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APS Cancels After-School Activities as Snow and Sleet Turn to Rain

(Updated at 3:35 p.m) After a controversial on-time start that led to a treacherous morning on local roads and sidewalks, Arlington Public Schools is not taking any chances tonight.

Both parents and school bus drivers had trouble getting to school this morning on the roads. According to an APS spokesman, 12 out of around 160 school buses became stuck due to slippery road conditions, and one bus was involved in a “very minor” crash. The spokesman did not have an exact tally of how many buses were late arriving to school

“Our drivers are instructed to drive slow and take all precautions when driving,” said Frank Bellavia.

Following the morning mess, APS canceled all after school and evening activities. The school system announced the cancellations in a tweet just after 1:30 p.m.

 

Marymount University, meanwhile, is also closing early because of the weather.

While most of the frozen precipitation is over for Arlington, there are still a number of concerns for this evening, including remaining snow on local roads and a possible re-freeze overnight.

More from VDOT:

A mixed bag of precipitation is affecting much of the Commonwealth Thursday, and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are responding to adverse road conditions where needed. Snow, sleet, and heavy rain are expected across Virginia through the afternoon and overnight hours.

Some portions of Virginia are experiencing the first taste of winter in the 2018-2019 season. In affected regions, VDOT crews are deployed to treat roads to melt icy areas. Icy conditions could cause downed trees and debris in roadways. Travelers should exercise caution during the afternoon rush hour and overnight, as road conditions may be wet and slushy.

Portions of the state are experiencing heavy rain. Crews are monitoring road conditions and responding to reports of high water and debris in roadways.

Motorists are encouraged to closely monitor travel conditions in local areas and adjust travel as needed. In wet and icy conditions, allow extra time to reach destinations, lower speed and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

Another concern: the potential for flooding as a result of melting snow and heavy rain. Arlington and much of the rest of the region is currently under a Flood Watch.

From the National Weather Service:

…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING… THE FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR * PORTIONS OF MARYLAND, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND VIRGINIA, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS, IN MARYLAND, ANNE ARUNDEL, CALVERT, CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST HOWARD, CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST MONTGOMERY, CHARLES, PRINCE GEORGES, SOUTHEAST HARFORD, SOUTHERN BALTIMORE, AND ST. MARYS. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN VIRGINIA, ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA, FAIRFAX, KING GEORGE, PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK, SPOTSYLVANIA, AND STAFFORD. * THROUGH THIS EVENING * A PERIOD OF MODERATELY HEAVY RAIN IS EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. ONE AND A HALF TO TWO INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED WITH ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. THIS MAY LEAD TO FLOODING OF AREA CREEKS AND STREAMS AS WELL AS IN URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP. &&

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Morning Notes

Polls Are Open — Voting in Arlington started at 6 a.m. this morning and will continue until 7 p.m. Don’t be surprised to see TV crews at local polling places: a number of international news outlets will be on hand to document democracy in action in Arlington. [Twitter, Twitter]

HQ2 Driving Real Estate Interest — Real estate agents are seeing increased interest in Arlington and Alexandria as a result of the increasingly-likely prospect of Amazon’s HQ2 (or, at least, a portion of it) coming to the area. Crystal City residents, meanwhile, are both excited and apprehensive about the tech and e-commerce giant moving into the neighborhood. [Washington Business Journal, WJLA]

Rain Causes Swollen Four Mile Run — Heavy rain Monday morning caused flooding along Four Mile Run. Floodwaters blocked the Four Mile Run Trail for part of the day. [Twitter]

Green Valley Pharmacy May Reopen — The Green Valley Pharmacy, a long-time local business serving the Nauck community, may be revived by the family of its late founder, Leonard “Doc” Muse. “”We [hope] to restore the exterior to the way it looked when my grandfather opened it in the 1950s,” said Muse’s grandson. [Arlington Magazine]

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Flood Watch in Effect for Arlington

Arlington and much of the D.C. region is under a Flood Watch today as another big batch of rain moves into the area.

With the ground already saturated, any significant rainfall can cause ponding or even more serious flooding.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE TONIGHT… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A * FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF MARYLAND, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND VIRGINIA, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS, IN MARYLAND, CARROLL, CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST HOWARD, CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST MONTGOMERY, NORTHWEST HOWARD, AND NORTHWEST MONTGOMERY. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN VIRGINIA, ALBEMARLE, ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA, CENTRAL VIRGINIA BLUE RIDGE, CULPEPER, EASTERN LOUDOUN, FAIRFAX, GREENE, MADISON, NELSON, ORANGE, PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK, SOUTHERN FAUQUIER, AND STAFFORD. * FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE TONIGHT * A WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE WILL RIDE NORTHEAST ALONG A STALLED FRONT LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT. SEVERAL INCHES OF RAIN IS POSSIBLE, AND WITH THE GROUND ALREADY SATURATED, FLOODING IS POSSIBLE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP. &&

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Morning Notes

Flash Flood Watch Issued for Arlington — Arlington, D.C. and points west are under a Flash Flood Watch today, starting at 10 a.m., as the remnants of Hurricane Florence drop heavy rain on the area. [Twitter]

New Food Distribution Site in Ballston — “The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) has joined with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) to open a new food-distribution site at The Springs, an apartment complex in the Ballston area. The site will distribute food on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m., and will serve eligible residents from the apartment as well as neighboring APAH communities.” [InsideNova]

Rosslyn Fire Station Leveled — Rosslyn’s Fire Station 10 has been demolished as construction proceeds on a new fire station on the ground floor of a new development. [Twitter]

‘Coffee With a Cop’ Planned — “Wednesday, October 3 is National Coffee with a Cop Day and the Arlington County Police Department is hosting two events with our Community Outreach Teams to celebrate. Community members are invited to join police at this informal event to ask questions, voice concerns, get to know their neighbors, interact with the Community Outreach Teams and meet officers from other sections of the department.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Arlington County Under Flood Warning

Arlington County is under a Flood Warning until 12:45 a.m. Saturday.

Another round of heavy rain moving into the area could cause flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

More from NWS:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A * FLOOD WARNING FOR… SOUTHEASTERN ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… EAST CENTRAL FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… * UNTIL 1245 AM EDT. * AT 847 PM EDT, DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING HEAVY RAIN WHICH WILL CAUSE FLOODING. UP TO THREE INCHES OF RAIN HAVE ALREADY FALLEN AND ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS AROUND AN INCH ARE POSSIBLE. * SOME LOCATIONS THAT MAY EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, ANNANDALE, HUNTINGTON, CRYSTAL CITY, REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT, LINCOLNIA, LAKE BARCROFT, BALLSTON, BARCROFT, JEFFERSON MANOR AND BAILEYS CROSSROADS.

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Flash Flood Watch Issued for Arlington

Arlington County is currently under a Flash Flood Watch.

Though the sun is out now, forecasters warn that slow-moving thunderstorms will develop later today and could dump heavy rain on Arlington and other parts of the region.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS, IN MARYLAND, ANNE ARUNDEL, CARROLL, CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST HOWARD, CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST MONTGOMERY, FREDERICK MD, NORTHERN BALTIMORE, NORTHWEST HARFORD, NORTHWEST HOWARD, NORTHWEST MONTGOMERY, PRINCE GEORGES, SOUTHEAST HARFORD, AND SOUTHERN BALTIMORE. IN VIRGINIA, ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA AND FAIRFAX. * THROUGH MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. * SLOW MOVING THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING VERY HEAVY RAIN ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. * HIGH RAINFALL RATES MAY LEAD TO RAPID RISES OF WATER IN LOW- LYING AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS AS WELL AS SOME SMALL STREAMS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED. &&

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JUST IN: Flood Warning Issued for Arlington

A sudden spate of thunderstorms has prompted a flood warning for Arlington County.

The National Weather Service is warning of possible flooding through 7:15 p.m.

Full details from the NWS:

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Flood Warning for…
The western District of Columbia…
The City of Fairfax in northern Virginia…
Arlington County in northern Virginia…
The City of Falls Church in northern Virginia…
Fairfax County in northern Virginia…
The City of Manassas Park in northern Virginia…
Central Prince William County in northern Virginia…
The northwestern City of Alexandria in northern Virginia…

* Until 715 PM EDT.

* At 116 PM EDT, trained weather spotters reported heavy rain in
Centreville, Virginia due to thunderstorms that will cause
flooding. Up to two inches of rain have already fallen.

* Some locations that may experience flooding include…
Arlington, Alexandria, Centreville, Reston, Annandale, Springfield,
Herndon, Fairfax, Vienna, Falls Church, Mantua, Pimmit Hills,
Mclean, Howard University, American Legion Bridge, Reagan National
Airport, Rosslyn, Crystal City, Potomac and Burke.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood
deaths occur in vehicles.

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small
creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as
well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.

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UPDATE: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Arlington

Updated at 5 p.m. — Several instances of flooded roadways and five downed trees have been reported in various parts of Arlington after a thunderstorm packing heavy rain, hail and strong, gusty winds rolled through the county at the start of the evening rush hour. Thus far no significant power outages have been reported.

Update at 4:15 p.m. — The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Arlington through 5 p.m. More from NWS:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
411 PM EDT MON AUG 13 2018

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR… ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… SOUTHEASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…

* UNTIL 500 PM EDT.

* AT 410 PM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER LAKE RIDGE, OR NEAR WOODBRIDGE, MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE…TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED QUARTER SIZE HAIL IN  INDEPENDENT HILL IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY.

IMPACT…DAMAGING WINDS WILL CAUSE SOME TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES  TO FALL. THIS COULD INJURE THOSE OUTDOORS, AS WELL AS  DAMAGE HOMES AND VEHICLES. ROADWAYS MAY BECOME BLOCKED BY  DOWNED TREES. LOCALIZED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE. UNSECURED LIGHT OBJECTS MAY BECOME PROJECTILES.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, ANNANDALE, SPRINGFIELD, FORT WASHINGTON, FORT HUNT, GROVETON, HUNTINGTON, FORT BELVOIR, REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT, CRYSTAL CITY, BURKE, LINCOLNIA, LORTON, FRANCONIA, HYBLA VALLEY, NEWINGTON, LAKE BARCROFT, I395 AND I495 INTERCHANGE AND BALLSTON.

Earlier: Weather watchers say some heavy rain this afternoon could produce dangerous flooding in Arlington.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the county and several other jurisdictions around the D.C. region through 10 p.m. today.

The NWS is warning that “slow-moving showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening will be capable of producing intense rainfall rates that could lead to flash flooding.”

Full details from the NWS below:

District of Columbia-Prince Georges-Anne Arundel-Shenandoah-
Warren-Fairfax-Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria-Hardy-
Western Grant-Eastern Grant-
Including the cities of Washington, Bowie, Suitland-Silver Hill,
Clinton, College Park, Greenbelt, Laurel, Camp Springs,
Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Severn, South Gate, Severna Park, Arnold,
Odenton, Strasburg, Woodstock, Mount Jackson, New Market,
Front Royal, Reston, Herndon, Annandale, Centreville, Chantilly,
McLean, Franconia, Arlington, Alexandria, Moorefield, Bayard,
Mount Storm, and Petersburg
105 PM EDT Mon Aug 13 2018

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM EDT THIS EVENING…

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has expanded
the

* Flash Flood Watch to include portions of central Maryland, The
District of Columbia, Virginia, and eastern West Virginia,
including the following areas, in central Maryland, Anne
Arundel and Prince Georges. The District of Columbia. In
Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Fairfax,
Shenandoah, and Warren. In eastern West Virginia, Eastern
Grant, Hardy, and Western Grant.

* Until 10 PM EDT this evening

* Slow moving showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and
evening will be capable of producing intense rainfall rates
that could lead to flash flooding.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead
to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action
should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

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Morning Notes

Flash Flood Watch Today — Arlington and much of the region is again under a Flash Flood Watch today and through early Saturday. Heavy rains expected during the day and evening may cause flash flooding, forecasters say. [Twitter, Weather.gov]

Smoke the Dog Visits Nats Park — Smoke, the Arlington shelter dog with terminal cancer who’s become an internet star for his quest to check off his “bucket list,” had quite a Thursday. The hound got to visit home plate at Nationals Park yesterday, and also got to go home to a new adoptive dog mom. [WJLA]

Arlington Unemployment Rate Still Lowest in Va. — “Despite a second month in a row of upticks, Arlington’s unemployment rate in June remained the envy of Virginia’s 132 other cities and counties. With 150,837 county residents in the civilian workforce and 3,393 looking for jobs, Arlington’s non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 2.2 percent in June was lowest in the commonwealth.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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More Severe Flooding on the GW Parkway Near DCA Unlikely, Park Service Says

There may be yet more rain in the forecast, fresh on the heels of last month’s persistent storms, but don’t expect to see the sort of flooding that trapped dozens of people in their cars on the GW Parkway two weeks back.

That’s the word from National Park Service officials, who believe the waves of water covering the parkway back on July 17 were more a fluke than anything else.

The flooding, which impacted a stretch of the road as it winds past Reagan National Airport, was severe enough to strand about 25 cars on the parkway until firefighters could get them to safety. But the NPS doesn’t see much it can do to prevent that sort of flooding from happening again, simply because parkway officials believe it was largely a result of the extraordinarily rapid rate of rainfall.

Jonathan Shafer, a NPS spokesman, noted that meteorologists recorded more than 2.6 inches of rain per hour falling at the airport that day.

“Maintenance staff from [the parkway] think the drainage system there was overwhelmed by the large amount of runoff,” Shafer told ARLnow via email.

Shafer added that parkway “[does not] believe this area has flooded due to rain in recent memory,” though water main breaks have occasionally caused some problems north of the airport.

Warren Stewart, a 22-year resident of Northern Virginia, agrees that he’s never seen the parkway look as it did two weeks ago. He was driving toward D.C. to pick his son up from school on July 17 when he saw what looked like “a creek coming down the road.”

“From my truck back, it was not flooded and the cars in front of me were,” Stewart said. “They were bailing water out of their cars with buckets… Water rose up as high as their tail lights, for some of them.”

The parkway hasn’t experienced anything like the mid-July flooding since then, even as rain has continued to pound the region. That’s why Shafer thinks the best solution to avoiding any similar scary situations on the parkway is for drivers to “exercise caution” getting on the road when storms pick up.

“Conditions can change fast, and it’s hard to predict when and how the weather might affect them,” he wrote.

Shafer says the park service is hard at work studying drainage and stormwater management improvements on other sections of the parkway, though construction is likely years away.

Photo via @ArlingtonVaFD

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Flash Flood Watch Issued for Arlington, Region

Arlington and much of the region is under a Flash Flood Watch today.

Forecasters are warning of the possibility of “multiple rounds of torrential rainfall” that could result in flash flooding given the already-saturated ground.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH TONIGHT… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS EXPANDED THE * FLASH FLOOD WATCH TO INCLUDE PORTIONS OF MARYLAND, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA… MULTIPLE ROUNDS OF TORRENTIAL RAINFALL WILL BE POSSIBLE FOR TARGETED AREAS THROUGH TONIGHT. GIVEN SATURATED SOIL FROM RECENT RAINFALL, REPETITIVE HEAVY RAIN MAY RESULT IN FLASH FLOODING. * URBAN AREAS, LOCATIONS ALONG SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS, AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS ARE MOST VULNERABLE TO FLASH FLOODING. THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH WILL LIKELY NEED TO BE EXTENDED THROUGH FRIDAY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED. &&

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JUST IN: Flash Flood, Severe Thunderstorm Watches Issued for Arlington

Prepare for more rain, and more flooding, the National Weather Service warns.

The NWS has issued a severe thunderstorm watch through 10 p.m. tonight, with a flash flood watch as well from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. due to the excessive amounts of rain the region’s seen recently.

Full details from the NWS:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM EDT THIS
AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING…

The Flash Flood Watch continues for

* Portions of Maryland, The District of Columbia, and Virginia,
including the following areas, in Maryland, Anne Arundel,
Carroll, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast
Montgomery, Charles, Northern Baltimore, Northwest Harford,
Northwest Howard, Northwest Montgomery, Prince Georges,
Southeast Harford, and Southern Baltimore. The District of
Columbia. In Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria,
Eastern Loudoun, Fairfax, King George, Prince
William/Manassas/Manassas Park, and Stafford.

* From 3 PM EDT this afternoon through 11 PM EDT this evening.

* Showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop late this
afternoon and evening, with heavy rainfall rates likely. Given
saturated soil from this week`s excessive rainfall, any
additional heavy rain or repetitive thunderstorms may result in
rapid rises of water in streams and low lying areas.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead
to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action
should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

Photo via @NWS_BaltWash

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Ballston’s SER Hoping to Reopen This Weekend, Following Severe Flooding

Spanish restaurant SER (1110 N. Glebe Road) is closed today after storms led to a partial roof collapse and flooding inside the eatery last night (July 25).

SER aims to be back open this weekend, according to a Twitter statement from restaurant proprietor Javier Candon.

“Last night, our building had a structural failure which resulted in us having to close the restaurant unexpectedly due to flooding,” the statement reads, in part. “As repairs begin, I just want to thank everyone for their support and patience.”

Candon also noted in the statement that no guests were harmed in the incident.

All of Two Ballston Plaza, the building in which SER is located, is closed today because of a power outage, according to a notice on its door. Ballston CrossFit, another tenant, posted on its Facebook page that flooding caused the outage.

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Morning Notes

Flash Flood Watch Remains, Though Rain is Subsiding — Weather watchers warn that a risk of floods remains through this afternoon, but things are set to get steadily dryer as Thursday and Friday get closer. [NWS]

Are Tolls Worth It on Virginia’s HOT Lanes? — A new study shows it’s a bit of a mixed bag for commuters, though anyone hopping on I-66 instead of Route 29 or Route 50 is probably getting their money’s worth. Researchers don’t see those arterial roads as viable alternatives, given the time savings 66 still offers during rush hour. [WTOP]

Metro Remains Less-Than-Ideal for Blind Riders — Months after a blind woman fell off a platform due to problems with Metro’s new 7000-series trains, the transit service is still scrambling to improve conditions for the visually impaired. [Washington Post]

Nearby: A Tornado Touched Down Near Thomas Jefferson High School — Officials believe a twister made a roughly one-minute-long appearance near the school, around the border of Alexandria and Annandale. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo via wolfkann

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Morning Notes

Weekend Rain Intensifies, Prompts Flood Watch — As if this weekend’s downpours weren’t enough, there’s now a flash flood watch in effect for Arlington and much of the rest of the D.C. region through late tonight. That seems to be the theme for much of the upcoming week’s forecast. [Twitter, Washington Post]

Amazon HQ2 Contest Sparks New Levels of Regional Cooperation — That’s what economic development officials from Arlington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland say. The Metro funding deal, negotiated across three different governments, represents some of that cooperation, but will that spirit last if Amazon doesn’t pick the D.C. region? [Washington Business Journal]

Yorktown Alum Bound for South Africa — Drew Kiser will make the trip with some help from a Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistant award and the State Department. He’ll teach English at a high school “as part of a project to promote literacy among developing nations, as well as educating youth about LGBT identity.” [InsideNova]

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