberry Tower. One of the victims ran to the bar and another to the condo building after being stabbed, leaving a trail of blood along the sidewalk, we’re told.

Eastbound Lee Highway and at least one lane of both N. Lynn Street and N. Nash Street were closed near the crime scene as a result of the investigation.

One suspect was in custody as of about 10:20 p.m., police said. An ACPD spokeswoman says the suspect in custody appears to have known at least one of the victims. There’s no word yet on a motive.

Police were still searching for other suspects with the assistance of the Fairfax County Police helicopter after the first suspect was detained, according to scanner traffic.

“One suspect is in custody and the investigation is ongoing to determine if any other individuals are involved,” said police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Separately, during the stabbing investigation, firefighters battled a reported townhouse fire on the 1400 block of N. Nash Street in Rosslyn, near the Iwo Jima memorial. The fire, on the roof of the townhomes, was quickly extinguished and did not extend to the interior of the building.

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(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) Firefighters have extinguished a fire at a townhouse on the 1500 block of N. Colonial Terrace in Rosslyn.

Fire department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant said the fire was under control around 1:10 p.m. and that no one was injured. He told ARLnow that the department is now investigating what sparked the flames.

Crews on scene began retracting the ladders and taking apart the hoses shortly afterwards.

At 12:55 p.m., first responders reported that the fire appeared to be contained to the building’s outdoor balcony, and that they were working on extinguishing it.

Crews entered the building at around 12:45 p.m. after firefighters reported seeing smoke upon arriving at the scene. A 911 caller, who O’Bryant said was a neighbor, described “flames coming out of a French window,” per scanner traffic.

Photo (1) via Arlington County Fire Department, (2) via Google Maps

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(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A man suffered serious burn injuries after a flash fire erupted in the kitchen of a popular Ballston restaurant during Tuesday’s lunchtime rush.

Three others were being treated for potential injuries after the flare-up at Dirt restaurant, which recently opened at 4121 Wilson Blvd.

The incident happened around 12:15 p.m. While the restaurant was bustling with a lunchtime crowd, the kitchen suddenly and unexpectedly was engulfed by a large fireball. Staff and customers ran out of the restaurant, which was quickly evacuated.

One worker who had been in the kitchen during the flare-up ran out, screaming in pain from burns. Passersby and an Arlington County Fire Department ambulance crew, apparently on their lunch break, quickly jumped into action and began comforting and treating the man as he writhed on the ground.

He was transported via ambulance to the burn center at Medstar hospital in D.C. with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to ACFD.

Firefighters extinguished the remaining flames in the kitchen and treated the injured, two of whom were being transported to Virginia Hospital Center with minor burns, according to scanner traffic. Occupational safety investigators were dispatched to the scene to investigate.

Later Tuesday afternoon ACFD spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant told ARLnow that the fire was caused by an aerosol can of cooking oil that ignited after being placed next to a stove.

Among those inside the restaurant at the time of the incident was an ARLnow editor, who was paying for an order at the front counter — which is adjacent to the kitchen — when the fireball erupted. While the editor felt the intense heat of the fire and had ash in his eye, he was otherwise uninjured.

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(Updated at 4 p.m.) Arlington County Police responded to a stabbing outside the McDonald’s at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City this morning.

The incident happened around 10:30 a.m. Police say a man was stabbed with a knife by another man in the restaurant’s parking lot, following a verbal dispute. The victim was treated by paramedics and rushed to the hospital with reported non-life-threatening injuries.

A suspect was arrested and later identified as 61-year-old Anthony Jones. He was charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Stab while in the Commission of a Felony and held without bond.

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(Updated at 9 a.m.) Firefighters are battling a house fire in the Nauck neighborhood, near Shirlington and the W&OD Trail.

The blaze, in a duplex on the 3600 S. Four Mile Run Drive, was first reported just before 8:30 a.m. Flames and heavy smoke could be seen coming from the home.

As of 8:40 a.m., firefighters were making progress but still working to contain the flames. As of 8:55 a.m., most of the fire was reported out, but crews were still looking for hot spots.

Additional fire department units have dispatched to the scene. Initial reports suggest the home’s occupants were able to get out safely and no one was hurt.

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Update at 3:35 p.m. — One lane of westbound I-66 has reopened, just in time for the evening rush hour. Crews remain on scene assisting with the cleanup.

Earlier: A tree has fallen across I-66 near Spout Run, blocking the westbound lanes of the highway.

The tree fell around 1 p.m. At least two cars crashed into the fallen tree, though so far no injuries have been reported, according to scanner traffic. All westbound lanes are blocked and traffic is stopped.

Eastbound lanes are not currently blocked, though traffic becoming increasingly backed up prior to the scene due to rubbernecking delays.

On traffic cameras, cars can be seen driven the wrong way in the westbound lanes, as drivers try to escape the jam. Due to the size of the tree the lanes may remain closed for at least part of the afternoon. Those driving in the area should expect delays in Rosslyn due to detoured traffic.

A number of trees are reported to have fallen around Arlington amid today’s gusty winds.

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Arlington County Police say the death of an elderly woman this past fall, originally believed to be of natural causes, was actually a homicide.

The police department announced the medical examiner’s determination Friday morning and asked for the public’s help in the case. The finding that the woman was smothered and drugged to death bumps up Arlington’s 2018 homicide count to four.

More from an ACPD press release:

A 2018 death investigation conducted by the Arlington County Police Department has been classified as a homicide.

At approximately 10:49 p.m. on September 28, 2018, police were dispatched to the 2100 block of N. Scott Street for the report of a check on the welfare. Upon arrival, officers located a 72-year-old female deceased inside a residence. At the time of the initial report, the death appeared to be related to natural causes and there was no evidence of a threat to the community.

In accordance with standard procedures, the death was assigned to the Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit for follow-up investigation. Following the collection and review of crime scene evidence, witness interviews and information provided by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the incident has been classified as a homicide.

The victim has been identified as Penelope Holloway of Arlington, Virginia. Cause of death was determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as smothering and mixed drug.

The investigation has determined this to be an isolated incident with no threat to the community. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective J. Senn of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4049 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

This is the fourth reported homicide in Arlington County in 2018.

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(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) An intersection in Crystal City is closed as a result of a major water main break in the middle of the intersection.

The break was reported around 1:15 p.m. at the intersection of Crystal Drive, S. Potomac Avenue and 27th Street S.

Traffic camera footage showed water flowing from a gash in the asphalt and first responders setting up “caution” tape around the intersection, which is along a dedicated bus route.

A “significant” sinkhole was forming in the roadway as a result of the break and nearby parking garages were starting to flood, according to scanner traffic. Firefighters established an incident command at the scene due to structural concerns.

As of 2:15 p.m., public works crews were on the scene and the flow of water appears to have been stopped or significantly slowed, but not before water seepage reportedly caused a power surge and outage in the Crystal City area. Several buildings in the area are also reported to be without water service.

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(Updated at 9:30 a.m.) JBG Smith has made it official with Amazon, announcing this morning the signing of lease and development agreements with the tech and retail giant.

The announcement should put to rest any speculation that Amazon could pull out of its HQ2 plans in Arlington, as it did in New York City.

Construction has already started on Amazon’s three temporary leased office buildings in Crystal City, with the company expecting to move into two of the buildings — 241 18th Street S. and 1800 S. Bell Street — later this year.

Amazon is also buying a pair of large development sites in Pentagon City from JBG Smith — sites that JBG will help develop into a permanent second headquarters campus for the company. The sale price of the vacant Metropolitan Park and PenPlace properties, each two blocks from the Pentagon City Metro station: just under $300 million.

“We are pleased to report that our partnership with Amazon at National Landing is moving full steam ahead,” JBG SMITH CEO Matt Kelly said in a press release, below. “With the execution of these agreements and recently legislated state and local government commitments to invest approximately $2 billion in the region’s transportation, education and housing infrastructure, we are ready to welcome Amazon’s first National Landing employees in the coming months.”

More from the press release:

JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS), a leading owner and developer of high-quality, mixed-use properties in the Washington, DC market, today announced that it has executed three leases and two Purchase and Sale Agreements with affiliates of Amazon.com, Inc. in conjunction with the creation of Amazon’s HQ2 at National Landing in Northern Virginia.

These agreements are the result of Amazon’s announcement in November 2018 that it had selected JBG SMITH as its partner to house and develop its HQ2 locations after a comprehensive, year-long search that included proposals from 238 cities across North America.

Amazon has executed three initial leases totaling 537,000 square feet at three existing JBG SMITH office buildings in National Landing. The leases encompass 88,000 square feet at 241 18th Street South, 191,000 square feet at 1800 South Bell Street, and 258,000 square feet at 1770 Crystal Drive. JBG SMITH expects Amazon to begin moving into 241 18th Street South and 1800 South Bell in 2019, and 1770 Crystal Drive by the end of 2020.

JBG SMITH and Amazon have also executed Purchase and Sale Agreements for two of JBG SMITH’s National Landing development sites, Pen Place and Met 6, 7, and 8, which will serve as the initial phase of new construction associated with Amazon’s HQ2. Subject to customary closing conditions, Amazon will pay $294 million for the sites, or $72 per square foot based on their combined development potential of 4.1 million square feet. JBG SMITH, which has flexibility on the timing of closing to facilitate 1031 exchange opportunities, expects to close on the Mets land sales as early as 2019 and on Pen Place as early as 2020. JBG SMITH will also serve as Amazon’s developer, property manager, and retail leasing agent for these assets.

“We are pleased to report that our partnership with Amazon at National Landing is moving full steam ahead,” said JBG SMITH CEO, Matt Kelly. “With the execution of these agreements and recently legislated state and local government commitments to invest approximately $2 billion in the region’s transportation, education and housing infrastructure, we are ready to welcome Amazon’s first National Landing employees in the coming months.”

In January 2019, the Virginia General Assembly overwhelmingly approved incentive legislation associated with HQ2 to fund $195 million toward critical infrastructure improvements, including second entrances to the Crystal City and to-be-constructed Potomac Yard Metro stations, a pedestrian connection linking National Landing to Reagan National Airport, an expanded VRE station and substantial improvements to Route 1. These investments are in addition to $570 million of regional government commitments for transportation infrastructure and transit improvements, and they follow the regional compact from mid-2018 to invest $500 million annually in Metro system improvements.

In March 2019, the Arlington County Board also unanimously approved a $23 million performance agreement with Amazon. Both packages provide post-performance incentives for Amazon to create up to 37,850 jobs with an average annual salary of $150,000 and occupy at least six million square feet of office space in Arlington County.

The General Assembly also recently approved a major education investment package that includes funding of $250 million toward Virginia Tech’s planned $1 billion Innovation Campus to be located in National Landing and $125 million planned for new Master’s degree programs in computer science and related fields at George Mason’s Arlington campus.

In addition, the County of Arlington, the City of Alexandria and the Commonwealth of Virginia have collectively dedicated $225 million to fund a range of low-income and workforce housing initiatives over the next decade.

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(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) Firefighters from Arlington, Fairfax County and Alexandria are on scene of a high-rise fire in Bailey’s Crossroads, near the Arlington border.

The fire was reported around 10:00 a.m. at the Skyline Plaza condo tower at 3705 S. George Mason Drive. A second alarm — including a “strike force” and multiple ladder trucks and medic units from Arlington County — was dispatched to the scene.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue says a power transformer caught fire next to the building, but smoke from the blaze wafted inside the structure. Dominion Power has been working with firefighters to cut power to the transformer and the building, according to scanner traffic.

The bottom floors of the 26-story tower filled with smoke and firefighters have been working to evacuate the entire building, including at least a dozen residents who have called to request assistance when evacuating, according to scanner traffic. At least one injury has been reported from a resident falling down a flight of stairs.

Evacuees are being housed in the other tower of the condo complex, the fire department said. The American Red Cross is responding to the scene to assist displaced residents.

The response has prompted the Arlington County Department to “[bring] in some units from our regional partners to maintain Fire/EMS coverage in Arlington County while the incident in Fairfax is ongoing.”

Photos via @ffxfirerescue

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