(Updated at 8:50 p.m.) Hundreds of Dominion customers were without power in the northern part Arlington County earlier this evening.
Power returned to the area around 8:45 p.m., according to Dominion’s power outage map.
Tonight’s snowstorm caused the outage, the power company said.
— UniKitty (@katnponyshow) January 24, 2016
Other readers had previously reported flickering power in Courthouse.
The power went out as winds whipped up in advance of a brief period of snow around 7:15 p.m. Via Twitter, one resident reported the sound of a likely transformer explosion.
The power outage is affecting residents around Nauck and other areas around S. Glebe Road, south of Columbia Pike in Arlington, and around W. Glebe Road in Alexandria. Residents of Fairlington and other nearby neighborhoods reported that power was flickering around the start of the outage but quickly came back on.
According to the Dominion website, power is expected to be restored at some point between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
On its website, Dominion says it’s investigating the cause of the outage and hopes to have power restored between 4-6 p.m.
Police are monitoring traffic at at least one intersection where traffic lights have gone dark, according to scanner traffic. (Update at 3:10 p.m. — A generator is being used to run the traffic signals at Arlington Blvd and Henderson Road.)
Update: generators in place, providing temp power. RT @ArlingtonDES Traffic signal at Henderson Rd @ Rt 50 is temp out due to a power outage
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) October 16, 2015
Map via Dominion
Businesses, homes and traffic lights are dark in and around Shirlington and Fairlington.
Initial reports suggest that the outage may be as a result of some balloons that struck a power line. Outages are also being reported in Clarendon and other parts of North Arlington.
As of 1:15 p.m., Lorcom Lane had reopened to traffic, except for the right yield lane from Lee Highway. Crews were on scene fixing the pole.
The cause of the fire may have been a couple wires touching, said a Dominion worker. There were no flames when the worker arrived on scene, but wires can spark, he said.
As of noon today, Dominion is reporting just over 3,850 customers without power in Arlington, in the neighborhoods surrounding Lee Highway.
Numerous traffic lights are out along Lee Highway, Williamsburg Blvd and Old Dominion Drive, according to scanner traffic.
Among the neighborhoods without power is Highland Park-Overlee Knolls, according to a Twitter user.
“We have crews on the scene working the outage,” Dominion spokesman Charles Penn told ARLnow.com. “There are reports of [a] wire down. We are in the process of re-routing our circuit to get customers restored.”
No word yet on when power is expected to be restored. About 1,500 customers in the same area lost power on Tuesday.
Photo courtesy Tyler Zarfoss
A damaged power line may be to blame for a large power outage in Crystal City this morning.
Power is out to numerous office and apartment buildings, mostly along Crystal Drive. Dominion Power says a failed underground electrical cable is to blame. They hope to have power restored within an hour.
The outage has closed restaurants and offices in the neighborhood, according to Twitter users.
A lot of Crystal City along Crystal Drive (Arlington, VA near Reagan Airport) is without power. @ARLnowDOTcom (as of 8:20amET)
— rydaka (@rydaka) August 17, 2015
The powers been out in crystal city since I got here this morning and this buildings starting to get all hot and muggy. Come on dominion
— Nick O'Baby (@nickohbaby) August 17, 2015
— Tina Worden (@tina_tinaworden) August 17, 2015
@ChickfilA closed for electrical issues in Crystal city. Day ruined.
— Frank Szita (@BakedSzita) August 17, 2015
— Brookland John (@brooklandjohn) August 17, 2015
Going home ! The power in crystal city is out!
— Bruce Wayne (@Mr_SnackWells) August 17, 2015
Lol Monday. No power in all of crystal city
— Ryan Sanders (@RSanders15) August 17, 2015
Update on Friday, Aug. 14 — Washington Gas crews were on scene digging up the roadway near the manhole this afternoon. (Photos above.)
A manhole cover “blew up” in Rosslyn Thursday afternoon, and Dominion Power is trying to figure out what exactly happened.
The incident happened at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street around 12:45 p.m. A witness said there was some sort of blast that sent the manhole cover airborne with “flames and everything.”
“[The] cover launched into the air and the flames that shot out were higher than the SUV next to it,” said Elizabeth Denton.
Despite the scary scene, no injuries, damage or power outages were reported.
A Dominion spokesman said the company is investigating but isn’t yet sure what exactly happened to “dislodge” the manhole cover. A fire department spokesman could only confirm that there was a “haze of smoke” in the manhole after the incident.
“We are looking into it,” said Dominion’s Chuck Penn. “We don’t know what the cause was.”
As of around 3:00 Thursday afternoon, four Dominion trucks were parked near the intersection and workers were peering into the hole. One lane of traffic on westbound Wilson Blvd was blocked.
This was the second time in a couple of days that something happened to dislodge the manhole cover, the fire department spokesman said. The first incident this week involved a faulty electrical line, we’re told.
A downed power line at S. Chesterfield Road and S. Columbus Street has knocked out power to parts of South Arlington and Alexandria this afternoon.
As of 3:35 p.m., more than 1,200 Dominion customers are reported to be without power in the area. Among the reported outages are homes in the Claremont neighborhood, Claremont Elementary and Wakefield High School, the DMV on Four Mile Run Drive, and numerous traffic lights on Route 7, Four Mile Run Drive and George Mason Drive.
Police officers were directing traffic at the intersection of George Mason Drive and S. Columbus Street. They also blocked off Chesterfield Road from Columbus Street at 14th Street.
A FedEx truck pulled down the power lines, according to scanner traffic. The tractor trailer could be seen behind the downed lines at Chesterfield Road.
Dominion crews are now on scene, preparing to repair the power lines. At the outage’s peak, Dominion reported more than 3,300 customers without power.
The outage is affecting homes around Jamestown Elementary and at least one traffic signal on Glebe Road, according to police scanner traffic.
More than 400 Dominion customers are without electricity in the area, according to Dominion’s power outage map. Across the border in McLean, another 1,300 homes are affected by the outage.
Dominion’s initial estimate is that power will be restored between 9-11 p.m.
This is at least the second time the neighborhood has lost power this week, according to one resident.
— Tamar Abrams (@Tamarabrams) July 15, 2015
Residents in Arlington’s Penrose neighborhood are claiming that recent trimming by Dominion Power contractors injured trees that line the streets.
They are especially concerned with a White Oak tree on the corner of 8th Street S. and S. Veitch Street, which dates back to before the Civil War, said Terri Armao, chair of the Penrose Neighborhood Association’s Environmental Committee.
“They brutally attacked it yesterday,” Armao said. “I can’t even tell you what they did to it.”
Limbs were cut from the middle where the power line ran though, leaving a gap and causing the tree to look like a giant “V.” Residents had previously asked Dominion not to touch the tree because of its old age.
“I mean it is ridiculous. For a tree they weren’t supposed to touch, they touch a V out of it,” Armao said.
Margaret Alvord, a Penrose resident, attempted to stop the contractors from cutting into the tree, after receiving a call from a neighbor. The tree had been pruned three weeks ago and was still recovering, Alvord said.
“So I jumped up and went up the street in my car,” Alvord said. “I parked my car and they had already begun… and I asked them to stop. I said, ‘this tree is a very old tree.'”
The workers told her to go talk to the supervisor, and when she talked to him, he told her it was the workers’ job to clear the trees from the lines.
“He basically said its our job to clear the lines. And they have to go 10 feet from lines,” Alvord said.
Dominion workers trim trees in order to keep them off of the power lines, said Chuck Penn, a media specialist with Dominion. The trimmings help to keep the power on during storms.
“Our mandate is to provide safe and reliable service to our customers,” he said.
The company respects the resident’s love for the trees and try to balance keeping the trees and providing service, Penn said.
“I cannot overemphasize enough the empathy we bring to our pruning,” he said. “People love their trees and we respect that.”
All Dominion foresters are certified arborists, Penn said. Trees are trimmed every three to four years to maintain the power lines.
“It’s a delicate balance we don’t take lightly,” Penn said. “We respect our customers and our trees.”
The White Oak is important to the neighborhood for its environmental impacts as well as its age, Armao said. For instance, the tree provides shade for the elderly resident that lives in the house next to it.
White Oaks are also known for their support of different species. A White Oak produces acorns, which can be used by 180 other species, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service.
“They’re one of those keystone trees,” Armao said.
Dominion does not have a policy for trees that have historic value, Penn said. The company does use the foresters when determining when a tree is a “danger” tree and needs to be trimmed.
Neighbors looked through the tree branches for squirrel and bird nests. They found squirrel nests but did not find any traces of live animals in the tree limbs.
Trees were also trimmed on S. Veitch Street and between S. Wayne and S. Adams, Alvord said.
“Our concern is that they are overly trimming trees we’d really like to save,” she said.
Residents Getting Dominion Scam Calls, Again — Some Arlington residents are again reporting getting phony phone calls claiming to be from Dominion Power. Just in time for this week’s extremely cold weather, the scammer threatens to shut the power off unless the homeowner pays a supposedly overdue bill over the phone.
Child Sex Trafficking Case Had Arlington Connection — A Nevada man pleaded guilty in Alexandria federal court yesterday to charges of prostituting women and underage girls in various states including Virginia. Arlington is one of the Northern Virginia jurisdictions named as a place where the man, Lenny Haskins, plied his trade as a pimp. [Reston Now]
Rosslyn Red Hot and Blue Tchotchkes Moved to N.C. — Various equipment and memorabilia from the now-closed Red Hot and Blue restaurant in Rosslyn are being moved to a new Red Hot and Blue location in Cary, N.C. The Arlington location was the barbecue chain’s first. [Triangle Business Journal]
BBC Mentions Weenie Beenie — The BBC takes a look at the mysterious D.C. food phenomenon known as the half-smoke. The broadcaster points out that the Weenie Beenie in Shirlington, which opened in 1954, may have been the first in the area to start slinging half-smokes. [BBC Travel]
Arlington 13-Year-Old is a Web Cartoonist — Arlington student Cole Goco, 13, is the cartoonist behind a surrealist web comic about a boy, a talking ice pop and a pet turtle. [Washington City Paper]
A group of environmental activists and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille gathered in Crystal City this afternoon to ask Dominion Resources, the parent company of Dominion Power, to end its membership in a conservative think tank.
The think tank, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a membership-based, nonprofit group of state legislators — Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell sits on its board — and private sector businessmen and women focused on “free markets, limited government and constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments.”
A few dozen activists, organized by the Sierra Club, held signs and pinwheels outside of ALEC’s office along Route 1 and asked Dominion to cancel its membership in the group. The protesters say ALEC’s lobbying efforts include derailing legislation aimed at preventing climate change, attempts at voter suppression and support for stand-your-ground gun laws.
“We must not permit our future well-being to be held hostage by fossil fuel companies and others with a vested interest in maintaining the dangerous, unsustainable status quo,” Bill Euille said, according to a press release. “That means we must push back hard against groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization which has expressly opposed the EPA’s effort to curb carbon pollution from power plants as well as fought renewable energy while promoting dirty fossil fuels.”
Photos courtesy Caroline Wood
The outages are centered around Rosslyn and parts of Columbia Pike, according to Dominion’s outage map. An “Arlington Alert” message suggested the Pike power outage is due to “equipment failure.”
The utility is hoping to have electricity restored no later than 11:00 p.m.
The current temperature at 7:00 p.m. was 92 degrees. Today (Tuesday) the high temperature at Reagan National Airport was 97 degrees, breaking the previous June 17 record high temperature of 95 degrees, set in 1991, according to the National Weather Service.
Photo by Tyler Zarfoss
Graffiti Closes Powhatan Skatepark — Powhatan Springs Skatepark is temporarily closed after “graffiti containing vulgar language” was found. The park will be temporarily closed until park staff can remove the graffiti. No word yet on a reopening date.
Tejada: Three Dems on County Board — At the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner over the weekend, Walter Tejada said pointedly that he is “one of three Democratic county board members,” presumably excluding Libby Garvey. Garvey was also not listed as an “Arlington Democratic Elected Official” in the program. [Blue Virginia]
Dominion Planning New Underground Power Line — Dominion Virginia Power is planning on building an underground power transmission line from Arlington to Alexandria. The $160 million project is intended to address “a local reliability load issue… that could potentially impact neighbors by 2018.” Alexandria officials are expressing objections to the project. [Washington Post]
AYDs Eye South Arlington — Arlington Young Democrats are trying to increase their outreach to women, minorities and to residents of south Arlington. The organization has appointed a new “outreach chair and communications director” who will be in charge of recruiting individuals in targeted groups and “mak[ing] them feel welcome.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool by Brian Allen