Update at 11:20 p.m. — The National Weather Service confirms that an EF-0 tornado tracked through Arlington and into the District on Thursday.
Earlier: The storms that whipped through Arlington and the D.C. region yesterday brought power outages and damage, and more trees toppled today, according to the Arlington County Fire Department.
Trees are still coming down today. Please be careful. Pic of tree into a house on N Yucatan. One patient being treated for minor injuries. pic.twitter.com/7r3JTREg1c
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) April 7, 2017
But now the Capital Weather Gang believes the storms caused something else: a rare tornado in Arlington.
As CWG reported, the National Weather Service officially confirmed tornadoes in Herndon and in Southeast D.C. on Thursday. But the CWG team lists several other areas where they believe small tornadoes may have touched down, including in South Arlington near the Pentagon.
Radar indicated rotation there around 1:40 p.m., as noted on Twitter by weather enthusiast Ian Livingston.
And near the Pentagon. pic.twitter.com/dGjCO3hXfe
— Ian Livingston (@islivingston) April 6, 2017
Photographic evidence of damage near the Army Navy Country Club is consistent with tornadic activity, according to CWG. That’s also close to where one person was hurt when part of the Macy’s facade and roof at the Pentagon City mall was damaged and fell onto a car yesterday.
The National Weather Service reportedly is assessing damage near the Tidal Basin to determine if a tornado occurred there and along the H Street Corridor; the same storm caused the Arlington circulation. The Capital Weather Gang indicates the possible Arlington tornado may have been a separate occurrence from the one at the Tidal Basin, or that one tornado may have passed over the entire area in question.
(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) A severe thunderstorm that ripped through Arlington just after lunchtime has left some debris and damage in its wake.
In Pentagon City, part of the facade and roof of the Macy’s at the Pentagon City mall was damaged and a portion of it fell onto a car. One minor injury has been reported. As of 2:45 p.m., workers were on the roof inspecting the damage.
According to scanner reports, a tree fell on a car near the intersection of Route 50 and Park Drive. The two occupants of the vehicle were shaken up but not injured.
A tree fell into a home on the 1400 block of N. Wakefield Street, a few blocks from Washington-Lee High School, according to a fire department dispatch. The tree caused damage to the front of the house, but did not hit a car parked next door.
A number of other instances of trees and utility lines falling have been reported around the county, including at the intersections of S. Wayne Street and 6th Street S., S. Adams Street and 8th Street S., and 31st Street S. and S. Randolph Street.
As of 2:45 p.m., just over 550 Dominion customers were without power, according to the company’s outage map.
Via Twitter, residents say the storm brought hail in addition to very strong winds.
— Tyler Suiters (@TylerSuiters) April 6, 2017
— Maka (@makalea_b) April 6, 2017
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) April 6, 2017
Today's storms⛈have caused many down trees. These are pics are of a near miss on the 1400 block of N Wakefield. Thankfully no injuries! pic.twitter.com/WpICI0AIE6
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) April 6, 2017
— Ryan Miller (@RyanMiller_WX) April 6, 2017
— Brendan (@kiteboardr) April 6, 2017
The company plans to work on downed lines and blown transformers in more than 40 locations around the county.
As of 10:00 a.m., 5,264 Dominion customers are still without power in Arlington. That’s down from more than 18,000 at the storm’s peak. The company says it plans to have all Superstorm Sandy-related outages restored by Thursday night.
Arlington County crews are continuing to clean up debris-covered streets and assess damage. The county expects damages in Arlington from Sandy “will be in the millions of dollars.”
Dominion is planning to work at the following locations today:
- 10th St & N. Daniel St
- 14th St west of N Longfellow St
- 25th St east of Old Dominion Dr
- 29th St N & Sycamore St
- S. 12th St
- 40th St south of 41st St
- Carlyn Springs Rd & South 1st Pl
- Columbia Pk & Buchanan St
- Hayes St @ 23rd St
- Lee Hwy & N Calvert St
- Lee Hwy & N. Vermont St
- Little Falls Rd & 26th St
- 10th St & N Edgewood St
- North 17th St & North Hartford St
- N 19th St & Lexington
- N 23 Rd St & N Fillmore St
- N 25th St & N 26th Rd
- N 5th St east of N Monroe St
- N Barton St & 10th St
- Yorktown Blvd & N Brandywine St
- N Harrison St & 16th St
- N Kennsington St & 35th Rd
- N 25th Rd & N Kensington St
- N Pollard St btwn Wilson Blvd & 6th St
- N Quinn St & N 12th St
- N Stuart St & N 25th St
- N. Edison St & N. 38th St
- N. Quincy St. & N. 18th S
- N. Stafford St off Lee Hwy
- N. West St & Washington Blvd
- Patrick Henry Dr & Washington Blvd
- N. Oakland St north of Old Domonion Dr
- S 11th St & Frederick St
- S 16th St & S Ives St
- S 24th Rd
- S 4th St & Illinois
- S 4th St & Jefferson St
- S Eads St south of 12th St
- S Glebe Rd & S 3rd St
- S. Shirlington Rd. south of 25th St
- Washington Blvd & N Longfellow St
- Westmoreland St & Williamsburg Blvd
- Wilson Blvd & N Madison St
An oak tree that has, for centuries, towered over what is now the Westover neighborhood is being cut down today.
The derecho on June 29 irreparably damaged the historic Post Oak, a majestic 93-foot tall tree that likely dates back to the mid-to-late 1700s. The county decided that the tree, believed to be the oldest in Arlington, had to be removed for the safety of residents.
“What’s remaining is really only about a third of the tree. It had several large trunks coming out of the main trunk, and two of those were broken off,” said Jamie Bartalon with the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation. “As a result, the remaining trunk has quite a bit of decay and the tree is no longer balanced. It could potentially fall.”
Contractors are spending the day cutting down the tree — on the 5800 block of 11th Street N. — in sections. Parts of it will be salvaged instead of being used for mulch. The county is still trying to figure out exactly what to do with the saved portions.
Although the tree’s exact age is unclear, it’s believed to have been around since the 1700s. That would make it not only the oldest tree in Arlington, but also perhaps one of the oldest in the state. Rings will be counted from salvaged sections of the 18-inch circumference trunk to determine exactly how old the tree was.
The Post Oak was designated as a protected “Specimen Tree” by the County Board in 2008.
Bartalon said part of what made it noteworthy besides the age was its height, considering those types of trees are slow growing and typically don’t exceed 50 feet.
The tree should be removed down to the stump by this evening.
Neighborhood Thanks Power Crews — A few special guests stopped by the Waycroft-Woodlawn Fourth of July picnic yesterday (see photo, above). The neighborhood invited two hard-working power crews from Ontario, Canada to have a quick lunch with them. “The community clapped and cheered to say thanks,” writes resident Jim Pebley. “Was a nice moment after a long hot couple days.”
Storm Damage at Arlington National Cemetery — Arlington National Cemetery is reporting some significant damage in the wake of last Friday’s storms. The cemetery lost three of its oldest trees, which are all between 225 and 240 years old. In all, 8 large trees were lost and 17 were damaged to the point where they need to be removed. Falling trees also damaged some headstones. The cemetery says the damage is similar to that suffered during Hurricane Irene. The cemetery “continues to assess the extent of the damage and has started on the restoration.” [Arlington National Cemetery]
Hospital Visits Up Last Weekend — The number of patient visits to Virginia Hospital Center were about 30 percent higher than normal last weekend, largely due to heat-related symptoms, especially among the elderly, following Friday’s storms. No heat-related deaths have been reported in Arlington since the storms. [Arlington Mercury]
Tree Destroyed House While Family Was Inside — An Arlington couple and their two young girls were, amazingly, unharmed after a large oak tree came crashing through their house during Friday’s storm. The family was at home at the time. The parents were watching a movie in the basement; they came upstairs to find the girls still sleeping in their beds. [WUSA 9]
Blackwell Re-Elected as RNC Rep — Arlington resident Morton Blackwell — founder of the Courthouse-based Leadership Institute, a conservative political training organization — has been re-elected as Virginia representative to the Republican National Committee. [Sun Gazette]
Photo courtesy Jim Pebley
The vehicle jumped the curb and slammed into one of the building’s pillars. Nobody was hurt and there is no damage to the vehicle.
Police requested that a building inspector check out the damage to Walgreens, however the pillar is decorative and should not affect the building’s structural integrity. Police say the damage “looks worse than it really is.”
A tow truck arrived at the scene as a precaution, but with no damage to the car, it appears the driver can leave without assistance.
The large, rotted tree limb, felled by the wind and rain of Hurricane Irene, hit the back of the amphitheater building and damaged the concrete brick parapet wall and capping. Some wiring also appeared to be damaged.
The damage is not enough to close the amphitheater for next weekend’s round of performances — the last of the summer — according to county spokeswoman Mary Curtius. She said that the power lines to the building are intact, but will be checked by an electrician. (Update at 2:05 p.m. — We’re now hearing that the power connection to the building may, in fact, have been damaged.)
The building will be repaired by a contractor, Curtius said. The county’s urban forester, meanwhile, will check the tree to make sure it doesn’t pose any additional danger.
Award-winning local rockers The Grandsons will perform at the amphitheater Friday night. On Saturday night the amphitheater will host a teen talent and movie night. Inception will be shown, rounding out the summer’s entertainment schedule.
Hat tip to twelvemilecircle.com
Switch on the TV last week, and it sounded like a disaster movie in the making. As it approached, evacuations were ordered on the coast and local residents stocked up on supplies. Then, as Hurricane Irene finally made its way up the eastern seaboard, local TV stations and the cable news channels went with wall-to-wall coverage.
Flickr pool photo courtesy @DrWeinz
Arlington residents woke up this morning to power outages and scores of downed trees and tree branches, thanks to the high winds and torrential rains of Hurricane Irene.
“It’s just terrible,” said County Board member Walter Tejada as he toured some of the worst scenes of destruction around the county with Acting County Manager Marsha Allgeier and Deputy Police Chief Michael Dunne. While many areas escaped with just a few downed tree limbs, some areas remain blocked and without power due to large trees that fell across roads and power lines.
County and private tree crews, along with crews from Dominion Power, have been working around the clock to clear debris and get power lines back up. As of 3:25 p.m., more than 4,800 Dominion customers were still without power in Arlington.
Arlington County has posted additional damage photos on a dedicated Flickr page.
We spotted some apparent earthquake damage in the Country Club Manor section of N. Arlington that may be at risk of getting worse if winds from Hurricane Irene are high enough.
The chimney of a stately brick house suffered significant structural damage near the top of the home’s roof after Tuesday’s quake. No word on whether it will be repaired or secured by Saturday evening, when the effects of the hurricane are expected to be felt in the metro D.C. area.
The quake reportedly damaged the elevator shaft at the Columbia Knoll condominium building at 5111 8th Road S. in Columbia Heights West. The building’s two main elevators were cordoned off last night and the county Fire Marshal was on the scene to assess the damage.
Other than the damaged elevator shaft, however, no other major structural damage has been reported in Arlington.
Numerous reports of downed power lines, toppled trees, dislodged traffic signs and blowing debris are coming in.
Among the reports we’re following right now:
- Downed power line on Four Mile Run Drive at George Mason Drive. Traffic is being diverted. Dominion is on the scene.
- Large tree down at 3700 North Harrison Street
- Awnings dislodged and glass broken at 3100 Clarendon Boulevard
- Compromised roof at 1300 South Arlington Ridge Road
- Updated at 5:05 pm. — Large tree down at 17th Street and North Utah Street
- Updated at 5:05 pm. — Wires down at 23rd Street North and George Mason Drive
- Updated at 5:05 pm. — Tree down at George Mason Drive and Four Mile Run Drive
- Updated at 5:05 pm. — Dominion is reporting 1,368 customers without power in Arlington
- Updated at 5:10 pm. — Wires down at 18th Street and South Edgewood Street
Be Careful Commuting This Morning — A thunderstorm packing driving rain and high winds swept through the area overnight, causing trees and power lines to fall and coating local sidewalks and roadways with wet leaves. The leaves could make for slick conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike this morning. More on the storm damage, including this morning’s closure of George Mason Drive, here.
Whitlow’s Hopes to Open Rooftop Deck by Thanksgiving — Whitlow’s owner Greg Cahill tells TBD that he hopes to have his new rooftop bar, Wilson’s on Whitlow’s, open in one or two weeks. Cahill is working hard to open in time for Thanksgiving eve, traditionally one of the busiest nights for bars. Bring your coat.
Meet Arlington’s County Manager — Barbara Donnellan, Arlington’s (relatively) new county manager, will participate in a public forum with the local League of Women Voters tonight. Donnellan “will speak about challenges facing the County and her plans for the County’s future,” according to an invitation. The forum will be held from 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the third-floor county board room at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.
Seeing the storm damage in D.C. and Montgomery County this morning brought back memories of the storms that ripped through Arlington and Alexandria one week ago.
One storm-related incident in particular still has people talking a week later — the parking lot full of cars with blown-out windows at the Shirlington Bus Station.
How exactly did it happen? Nobody seems to know for sure. But one reader recently sent us this dramatic account of what she saw as the storm rolled through Shirlington.
Just as FYI – it was closer to 20 vehicles that had the glass blown out of their vehicles, not 6. And the storm took out their back glass, side windows and in some cases even the windshields… Working in the ANSER bldg across from the bus stop – employees watched as the trash cans and paper vending machines were swirled up as high as the 5th floor – then dropped like lead weights back to the ground.
The straight line winds in Shirlington were at around 70 miles per hour.
At least a half dozen cars had windows shattered in the parking lot of the Shirlington Bus Station Thursday afternoon. It’s unclear whether the breakage was the result of a brazen daytime vandalism or whether it was caused by the strong storms that split trees in half just blocks away from the station.
In some cases the glass appeared to have exploded outward in small pieces, which does not seem like a likely pattern for vandalism. On the other hand, some cars seemed to escape the damage and the large glass panes in the bus station appeared intact.
The bus station is at the bottom of a long hill that leads up to Fairlington, the Arlington neighborhood hardest hit by the storms.
A police spokesperson did not have any information about the shattered glass.
One theory is that the storm brought with it a sudden, violent change in air pressure that caused the windows to “explode.” If you have any other theories as to what happened, we’re all ears.