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.
As chainsaws buzzed, residents walked the streets of Fairlington tonight, surveying the damage from this afternoon’s wicked storms. At least 40-50 trees were down in the area, according to Arlington County spokesperson Diana Sun.
Fairlington appears to be Arlington’s hardest-hit neighborhood. It was hard to find an older tree without large branches missing. It was hard to find a block without at least one car damaged.
Much of the area was still without electricity four hours after the storm, but the outages were spotty — some of the neighborhood’s garden apartment buildings had power while others across the street were dark.
Almost a dozen people gathered near Fort Reynolds Park, where a line of utility poles had split in half and fallen to the ground. A car with a Dominion logo on the side briefly parked nearby, then drove off ten minutes later.
Resident Bill Nesper said the storm brought back memories of living on the east coast of Florida during Hurricane Andrew.
“I looked outside and it looked like a hurricane,” he said. “The rain was going sideways… there were tree limbs everywhere.”
Nesper said the damage was caused so suddenly that “it must have been a quick set of wind gusts that did it.”
Nesper’s neighbor, who had two cars damaged by falling tree limbs in the storm, said the damage was close to the destruction Hurricane Isabel caused in Richmond, where he had been working as a police officer at the time.
One resident said training from her time in a war zone came in handy during the storm.
“I didn’t go near the window… having been in a war zone they said don’t get near the windows,” she said. “It was so black and dark… I almost went into the closet.”
Update at 3:45 p.m. — Reports of power outages, trees down and lights on flash around the area. Lights at Clarendon Blvd and Fillmore St and Wilson Blvd and Highland St are flashing.
Update at 4:10 p.m. — The traffic lights at Route 50 and Glebe Road are dark. A wall collapsed in Shirlington as a result of the storm, no injuries. Major backups on South I-395 right now.
Update at 4:15 p.m. — Traffic lights dark at South Joyce St and Army Navy Drive, and on Columbia Pike up to South Scott St. Accident reported at Wilson Blvd and Patrick Henry Drive. Tree down on car on GW Parkway near Marina Drive, two people trapped. Major backups reported on southbound GW Parkway.
Update at 4:20 p.m. — About 11,500 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington. Several county government offices are without power.
Update at 4:40 p.m. — Power flickering on the eastern end of Columbia Pike. Power pole sparking at 10th and Wilson Blvd in Clarendon (h/t @NewsCat_in_DC)
Update at 4:50 p.m. — Lots of trees and wires down reported in the Shirlington area. Tree down on wires at S. Randolph Street and 19th Street.
Firefighters are freeing people from elevators that became stuck as a result of power outages.
Heavy traffic reported on GW Parkway, I-395 and Route 1. Most VDOT traffic cameras in the area are down.
Update at 4:55 p.m. — I-395 is “a parking lot,” avoid at all costs. A county employee is reported to have fell and broke his leg at the county impound lot — possibly storm-related.
Update at 5:00 p.m. — More storms approaching from the west, not as severe as the previous batch (h/t @capitalweather).
NBC4 is reporting a 66 mile per hour wind gust was recorded in Arlington during the storm. NBC4’s Veronica Johnson says the storm cell that moved through Arlington might have produced a tornado in Prince George’s County.
Update at 5:10 p.m. — More than 10,500 Dominion customers still without power.
We’re hearing that both victims in the vehicle that was struck by a tree on the GW Parkway have been extricated from the vehicle. They may not have been trapped, but rescuers were worried about the consequences if they tried to get out before the tree was secured.
Update at 5:25 p.m. — Arlington County’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated. Power outages in Arlington back above 11,500. Heavy damage, including multiple trees down reported at 32nd Street and Stafford Street in Fairlington.
Update at 5:45 p.m. — Extremely heavy traffic throughout the area, including on secondary roads. South Eads Street, Ridge Road, Crystal Drive, eastern end of Columbia Pike all heavy. Parking lot on Route 1. Major delays reported on Blue, Yellow lines.
Update at 5:50 p.m. — Large tree fell onto house on the 2700 block of South Cleveland Street, police report. Structural damage suspected.
Update at 5:55 p.m. — Calling it right now: worst region-wide traffic since the ice storm two years ago.
Update at 6:05 p.m. — The northbound GW Parkway has reopened, but the southbound lanes will remain closed for “a few hours,” Park Police spokesperson tells WTOP.
Update at 6:55 p.m. — More than 12,000 Dominion customers are still without power in Arlington.
Update at 7:10 p.m. — All of Shirlington Village appears to be without power.
Update at 7:25 p.m. — Various news outlets report very heavy damage in the Del Ray section of Alexandria. Close to areas reporting heavy damage in south Arlington.
Update at 8:40 p.m. — There are still calls coming in for people stuck in elevators. Not clear if they’re storm-related. Traffic still slow on southbound I-395 near Shirlington.
Update at 8:55 p.m. — More than 11,500 still without power.