Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Board Approves Water Main, Fire Station Projects — “The Arlington County Board today approved contracts for two capital improvement projects, one to bring Fire Station 8 into the 21st century, and the other to replace a 90-year old water main with a larger pipe that will better serve the Cherrydale and Waverly Hills neighborhoods.” [Arlington County]

‘Say Yes to the Dress’ Star in Arlington — “TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta’s Monte Durham will be on campus next Tuesday, January 29th from 7:30-8:30 at Ballston Center. Durham will announce the Portfolio In Motion fashion show Designer of the Year.” [Twitter]

Snow, Cold on the Way — “A powerful arctic cold front is set to blast through the Washington region Tuesday evening. It could have disruptive effects, with rain quickly changing to snow during the evening commute and then rapidly freezing over roads.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]

New Publishing Schedule this Week — Readers may notice some regular ARLnow features publishing at different times and/or days this week. For instance, this Morning Notes post is publishing at 7:30 a.m., while an opinion column that usually publishes on Thursdays is scheduled for this afternoon. We are trying out a new schedule this week — let us know what you think.

Photo courtesy Jim Harvard

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Arlington’s public schools will open on a two hour delay on Tuesday.

“Due to the extreme cold, all APS Schools and offices will open two hours late,” APS said in a statement Monday evening. “The delay will provide additional time to warm buildings and address any potential cold weather mechanical issues with buses that have been idle since Friday.”

Temperatures overnight are expected to dip to 11 degrees in Arlington.

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Morning Notes

Wind Chill Advisory in Effect — A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect this morning due to a combination of gusty winds and bitterly cold temperatures. [Weather.gov]

MLK Day of Service — As of Friday, more than 850 people were signed up to volunteer for Arlington County’s MLK Day of Service today.

Rosslyn Building Sold — “Rosslyn’s Oakwood Arlington extended-stay apartments has changed hands for $70 million. Mapletree Investments, a Singapore real estate investment firm, has acquired the 184-unit property at 1550 Clarendon Blvd. from AvalonBay Communities Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Local Nonprofit Gets TV Donation — “Patricia Funegra founded La Cocina VA in Arlington as a way to create change through feeding, educating and empowering the community… FOX 5 and Easterns Automotive Group teamed up to help Funegra… with a $1,000 donation and all her students received new cast-ironed pots, recipe books and $50 gift cards.” [Fox 5]

Local Nonprofit Helping Puerto Rico — Wheels to Africa, which was founded by a 10-year-old Arlington boy in 2005 to send used bikes to Africa, is now sending used bikes to Puerto Rico to help residents still recovering from Hurricane Maria. The nonprofit’s founder has since gone to graduate from college and is now working in Arlington. [Washington Post]

County: Get a Flu Shot — “Flu season is officially underway. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that flu activity is ‘elevated’ as flu viruses circulate nationwide. Arlington healthcare officials are urging residents to take precautions and get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of flu.” [Arlington County]

Nearby: Kitten Lounge Coming to Georgetown — “What’s being called the first-in-America kitten-only place to rest, relax and interact with kittens between the ages of three-to-six months will open in early March, at 3109 M(eow) Street NW.” [WTOP]

Reduced Publishing Schedule Today — Due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day federal holiday, ARLnow will be publishing on a limited schedule today. We’ll return with a full slate of local coverage tomorrow.

Photo courtesy Tom Mockler

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Arlington County crews have been working through holidays and frigid wind chill temperatures to repair dozens of water main breaks over the past three weeks.

Since Dec. 17, there have been 38 water main breaks, which have affected the water service of up to 1,500 residents, according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Kathryn O’Brien. Five water main breaks happened New Year’s weekend, prompting crews to work through what is a holiday for many.

The county was especially swamped with water main repair calls this past weekend, the last hurrah of the recent Arctic cold snap. Of the 38 water main breaks over three weeks, 12 have occurred since Jan. 6. Of those, all but three have been successfully repaired, O’Brien said. (Three were still being repaired as of 3 p.m.)

DES officials say freezing temperatures create stress on water and sewer infrastructure, increasing the chance of leaks.

“When ground temperatures drop to the water main depth, the pipe material gets cold, but the water temp drops at a slower rate due to its movement,” explained Arlington Water, Sewer and Streets Bureau Chief Harry Wang. “Then the temperature difference of the pipe and water cause the contraction and expansion in the cast iron pipe because part of the metal was contracting due to cold soil and part was in water above freezing. Exceeding the tolerance results the cracks.”

Arlington has five repair crews — each with 5-6 members — available around the clock to repair water main breaks, O’Brien said, and they’ve been busy. However, they also have the gear and training to do their work in all conditions.

“Our crews work through all types of weather to repair water main breaks and ensure that residents have access to water regardless of the weather,” she said. “This means crews work through freezing temperatures, snow, rain and high winds. Crews have protective gear to stay warm and dry, take frequent breaks to warm up and follow other protocols to ensure their safety.”

Here are just a couple of the water main repairs taking place today:

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Arlington Public Schools will open on a two hour delay Friday, the school system announced Thursday afternoon.

Dangerously low wind chills are expected overnight. Nearby, Montgomery County Public Schools has also announced a two hour delay Friday, while Fairfax County public schools will be closed.

More from APS:

All APS schools and offices will open two hours late. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late and morning field trips are canceled. Essential employees and food service workers should report to work at their regularly scheduled time. All other employees should report to work two hours past their usual start time. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.

File photo

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It is about to get very windy and very cold in Arlington.

The strong winds are whipping up on the tail end of the “bomb cyclone” that brought snow to the area this morning. The resulting sub-zero wind chills have prompted a Wind Chill Advisory that will be in effect tonight through midday Friday.

From the National Weather Service:

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM EST THIS MORNING… … WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO NOON EST FRIDAY… * WHAT… SNOW OCCURRING THIS MORNING. VERY COLD WIND CHILLS EXPECTED LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING. PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS, INCLUDING DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE. SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES EXPECTED. EXPECT WIND CHILLS TO RANGE FROM 0 TO 10 BELOW ZERO. * WHERE… THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA… INCLUDING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. * WHEN… FOR THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY, UNTIL 11 AM EST THIS MORNING. FOR THE WIND CHILL ADVISORY, FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO NOON EST FRIDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… BE PREPARED FOR REDUCED VISIBILITIES AT TIMES THIS MORNING FROM SNOW. THE COLD WIND CHILLS WILL CAUSE FROSTBITE IN AS LITTLE AS 30 MINUTES TO EXPOSED SKIN. NORTHWEST WINDS WILL AVERAGE BETWEEN 20 AND 30 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 40 MPH THROUGH THIS EVENING… DECREASING TO 15 TO 25 MPH LATER TONIGHT. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT COLD AIR AND THE WIND WILL COMBINE TO CREATE LOW WIND CHILLS. FROST BITE AND HYPOTHERMIA CAN OCCUR IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES.

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Much of the D.C. region is under a Winter Weather Advisory tonight as a coastal storm packing snow, icy cold temperatures and strong wind nears.

Arlington County crews have been mobilized and are treating roads in anticipation of an inch or so of snow tonight and tomorrow, potentially disrupting the morning commute.

As of 4 p.m., grocery store shelves in Clarendon still had plenty of milk and toilet paper, though the former was being frequently restocked by store employees. The scene, at least thus far, was nothing like that outside a D.C. Trader Joe’s store that was mobbed by customers last night.

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonDES/status/948664802389495808

More from the National Weather Service:

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EST THURSDAY… * WHAT… SNOW EXPECTED. PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS, INCLUDING DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE ON THURSDAY. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND ONE INCH ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL, NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MARYLAND AND CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA. * WHEN… FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EST THURSDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… VERY COLD CONDITIONS MEAN THAT SNOW WILL QUICKLY STICK ON ROADS AND SIDEWALKS… MAKING THE THURSDAY MORNING COMMUTE DANGEROUS. PLAN AHEAD AND ALLOW EXTRA TIME TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION IF TRAVELING LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT OR THURSDAY. BITTERLY COLD CONDITIONS WILL FOLLOW FOR LATE THURSDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND CAUSING SNOW TO REMAIN ON UNTREATED SURFACES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1.

More from VDOT:

Virginia Department of Transportation and contract crews will mobilize late Wednesday night to treat roads for snow forecasted to arrive before Thursday morning’s rush hour. A second week of frigid temperatures continues to turn falling precipitation into slick road conditions. Small amounts of snow falling on below-freezing roads can easily melt from the friction of vehicle tires and then quickly refreeze into a layer of ice.

Once fully mobilized, please watch for crews as they stage along roads ahead of time. Crews will treat roads with salt and sand as needed once snow begins to fall overnight Wednesday and will remain on duty until road conditions improve. Please give treatments trucks room to work, as they are very heavy and drive slowly.

Drivers are asked to:

  • Stay tuned to weather (see National Weather Service forecast).
  • If conditions are icy, avoid or delay trips for safety. Otherwise, allow plenty of extra time and reduce speeds significantly.
  • Assume any pavement may be slick. Crews are unable to plow a light coating, and even previously treated roads become slick quickly with low pavement and air temperatures.
  • Take it slow on bridges, ramps, overpasses, and other known trouble spots.
  • Ensure gas tanks and wiper fluid tanks are full.
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Morning Notes

New ‘Best of Arlington’ List — Arlington Magazine is out with its annual “Best of Arlington” list. This year’s winners include The Liberty Tavern for Best Restaurant in Arlington, Ambar Clarendon for Best New Restaurant and Clare & Don’s Beach Shack in Falls Church for Best Outdoor Dining.

Tattoo Expo Returning — The D.C. Tattoo Expo is coming back to Arlington for another year. The expo is being held Jan. 12-14 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. [D.C. Tattoo Expo]

Arlington Commute Near Average — Arlington residents have a 28.3-minute commute from home to work, on average, comparable to the statewide average of 28.1 minutes, according to the Census Bureau’s latest American Communities Survey. [InsideNova]

Snow, Bitter Cold in Forecast — A ‘monster storm’ will bring bitter cold, strong winds and — according to the latest forecasts — 1-2 inches of snow between tonight and Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service is warning of possible impacts on the Thursday morning commute. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter, Twitter]

NBC Profiles ‘Arlington Ladies’ — The “Arlington Ladies,” a group of women who are a part of every funeral at Arlington National Cemetery since 1948, were profiled by Lester Holt on last night’s NBC Nightly News broadcast. [NBC News]

REIT Acquires Rosslyn Office Building — “Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: WRE) has reached a deal to acquire a Rosslyn office tower for $250 million, one of its largest office deals in recent history as the District-based developer seeks to rebalance its D.C.-area portfolio.” [Washington Business Journal]

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It’s going to be a dangerously frigid New Year’s Eve in Arlington and around the D.C. area.

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory, warning of sub-zero wind chills after 9 p.m. New Year’s revelers should try to avoid spending too much time outdoors tonight.

More from NWS:

… WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 9 AM EST MONDAY… * WHAT… VERY COLD WIND CHILLS EXPECTED. THE COLD WIND CHILLS WILL CAUSE FROSTBITE IN AS LITTLE AS 30 MINUTES TO EXPOSED SKIN. EXPECT WIND CHILLS TO RANGE FROM 0 TO 10 BELOW ZERO. * WHERE… NORTHERN AND CENTRAL VIRGINIA AND CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MARYLAND INCLUDING BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON DC. * WHEN… FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 9 AM EST MONDAY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT COLD AIR AND THE WIND WILL COMBINE TO CREATE LOW WIND CHILLS. FROST BITE AND HYPOTHERMIA CAN OCCUR IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES.

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Morning Notes

Bike tracks in the snow (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Snow Possible During PM Commute — Another “flurrypocalypse” is possible during tonight’s evening commute. Forecasters say some snowfall is possible durning rush hour, and the frigid temperatures could allow enough snow accumulation for a repeat of the nightmare commute of Jan. 20. Road crews, however, say they’re ready. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter, Twitter]

What To Do If Someone Needs Shelter — With bitter, possibly record cold temperatures expected this weekend, Arlington County says residents should call the county’s Homeless Services Center at 703-228-1010 if they know of anyone who needs shelter from the elements. [Twitter]

Long-Time Electoral Board Member Reappointed — Allen Harrison, Jr. has served on the Arlington Electoral Board for 29 years and was just reappointed in time for the March 1 presidential primary. Harrison, who is the Republican representative on the Board, is thinking about resigning before the November general elections. He’s the second-longest-serving Electoral Board member in Arlington history. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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Morning Notes

Clarendon Mardi Gras parade (Flickr pool photo by John Williams)

Transit Displays Installed in Crystal City — Real time transit data displays are being installed around Crystal City as part of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway project. The signs display bus arrival data and have text-to-speech capability for the seeing impaired. [Twitter]

Snagajob Has an Office Slide — Ballston-based Snagajob, which recently raised $100 million, has the ultimate piece of startup workspace decor: an office slide. [DC Inno]

Valentines Day Cards for Bus Drivers — Arlington Public Schools students are being encouraged to give their school bus drivers Valentines Day cards this week. [Twitter]

Stratford Anniversary Memories — Participants in the integration of Arlington’s Stratford Junior High School in 1958 recalled memories of the event during an anniversary celebration last week. “None of the four 12-year-olds then realized the national significance of their action,” writes Charlie Clark. “They viewed it like a day job, after which they returned to real friends on the neighborhood playground.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Short Film Shot at Twisted Vines — Local filmmaker Mike Kravinsky has shot a short film called “I’m Your Server” at Twisted Vines on Columbia Pike. [YouTube]

ACFD: Bring Pets Inside — Given this weekend’s bitter cold forecasted temperatures, the Arlington County Fire Department is reminding residents to “make sure to bring our four-legged friends inside.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by John Williams

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