Arlington, VA

A crash in the East Falls Church neighborhood last night closed a portion of busy Lee Highway for an extended period of time.

The crash happened around 7:45 p.m. Thursday, a couple of blocks east of the Lee Highway and Washington Blvd intersection. A driver in a sedan appears to have run off the road, smashed through a brick wall and damaged a utility pole.

“Upon arrival, officers located a single vehicle crash into a utility pole,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. The driver was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Lee Highway was closed between Washington Boulevard and N. Sycamore Street and Dominion Energy responded to complete repairs.”

The crash knocked out power to a portion of the surrounding area. An exact cause of the crash was not given.

Utility work dragged on into the night, but all lanes were reopened by this morning, according to Arlington Alert.

Photo via Danny Shaw

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An “emergency utility repair” at Arlington’s sewage treatment plant led to a sewage release into Four Mile Run.

The sewage release happened this morning at the plant on S. Glebe Road. County officials are warning people to avoid the stream between S. Arlington Ridge Road and the Potomac.

“The public is advised to stay away from the affected water and to keep pets away until further notice,” Arlington County said in a press release. “Stream water can contain microorganisms that can make people sick, whether the stream is located in an urban area or in the middle of a forest. Even after the discharge is naturally flushed from the streams, the County’s normal precautions for safe use of streams apply.”

Crews are working to repair the unspecified issue at the plant. As a result of the work, a portion of S. Glebe Road is closed at S. Eads Street.

“An estimated completion time for the repair is unknown at this time,” the county said.

Separately, just before 9:15 a.m., a crash also blocked a lane of S. Glebe Road near S. Arlington Ridge Road, after an SUV reportedly careened into a utility pole.

Update at 1:30 p.m. — All lanes of S. Glebe Road have reopened, the county says.

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A widespread power outage is currently affecting parts of Arlington.

More than 3,500 Dominion customers were without power in the county as of 9:30 p.m. Affected neighborhoods include Ballston, Bluemont, Buckingham, Ashton Heights and Lyon Park, according to the power company’s outage map.

Residents near those neighborhoods might have seen their power flicker around 9 p.m.

The outage happened after a driver in a Toyota Prius slammed into a utility pole in the Buckingham area. On social media, the Arlington County Fire Department said it is “unknown” when power will be restored.

Update at 10:15 p.m. — Power has been restored to most customers, but about 500 in the Buckingham area, near the crash, remain in the dark.

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Morning Notes

Va. Denied Reimbursement for Riot Response — “The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied requests from Maryland and Virginia for an emergency declaration to cover expenses associated with responding to the Capitol riot and increasing security around President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. FEMA’s decision — which both states plan to appeal — could mean the states would not receive federal funds for providing law enforcement personnel and other support.” [Washington Post]

Barriers Block Bridge — “Gate being put up at the Memorial Bridge. It’s now completely closed until Thursday morning.” [Twitter]

VP Pence Says Farewell — From outgoing Vice President and former Arlington resident Mike Pence: “Thank you for the privilege of serving as your Vice President these past four years, it has been the greatest honor of my life. On behalf of our Wonderful Second Lady, Karen Pence, and our entire Family, Thank You and God Bless America.” [Twitter]

Beyer Rips Trump One Last Time — From Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.): “At long last, Donald Trump will leave office tomorrow. His presidency and administration will be remembered for unprecedented incompetence and corruption.” [Twitter]

Change of Plan for 3rd-5th Graders — “We have decided to transition 3rd-5th grade students to the ‘concurrent instruction’ model, similar to the model adopted for secondary students… Students will be able to continue in their current class, with their current teacher, regardless of the model they selected.” Meanwhile, APS Superintendent Francisco Durán said in a School Talk email that “we do not have new student return dates to announce yet.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Changes for Annual Homeless Count — “Nicole Harmon, who oversees housing assistance for Arlington County, Va., says her county will make a number of changes when it conducts its count on the night of Jan. 27. ‘Safety is one of our primary concerns,’ she said. ‘We’re no longer able to take vans, where you could load up six to eight volunteers and staff to go out and perform the count.'” [NPR]

Car vs. Tree Crash Near Pentagon City — “A driver crashed into a tree near a condo building at 1515 S. Arlington Ridge Road this morning. We’re told the driver, who was shook up and evaluated by medics, mistook the gas pedal for the brake.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

More Issues With Vaccination Effort — “Hoagland’s struggle to register for a vaccination started when he did not get a confirmation email back from Arlington County’s Health Department after adding his name to a virtual waitlist. After he got in touch with a representative who was able to confirm his spot in line, Hoagland learned that the county’s system is not able to push confirmation emails to anyone with a Verizon or AOL email account.” [WTOP]

Limited Vaccine Doses Available — “In a conference call with reporters on Saturday afternoon, the Virginia’s vaccine coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said after the current stockpile of over 900,000 first-round doses is exhausted, further doses may be slow coming. Avula said the commonwealth has been told by federal administrators that at least until sometime in March, there will be no more than 110,000 new first-round doses available per week for Virginians.” [WTOP, WRIC]

Teacher Vaccination Kicks Off — From County Board member Katie Cristol: “A great image from @Matt4Arlington, as 900 @APSVirginia educators get their first dose today – with 900 more to follow Monday. We are ready to replicate this scale daily for frontline workers and our community members & will keep fighting for as many doses as the state can send.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Car Crashes into Condo Complex — “A car crashed through a brick wall and into the side of the Barkley Condominiums along Columbia Pike today. No word on injuries.” [Twitter]

Injury at Powhatan Skate Park — From the Arlington County Fire Department: “Earlier today we safely removed a patient during a minor technical rescue incident at Powhatan Skate Park. The patient had minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital in stable condition.” [Twitter]

Fundraising Effort Collects $120K — “More than $120,000 was raised in December to fulfill all of the year-end wishes of 24 Arlington-serving nonprofit organizations, part of an effort sponsored by the Arlington Community Foundation.” [InsideNova]

TAPS Tapped for Inaugural Events — “The Biden Inaugural Committee has announced participants in the virtual ‘Parade Across America’ for Inauguration Day. Two D.C.-area groups have been picked to take part in the parade, including the Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors, or TAPS, in Arlington, Virginia.” [WTOP]

Reminders: COVID Event, Wednesday Closures — Today at 5:30 p.m., as part of a national event “honoring the lives we have lost to COVID-19,” Arlington is encouraging churches to ring their bells, businesses to light their buildings, and residents to put a lighted candle in a window. Tomorrow, due to Inauguration Day, county government offices and services are closed, and parking enforcement will not be enforced. [ARLnow, Arlington County]

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(Updated at 11 p.m.) Two vehicles careened off the GW Parkway and into the Potomac River near I-395 earlier tonight.

The incident happened shortly before 8:30 p.m. First responders on the ground and in boats rushed to the scene and rescued at least of the victims. Two men were brought to local hospitals in stable condition, according to the Arlington and D.C. fire departments.

U.S. Park Police is investigating the incident; so far there’s no word as to how it happened.

Both vehicles — one of which is fully submerged  while the other is partially submerged on the riverbank — are expected to be pulled out of the water overnight.

Photo via Arlington County Fire Department

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A number of crashes have been reported around Arlington as snow and sleet cause slick conditions on local roads.

Arlington Transit has suspended at least one route, and reported major delays on others, due to the conditions. VDOT, meanwhile, is calling for people to avoid driving until conditions improve.

“VDOT asks that drivers continue to avoid nonessential travel in Northern Virginia during rush hour and overnight, as weather transitions between snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain,” the agency said around 1:30 p.m. “Crews will be working around the clock to plow snow, treat for icy conditions, remove downed trees and monitor for flooding.”

Arlington and VDOT crews are continuing to treat local roads, with county crews primarily using salt and VDOT using plows and salt. The county’s hills have proven particularly problematic, with at least one dangerous stretch — on Carlin Springs Road around Route 50 — partially closed by police, per scanner traffic.

Steady snow started the transition to sleet in Arlington around 1 p.m. The sleet is expected to become rain later today, before perhaps transitioning back to snow. Both a Winter Weather Advisory and a Flood Watch are in effect this evening, with 1-2 inches of rain expected to fall.

The National Weather Service is reporting snow accumulation of 0.5 to 1 inch in Arlington, as of 1:30 p.m., though it may be higher or lower in parts of the county.

More via social media:

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(Updated at 11:15 p.m.) A multi-vehicle crash has temporarily blocked all lanes of the GW Parkway in Arlington.

The crash happened near the scenic overlooks on the parkway. Initial reports suggest that one of the vehicles involved crashed into a tree in the median, and that firefighters had to extricate an occupant of the vehicle who was trapped inside.

One patient is being transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital, according to scanner traffic.

The parkway is expected to remain at least partially blocked for much of the evening due to due downed trees.

Map via Google Maps

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A Virginia State Police trooper was seriously injured after a driver plowed into the back of her cruiser on I-66 in Arlington.

The crash happened around 11:30 p.m. Friday, on eastbound I-66 near East Falls Church and the Sycamore Street exit, in a work zone.

“A 2014 Volkswagen traveling east on I-66 through a mobile Work Zone changed lanes and crashed into the rear of a Virginia State Police patrol car,” VSP said in a press release. “Both the female driver and the male passenger fled the scene on foot.”

Arlington County police assisted VSP in apprehending the passenger, who’s being charged with being drunk in public and obstructing justice. The driver remains at large.

VSP said the trooper was seriously injured but after a hospital stay she is now at home recovering.

Late last year six highway workers were injured after being struck by an alleged DUI driver along I-66 in Arlington. In June a man was struck and killed while reportedly walking in an eastbound lane of I-66 after midnight.

More from a press release:

Virginia State Police is reminding motorists to make safety a priority when traveling through active Highway Work Zones after a trooper was struck in Northern Virginia Friday night (Nov. 6). Trooper M. Hart was seated inside her patrol car when it was struck. Trooper Hart was transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. She was released later Saturday morning and is recovering at home.

At approximately 11:27 p.m. Friday, a 2014 Volkswagen traveling east on I-66 through a mobile Work Zone changed lanes and crashed into the rear of a Virginia State Police patrol car. The crash occurred just prior to Exit 69 in Arlington County. Both the female driver and the male passenger fled the scene on foot.

With the assistance of Arlington County Police, state police located and apprehended the passenger, Christopher G. Rush, 37, of Woodbridge, Va. Rush refused to assist state police with identifying the driver. Rush was arrested for being drunk in public and obstruction of justice. He was transported to Arlington County Detention Center.

The female driver was not located and state police is still investigating to identify her. The crash remains under investigation.

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Rush hour isn’t what it used to be, but a crash has caused a big backup on southbound I-395 in Arlington.

A vehicle flipped on its side in the main outbound lanes of I-395 between Washington Blvd and S. Glebe Road around 4:15 p.m. The driver suffered minor injuries and is out of the vehicle, according to scanner traffic.

Police and firefighters are on the scene. Traffic cameras currently show 1-2 lanes of traffic getting by the crash scene.

Drivers should try to avoid southbound I-395 until the crash is cleared.

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