Update at 10:45 p.m. — Power has been restored to most of the outage area, but additional outages are possible overnight. On the heels of a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that just expired, a Wind Advisory is now in effect until 4 a.m.:
…WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM EDT FRIDAY… * WHAT…WEST WINDS 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH EXPECTED. * WHERE…PORTIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, CENTRAL, NORTH CENTRAL, NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND, NORTHERN AND NORTHWEST VIRGINIA AND PANHANDLE WEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 4 AM EDT FRIDAY. * IMPACTS…GUSTY WINDS COULD BLOW AROUND UNSECURED OBJECTS. TREE LIMBS COULD BE BLOWN DOWN AND A FEW POWER OUTAGES MAY RESULT. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… USE EXTRA CAUTION WHEN DRIVING, ESPECIALLY IF OPERATING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. SECURE OUTDOOR OBJECTS. &&
Earlier: Some 2,250 Dominion customers are in the dark this stormy Halloween night, even though the bulk of the storm has yet to move through.
The outage extends from Ballston to the south to the Donaldson Run neighborhood in the north. Power flickered even farther north of the outage area earlier tonight.
The cause of the outage is pending investigation, according to Dominion’s outage map, though breezy conditions have preceded the storm over the past two hours.
— WashingtonCrunch (@MindfulRob) November 1, 2019
@ARLnowDOTcom Power out in Ballston. On Stuart Street near metro.
— Chris Perez (@ChrisPdc) November 1, 2019
Update at 2:45 p.m. — The outage no longer appears on Dominion’s map.
Earlier: More than 1,000 Dominion Energy customers are without power in the Ballston and Bluemont neighborhoods due to emergency utility work.
As of 1:15 p.m. Dominion’s outage map reported 1,258 outages and an estimated restoration time of 4-7 p.m. Generators could be heard running in Ballston and power was flickering off and on — or out altogether — at local stores, restaurants and offices, including the headquarters of ARLnow.
A number of Dominion trucks could be seen parked at the corner of N. Stuart Street and 9th Street N., near the Ballston Metro station. Local offices have been told that crews are working on a transformer and more power interruptions are possible this afternoon.
(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) Three out of four lanes of Wilson Blvd in Ballston were blocked by utility work Monday morning.
The work, at the intersection of Wilson and N. Randolph Street, near the mall, was to replace a blown electrical transformer in a utility vault that’s in the middle of the westbound lanes of Wilson. Crews from Dominion Energy were on scene, along with a large, mobile crane.
We’re told the transformer went out Sunday, knocking out power to an adjacent apartment building.
All westbound lanes of Wilson Blvd were blocked approaching Ballston Quarter mall, while only one eastbound lane was closed. The lane closures caused minor backups during this morning’s rush hour.
Residents in the area have been complaining for years about excessive noise caused by vehicles — particularly trucks — driving over the utility vaults.
“The plates have been there for years, but starting in October 2018, they began making absurdly loud noises whenever cars/buses/trucks drive over them,” one tipster said in July. “Dozens of complaints have been filed on the county’s ‘reporting tool’ website… The result of the noise is that local residents at Ava Ballston Square, Origin Ballston, and other apartments are disturbed through the day and awakened at night.”
Today’s work is not expected to alleviate the noise issue. A Dominion spokeswoman noted that the vault itself is maintained by the owner of the nearby building, not the utility company.
“The grates are not ours and the work has nothing to do with replacing them,” a Dominion spokeswoman told ARLnow. “The grates top our underground vaults containing our transformers that serve the buildings along the street… Normally, you will see our transformers sitting at ground level or up high on a utility pole. The developer wanted them underground.”
As of 1:30 p.m., all lanes had reportedly reopened.
(Updated at 8:40 p.m.) An “electrical emergency” — reportedly a utility pole being burned by a malfunctioning power line — has prompted an extended road closure in Virginia Square.
Police have closed 14th Street between N. Lincoln Street and N. Kirkwood Road, near Arlington Science Focus Elementary School, to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
“It was just called in and it is a very dangerous situation,” a firefighter could be heard telling a resident along N. Kirkwood Road around 4:30 p.m. “We don’t know how long it will be closed. It could take one hour or six, we don’t know.”
Dominion Energy crews are on scene to work on the line and the pole.
As of 8:30 p.m., 26 Dominion customers in the neighborhood were reported to still be without power.
Electrical Emergency – 3400 block of 14th St North (bet Lynbrook Dr and Kenmore St) will be blocked for Emergency Electrical line work. Power may be affected in the area. Please stay clear until crews are finished. pic.twitter.com/REcWX5AiMb
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) September 30, 2019
Map via Google Maps
Shooting Suspect Served Time for Murder — Updated at 8:40 a.m. — Crystal City shooting suspect Mumeet Ali Muhammad was released from prison two years ago after being convicted of a 1991 murder in Arlington. And he had recently been arrested but then released after allegedly threatening to shoot a man in D.C. and possessing a gun as a felon. [WTOP, NBC 4]
Witness Recounts Hiding in Office During Shooting — “An association employee described the scene to InsideNoVa on Thursday, saying recent active-shooter training helped employees get through the terrifying episode. ‘Everybody did precisely what they should have done,’ said the employee, who asked that his name not be published… ‘I got right up next to door, crouched down and made myself as small as possible,’ he said. ‘I heard screaming, him yelling at her, her pleading with him.'” [InsideNova]
Labor Day Closures in Arlington — “Arlington County Government offices, courts, libraries & facilities will be closed on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019 for Labor Day.” Trash and recycling will be collected as normal, but parking meters will not be enforced. [Arlington County]
Amazon Brain Drain Worries — “Amazon is only just starting to post job openings for its second headquarters in northern Virginia — and local startup founders are watching with apprehension. The big picture: Amazon HQ2 has the potential to turn the D.C. region into a tech hotspot, but smaller companies are worried that the short-term impact of Amazon coming to town will be a brain drain.” [Axios]
‘Clarendon Jam Session’ Sunday — “The long weekend is almost here and it’s time to celebrate with a jam session at The Lot in an urban beach party setting! $20 gets you access to CLARENDON JAM SESSION 2019.” [Instagram]
Oktoberfest Ticket Prices Increasing — Early bird $30 ticket pricing for the Crystal City Oktoberfest ends this weekend. General admission tickets will be $45 thereafter. [Eventbrite]
Dominion Funding Electric School Buses — “Schools across Virginia could have all-electric school buses by 2030, under a plan from Dominion Energy. The company said it could be the largest deployment of electric school buses in the nation… The announcement comes the same day as a Virginia State Corporation Commission reported that Dominion’s 2018 profits were higher than regulators approved.” [WAMU, Dominion, Virginia Mercury]
Update at 7:30 p.m. — The number of Dominion customers without power is down to 1,551. The outages are mostly in the North Highlands and Courthouse neighborhoods.
Earlier: More than 4,000 Dominion customers are currently without power in Arlington County.
The outages followed a line of severe storms that rumbled through the area around 4 p.m. Firefighters responded to at least one report of a blown transformer in the wake of the storms, near the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Kirkwood Road. Some residents along Lee Highway reported their power repeatedly going off and on.
Dominion’s website reported 4,367 customers without power as of 5:15 p.m. The bulk of the outages were along and just north of the Orange Line corridor, from Virginia Square to Rosslyn. Another area of outages was located in the Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge neighborhoods, near Crystal City.
Among the buildings without power was that of Arlington Independent Media, which said its TV and radio signals are both down during the outage.
There’s no word yet on when power might be restored.
More via social media:
— AIM (@arlington_media) August 7, 2019
Repeated power flickers in Lee Heights causing electronics to repeatedly reset #arlingtonva
— Circumlocuxon Cannon (@rcannon100) August 7, 2019
A power outage planned for the 3000 block of Clarendon Blvd was canceled earlier this month, but it’s back on this weekend.
According to Binyam Gebreyes, operations specialist for Dominion Energy, the earlier planned outage didn’t occur because there were difficulties accessing the necessary equipment.
“We wish to notify you that to improve the reliability of electric service, it has become necessary to replace the switch and two transformers located in a vault at 3030 Clarendon Blvd,” Gebreyes said. “The outage was initially scheduled for June 1, however after numerous attempts to remove the concrete vault top, all efforts failed. The property management company in consultation with Dominion Energy suspended the outage until they can procure other means of removing the vault top.”
The outage is now planned to start at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) and conclude on 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 23.
“We are expecting customers residing in the apartments to have electric service restored by 10 p.m. on Saturday,” Gebreyes said. “While we know this is an inconvenience to those residents and the impacted stores, we believe this planned outage is necessary to improve reliability and prevent an unplanned outage due to failing equipment.”
In addition to an apartment building, businesses on the block include Trader Joe’s, South Block, Members Cleaners, Massage Envy, Circa and Bracket Room. During the previous planned outage, Trader Joe’s said it would remain open while operating on generator power.
Update at 5:10 p.m. — A power outage near the southern tip of the county has prompted the closure of the Fairlington Community Center, according to the parks department.
Weather Alert: 5/30 – Fairlington Community Center is closed due to power outage. All classes, activities, meetings and events are cancelled.
— ARL VA Parks & Rec (@arlparksrec) May 30, 2019
Update at 4:15 p.m. — Power has been restored to most of the residential north Arlington neighborhoods affected by the earlier outage, but the Virginia Square outage is ongoing. George Mason University’s Arlington campus closed around 3:30 p.m. as a result of the outage, which Dominion says is affecting just over 100 customers.
Mason Alert: Arlington Campus will close today May 30th at 3:30pm, due to power outage.
— George Mason News (@GeorgeMasonNews) May 30, 2019
Earlier: A portion of residential north Arlington is without power, ahead of the arrival of a line of storms.
The outage was reported amid calm weather, with more than 500 Dominion customers affected and a restoration time of 5-8 p.m., according to the power company’s online map. Earlier Thursday afternoon, nearly 2,500 customers were reported to be in the dark.
The cause of the outage is listed as “pending investigation.” Among the affected neighborhoods are Dover Crystal, Riverwood, Woodmont and Maywood.
A smaller outage was also reported in the Virginia Square area this afternoon.
A planned power outage will effectively shut down a number of businesses on one block in Clarendon this weekend.
“We are replacing a transformer,” Dominion Energy spokesman Charles Penn said. “The outage should last 24 hours. The planned transformer and switch replacement is scheduled for June 1 and it will impact 1200 N. Garfield and 3030 Clarendon Blvd.”
While staff at the Clarendon Trader Joe’s (1109 N. Highland Street) said the store will remain open on Saturday — running on their own backup generators — signs warned that there will be no garage access and no elevator access in the building.
The following businesses in that building have signs posted in their windows saying they will be closed:
- South Block Juice (3011 11th Street N.)
- Members Cleaners (1175 N. Garfield Street)
- Massage Envy (1180 N. Garfield Street)
It’s unclear whether two restaurants in the building — Circa and Bracket Room — will be closed during the planned outages.
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.
Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th District) is swearing off campaign contributions from Dominion Energy and calling on his fellow Democrats to do the same, becoming the latest in a line of state lawmakers to reject money from one of Virginia’s only regulated monopolies.
Hope announced at his annual pancake breakfast Saturday (Jan. 5) that he’ll now stop accepting campaign cash from the electric utility, according to a video posted by the Democratic blog Blue Virginia. Hope has accepted $9,500 from Dominion since he was first elected back in 2009, but decided to stop doing so as he gears up to run for a sixth term in office this fall.
“I’ve heard from a lot of my constituents that the perception that you’re taking money is influencing your vote, whether it’s true or not,” Hope told attendees. “I can’t give enough speeches to convince my constituents that I’m voting not because they gave me a check, but because it’s the right thing to do. And I’m tired of making that speech over and over.”
Hope added that “every single Democrat that’s running for office should make that commitment” to refuse Dominion dollars, and many around the state already have.
Dominion has long been one of the top political donors in the whole state, yet politicians of both parties have increasingly argued that members of the General Assembly shouldn’t accept money from a company they’re charged with regulating — just last year, lawmakers oversaw an extensive rewrite of the state’s regulatory authority over electric utilities like Dominion.
The activist group Activate Virginia brought a focus to the issue during the last round of state elections in 2017, eliciting a pledge from dozens of Democrats running for the House of Delegates to refuse the company’s money.
Some of Arlington’s legislative delegation also followed suit, including Dels. Mark Levine (D-45th District), Alfonso Lopez (D-49th District) and Rip Sullivan (D-48th District). Lopez, like Hope, did previously accept Dominion contributions in the past, taking in about $4,500 since he was first elected in 2012.
The county’s three state senators, however, all still take thousands from Dominion. Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd District) has accepted $50,000 from the company over the course of her long career, while Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st District) has taken in $9,500 and Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30th District) has pulled in $12,500. Local Democratic activist Nicole Merlene even recently launched a primary challenge against Favola, calling for a ban on contributions from state-regulated utilities as part of her campaign.
But Hope sees a sea change coming in Virginia politics on the issue. Attorney General Mark Herring became one of the most senior Democrats in the state to refuse Dominion cash when he announced he wouldn’t accept any of the company’s money as he ramps up a campaign for governor for the 2021 cycle, and Hope “wholeheartedly” endorsed the former Loudoun state senator’s nascent bid to succeed Gov. Ralph Northam.
“I’m going to take the same commitment he made because I don’t want him to be the only one there making it,” Hope said, with Herring in attendance.
PREDICTION: there will never be another statewide Democratic candidate for office that accepts money from Dominion. https://t.co/kjjgYfJoAL
— Patrick Hope (@HopeforVirginia) January 5, 2019
Northam himself rolled out a series of campaign finance reform proposals today (Monday), officially announcing his support for a ban on all corporate campaign contributions. Unlike 2017 primary rival Tom Perriello, Northam accepted nearly $73,000 in contributions from Dominion over the course of the gubernatorial campaign, but he pledged to push a ban on corporate cash once he was elected.
However, unless Democrats win an uphill battle in convincing the Republicans controlling both chambers of the General Assembly to embrace such a change, Northam plans to continue accepting such donations for his political action committee.
“Until we’re able to do that, I will continue to operate in the existing landscape,” Northam told reporters.