A brief power outage turned off the lights at homes, businesses and even the Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles office in Virginia Square this afternoon.
The outage was reported prior to 2:30 p.m. A map from Dominion Power said more than 2,600 customers were without power across a large swath of North Arlington, from the far northern reaches of Arlington County to part of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
Power has since been restored, according to Dominion’s map.
The Virginia DMV customer service center in Virginia Square is currently closed, due to some emergency duct work in its office building.
A sign on the door of the location at 3434 Washington Blvd says the temporary closure is due to “unsafe conditions” and that “every attempt is being made to restore service as quickly as possible.”
DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker says staff arrived at the building this morning to discover the office was badly in need of duct repairs. Accordingly, they decided to shutter it temporarily “out of an abundance of caution,” she said.
Staff expects the office will reopen by Friday, but Brubaker said that anyone looking to visit should consult the DMV’s website before swinging by.
The DMV also operates customer service centers along S. Four Mile Run Drive and near the Pentagon, as well as in Alexandria and Tysons Corner.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles opened online voting today for a license plate design contest intended to help combat distracted driving.
Voters in the Take Action Against Distraction contest have a choice between eight license plate designs created by Virginia high school students. Each license plate aims to raise awareness about distracted driving, whether it be by texting or drivers failing to keep their eyes on the road.
In 2016, distracted driving caused thousands of crashes and claimed 175 lives in Virginia, according to one report.
Voting will be open through March 20, and the winner will be awarded $1,000, courtesy of AAA Mid-Atlantic, the contest’s co-sponsor. Users can vote once every 24 hours.
“We’re so proud of the winners and their excellent license plate designs,” said Martha Meade, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, in a press release. “AAA Mid-Atlantic is proud to partner with DMV for this effort to bring distracted driving issues to the forefront.”
The recent spate of major hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. has raised the possibility of flood-damaged vehicles making their way up to the local used car market, Virginia officials warn.
Hundreds of thousands of vehicles are thought to have been damaged by hurricane-related flooding. That has prompted warnings from Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles and attorney general.
Although Virginia state law requires owners to report water damage when selling their vehicle, not everyone does. The AG and DMV have released guidelines of what to watch for when purchasing a used vehicle.
Their full statement is below.
RICHMOND (October 3, 2017) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are urging customers in the market for a new or used car to be on the lookout for vehicles with water damage in the wake of massive flooding caused by a recent onslaught of hurricanes that has damaged or destroyed countless vehicles.
“All Virginians purchasing a used car directly from another individual should have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic, but that advice is even more pertinent in the wake of massive flooding when the risk of purchasing a water-damaged car increases,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Virginians need to be on the lookout for signs of water damage when purchasing a vehicle, and should always trust their instincts – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
“Nearly one-out-of-three car sales occurs directly between individuals,” DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said. “The dangers of water-damaged cars can be hidden. Aside from mold and rust, electrical systems could erode and fail over time. Computer sensors could be damaged and safety protections like air bags could fail in a crash.”
State law requires water damage to be reported on a vehicle’s title; however, dishonest sellers can find ways to circumvent these requirements, putting buyers at risk. If a vehicle is branded as non-repairable, the vehicle cannot be titled in Virginia, but a non-repairable car could be titled in another state. If a Virginian purchases that car and tries to title it in Virginia, the vehicle’s history would show it as non-repairable and the customer couldn’t obtain a title.
Virginia Code § 46.2-624 requires insurance companies to report to DMV when they have paid a claim of $3,500 or more on a vehicle due to water damage. Insurers are required to notify DMV of such water damage, even if the owner intends to continue driving the vehicle.
One tool consumers can use to check a vehicle’s history is the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). By centralizing national title records, NMVTIS can help customers take extra precautions to identify flood-damaged, stolen or otherwise unsafe vehicles prior to titling. For more information, visit vehiclehistory.gov.
While there is no sure method to test for vehicle flood damage, here are several inspection tips that may help detect significant water damage:
- Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.
- Check for recently shampooed carpet, and check under the floorboard carpet for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.
- Look for rusting on the inside of the car and under interior carpeting, and visually inspect all interior upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.
- Check under the dashboard for dried mud and residue, and note any evidence of mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.
- Check for rust on screws in the console or other areas where water would not reach unless submerged.
- Check for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses, and around the small recesses of starter motors, power-steering pumps and relays.
- Complete a detailed inspection of the electrical wiring system, looking for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
- Inspect the undercarriage or other components for evidence of rust and flaking metal that would not normally be associated with late-model vehicles.
- Ask a lot of questions and be thorough. Trust your instincts: if you don’t like the answers or the deal sounds too good to be true, walk away.
While these inspection suggestions will not detect flood damage in every case, they do provide some information to protect consumers from purchasing a vehicle damaged by floodwaters. If you are purchasing a used vehicle, always consider having it inspected by a mechanic.
Photo (top) via U.S. Coast Guard
County Wary of Lifetime Dog Licenses — Virginia may soon have a new law that allows localities to issue lifetime dog licenses. However, Arlington officials say that the current 1-3 year dog licenses help remind residents to keep their rabies vaccinations up to date. [InsideNova]
Road Paving Season Begins in a Month — Arlington’s road paving season starts at the beginning of April and runs through October. Pre-paving concrete repairs have already begun. Residents whose streets are set to be paved this year can expect to receive notification letters from the county. [Arlington County]
Wait Times Improved at DMV — After a month of renovation work, the Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles office on S. Four Mile Run Drive reopened in January. Local and state officials held a ribbon-cutting for the renovated DMV location, which features “a new efficient countertop and workstation design to maximize customer flow and efficiency,” thus reducing wait times. [Facebook]
Native Plant Recommendations — Arlington County naturalist Alonso Abugattas has shared a list of his “favorite native plants for attracting and supporting wildlife.” [Mid-Atlantic Gardener]
Nearby: D.C. Issues Record Number of Tickets — The District of Columbia issued 2,760,482 traffic citations last year, an all-time high totalling $300 million in fines. That includes 1.1 million photo-enforced tickets, a 70 percent increase compared to a year prior. [WTOP]
Clarendon Restaurant Opening Basement Lounge — New Clarendon restaurant Ambar is planning to open a cafe, restaurant and cocktail lounge called Baba later this month. The basement space will have a separate kitchen and will serve craft cocktails and La Colombe coffee. [Washington Post, Facebook]
Four Mile DMV Still Closed — Though it was originally supposed to reopen on Monday, the Four Mile Run Virginia DMV office renovations are taking a bit longer than expected. “The reopen date for the Four Mile Run office is now tentatively January 12,” a DMV spokeswoman told ARLnow.com. “Our contractor is working hard to put the finishing touches on everything.”
County Publishes Paperless ‘Citizen’ — Arlington County has published an online-only “bonus” version of its Citizen newsletter, which is usually mailed to every household in the county. “You’re probably recycling lots of tree-based products this month so we’re saving a bit of room in your curbside bin,” the top of the online publication says. [Arlington County]
The DMV office on Four Mile Run Drive closed Thursday night and is not expected to reopen until Jan. 9.
“Upgrades to the office include four additional service windows and a new countertop design that will allow for a more efficient customer flow and minimize customer wait times,” the department said in a press release (below).
The Arlington DMV Customer Service Center (CSC), located at 4150 South Four Mile Run Drive, will temporarily close at 5 p.m. on December 1 for an interior renovation. The CSC is expected to reopen January 9 at 8 a.m. Upgrades to the office include four additional service windows and a new countertop design that will allow for a more efficient customer flow and minimize customer wait times.
During the renovation, customers are encouraged to conduct transactions online at dmvNOW.com. More than 40 transactions are available online including vehicle and driver’s license renewals, address changes, license plate purchases, and reinstatement fee payments.
Customers who need to conduct in-person transactions can visit the new Arlington DMV Metro at Virginia Square, located at 3434 Washington Blvd., accessible via Metrorail Orange and Silver lines at Virgina Square-GMU, Metrobus 38B or ART 52. Limited paid parking is available in the area. Customers may also visit the Alexandria Customer Service Center at 2681 Mill Road. Vehicle-related transactions such as a registration renewals, title issuances or replacements, and license plate purchases, can be conducted at the Arlington DMV Select at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard; Lorton DMV Select at 8210 Cinderbed Road; or Fairfax City Select 10455 Armstrong Street.
The glitch came after a long holiday weekend — DMV offices have been closed since Thanksgiving.
Just after 8:30 a.m. — the office opened at 8 a.m. — a customer told ARLnow.com that some 150 people were waiting around as employees tried to figure out how to get the computers to work.
Luckily, the problem was resolved shortly thereafter.
“We had a brief issue this morning, but it was fixed a little before 9 a.m. and offices should be back up and running,” said Virginia DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker.
Election Security in Arlington — Arlington County Police are on alert for election-related incidents, with additional officers on duty today, though there’s no recent history of election violence or fraud. “We haven’t had any issues of Election Day fraud in Arlington,” says the county’s top election official. [NBC 4]
DMV Opening Date Delayed — The opening of the new Dept. of Motor Vehicles office in Virginia Square has been delayed until Wednesday. [ARLnow]
Sheriff to Receive Bar Association Award — On Nov. 15, Arlington Sheriff Beth Arthur will receive the Arlington County Bar Foundation’s William L. Winston Award. The award “is presented to a prominent member of the Northern Virginia legal community for a record of public service distinguished by efforts to advance the principles of enlightenment, knowledge and education in the American system of jurisprudence, as well as to promote democratic ideals and advance the rule of law.” [Arlington County]
Real Estate Firms Collecting Food, Clothes — Ahead of what may be a cold and snowy winter, 13 Arlington real estate firms have joined forces to collect clothing and food donations for the Arlington Food Assistance Center and the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. [Press Release]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles is getting ready to open its new Metro-accessible DMV location in Virginia Square.
The office, which will supplement the existing Arlington DMV location on Four Mile Run Drive, is set to open on
Monday, Nov. 7. (See update, below.)
Located on the ground floor of an office building at 3434 Washington Blvd, the office will offer all DMV services with the exception of road tests.
Update on 11/7/16 — The DMV is now not expected to open until Wednesday, Nov. 9. From the Virginia DMV’s Twitter account:
— VirginiaDMV (@VirginiaDMV) November 7, 2016
The Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles office on Four Mile Run Drive is reported to be among those affected by a widespread power outage this morning.
On what may be the hottest day of the year so far, large portions of the Shirlington and Fairlington areas are without power.
According to Dominion, around 750 customers are without power in Arlington and another 800 are without power in Alexandria. As of 9:45 a.m., traffic lights were dark on busy King Street near I-395.
Via its Twitter account, Dominion says that the cause of the outage has not yet been determined, but crews are working to restore power by 2 p.m. A resident said she heard an “explosive sound” before the outage, suggesting a possible transformer failure.
Another Twitter user reports that customers have left the Four Mile DMV office after it lost power.
@marktegethoff I'm not sure of cause just yet, but crews are on it. We expect to restore area by 2PM. Report outage at 1-866-366-4357.
— Dominion VA Power (@DomVAPower) July 7, 2016
— Bryan Prout (@BHProut) July 7, 2016
— Amanda Carlson (@amandaspets) July 7, 2016