Submit Content
Sparrow Pond, located in Glencarlyn Park and off the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (via Arlington County)

Arlington County is looking to restore and replant a man-made pond along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail starting in 2023.

Since it was built between 2001-2002, significant sediment deposits have settled in Sparrow Pond in Glencarlyn Park, harming the wildlife habitat and the water quality. About a decade ago, the county decided to defer cleaning up the sediment and instead, redesign and restore the pond, according to a staff presentation.

Fast forward to 2022 and the county is finally wrapping up the project’s planning phase and preparing for construction.

Planned work includes an access path from S. Park Drive, a residential street off Arlington Blvd that dead-ends behind Glencarlyn Park, to the pond. The county intends to dig a sediment forebay and larger pools “to better filter stormwater and restore habitat for herons, ducks, turtles, frogs and fish,” according to the project webpage.

Additional, new stormwater management facilities will redirect runoff to the Four Mile Run stream, which could cut down on pollution and clouding downstream in the Chesapeake Bay. These changes should also prevent the W&OD Trail embankment from flooding during “100-year storm events” — or storms with a 1% chance of occurring every year — such as the 2019 flood precipitated by a torrential rainstorm, according to a staff report.

Two aerial views from Arlington County of Sparrow Pond, in 2003 and 2018

Before it can start, however, the Arlington County Board needs to approve agreements with the NOVA Parks and Dominion Energy, both of which own or control parts of the land surrounding the pond, where the new access path and stormwater facilities will be located.

The Board is slated to review these contracts on Saturday.

New designs for Sparrow Pond (via Arlington County)

If the project is approved, construction would begin next year and take between six and nine months.

Preparatory work is already underway with special attention to wildlife, at the insistence of community members.

In the spring of 2021, the county installed a beaver baffle to help keep water levels stable and prevent the W&OD Trail embankment from flooding, all while not disturbing a beaver encampment in the pond area.

“The beaver baffle was an elegant solution that allowed the beaver to stay without endangering the W&OD trail embankment,” the county said in a project update.”The water levels came down and the pools on the bottom of the slope dried up. The slope and trail were safer again.”

Community members have emphasized in project meetings the importance of protecting wildlife, including beavers and the pond’s namesake swallows.

“We will work together to rescue native plants and affected animals like turtles and fish before beginning construction,” the county said. “Before being released, staff will test the animals so we don’t spread disease around the County.”

Plant and animal rescues will be planned for fall 2022, according to the project page.

This project — like the ongoing dredge work at Four Mile Run to prevent extreme flooding — is part of county efforts to improve stormwater management as storms appear to intensify, which many scientists attribute to climate change.

County staff and environmental advocates have attributed some flooding, at least in part, to development — including the construction of large homes — and the associated loss of trees and other plantings that absorb water.

Fewer trees and shrubs mean more water runs into stream banks, causing erosion, water pollution and sediment build-up. That, in turn, causes more tree loss and harms to wildlife habitats, including the critters of Sparrow Pond. The county has worked to mitigate such effects through stringent stormwater requirements for new construction, though some homebuilders have complained about the cost of such measures.

0 Comments
Lightning strikes in the distance on a stormy night in Ballston, looking south along Glebe Road in August 2022 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington, Alexandria, D.C. and other parts of the Washington region could see strong storms and pockets of flooding.

A Flood Watch has been issued for much of the area and is set to take effect at 5 p.m.

Forecasters say istorms will likely arrive later this afternoon and may pack heavy rainfall and, in more isolated instances, damaging wind gusts. A “brief tornado” is also possible.

More from the National Weather Service:

1049 AM EDT MON SEP 12 2022

…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…FLASH FLOODING CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE RAINFALL CONTINUES TO BE POSSIBLE. […]

* WHEN…FROM 5 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING.

* IMPACTS…EXCESSIVE RUNOFF MAY RESULT IN FLOODING OF RIVERS, CREEKS, STREAMS, AND OTHER LOW-LYING AND FLOOD-PRONE LOCATIONS.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE EVENING AS A COLD FRONT PUSHES THROUGH THE AREA. HEAVY RAINFALL RATES COULD PRODUCE LOCALIZED RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 3 INCHES IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
– HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/SAFETY/FLOOD

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

0 Comments
Flood Watch graphic (Photo via National Weather Service/Twitter)

Arlington County, D.C. and its immediate neighbors are under a Flood Watch starting early Monday morning.

Heavy rain is expected overnight and during the morning commute. The soaking rainfall may cause isolated flooding.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM EDT TUESDAY THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible.

* WHERE…Portions of DC, Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: in DC, District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Cecil, 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 northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Eastern Loudoun, Fairfax and Western Loudoun.

* WHEN…From 4 AM EDT Tuesday through Tuesday afternoon.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– An area of low pressure is expected to develop along a slow moving boundary draped across the region Tuesday morning through early Tuesday afternoon. Heavy showers and a few thunderstorms are expected to drop 2 to 3 inches across much of the watch area, with isolated higher amounts up to 5 inches possible in the heaviest cells.
– http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

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

More via social media:

Photo via National Weather Service/Twitter

0 Comments
Heavy rain along Four Mile Run Drive near Shirlington (file photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington — along with D.C., Alexandria, Fairfax County and most of the rest of Northern Virginia — is under a Flood Watch today.

The watch takes effect at 2 p.m. and will remain in effect into the evening hours as slow-moving storms roll into the area.

The combination of slow storm movement and the potential for training — a series of downpours focused on a specific west-to-east area — raises the possibility of flooding, forecasters say.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…FLASH FLOODING CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE RAINFALL CONTINUES TO BE POSSIBLE. […]

* IMPACTS…EXCESSIVE RUNOFF MAY RESULT IN FLOODING OF RIVERS, CREEKS, STREAMS, AND OTHER LOW-LYING AND FLOOD-PRONE LOCATIONS.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– SHOWERS AND NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING. RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL AVERAGE AROUND 1 TO 1.5 INCHES ACROSS THE AREA, BUT LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE LIKELY AND MUCH OF THAT MAY FALL IN A ONE TO TWO HOUR TIMEFRAME. HEAVY RAIN IN SHORT PERIODS OF TIME MAY CAUSE CREEKS AND STREAMS TO RAPIDLY RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS ALONG WITH POTENTIAL FLASH FLOODING IN URBAN AREAS.
– HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/SAFETY/FLOOD

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

0 Comments
Flood Watch boundaries (via NWS)

Slow-moving storms this afternoon and evening may pack downpours that could cause flooding, forecasters say.

The National Weather Service just issued a Flood Watch for Arlington, the District and most of the region as a result.

From NWS:

1020 AM EDT Fri Aug 5 2022

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

* WHAT…Flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible. […]

* WHEN…From 3 PM EDT this afternoon through this evening.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– Showers and thunderstorms will develop this afternoon and may last into the evening. Any thunderstorms will be capable of producing very heavy rainfall, with localized totals of two to four inches possible. Much of the rain may fall within a one to three hour period, making rapid rises in creeks and streams possible, as well as flash flooding in urban areas.
– http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

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

0 Comments
Storms approaching Arlington from the west

Update at 10:20 p.m. — Portions of northern Arlington County are now under a Flash Flood Warning after an extended period of heavy rain.

From the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
Flash Flood Warning
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
1016 PM EDT Thu Aug 4 2022

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Flash Flood Warning for… District of Columbia… South Central Montgomery County in central Maryland… West Central Prince Georges County in central Maryland… Northern Arlington County in northern Virginia…

* Until 115 AM EDT.

* At 1016 PM EDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the warned area. Between 1 and 2 inches of rain have fallen. Additional rainfall amounts of 0.5 to 1.5 inches are possible in the warned area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly.

HAZARD…Flash flooding caused by thunderstorms.

SOURCE…Radar.

IMPACT…Flash flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other poor drainage and low-lying areas.

* Some locations that will experience flash flooding include… Arlington… Bethesda… Falls Church… Howard University… Fort Totten… Rosslyn… Gallaudet University… RFK Stadium… Hyattsville… Takoma Park… Chevy Chase… Martin`s Additions…
Adams Morgan… Georgetown… American University… US Capitol… Friendship Village… Kenilworth… Silver Spring… Chillum…

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Earlier: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was just issued for Arlington.

A storm approaching the area from the west is packing strong winds and torrential rain, forecaster say.

More from the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
628 PM EDT Thu Aug 4 2022

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning…

* Until 715 PM EDT.

* At 627 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located over Annandale, moving east at 10 mph.

HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

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, Bethesda, Bowie, Annandale, Clinton, Springfield, College Park, Fort Washington, Greenbelt, Fairfax, Langley Park, Beltsville, Fort Hunt, Vienna, Groveton, Forestville, Falls Church, Huntington and Largo.

0 Comments
Flood Watch boundaries (via NWS)

Update at 1:50 p.m. — A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was just issued for parts of the D.C. area, including Arlington, and much of the D.C.-Baltimore-Philly-NYC corridor. That’s in addition to the Flood Watch, below.

From the National Weather Service:

Scattered severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening, mainly north of the D.C. metro area. Damaging wind gusts are the primary threat with an isolated tornado also possible.

Earlier: It’s the middle of July and the humidity level outside is roughly that of an unventilated bathroom after a half-hour hot shower.

Unsurprisingly, that combination is a recipe for possible downpours — and flooding — tonight.

The National Weather Service just issued a Flood Watch, which will go into effect at 4 p.m. Forecasters say “multiple rounds of storms” could cause flooding later today.

More from NWS:

FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
931 AM EDT MON JUL 18 2022

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…FLASH FLOODING CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE.

* WHERE…PORTIONS OF DC, MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA […]

* WHEN…FROM 4 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING.

* IMPACTS…EXCESSIVE RUNOFF MAY RESULT IN FLOODING OF RIVERS, CREEKS, STREAMS, AND OTHER LOW-LYING AND FLOOD-PRONE LOCATIONS.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– AFTERNOON TO EVENING SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAY PRODUCE VERY HEAVY RAINFALL CAPABLE OF FLASH FLOODING. THIS COULD INCLUDE MULTIPLE ROUNDS OF STORMS WHICH WOULD ENHANCE THE FLOOD RISK. RAINFALL RATES MAY REACH 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR, LOCALLY HIGHER IN SPOTS. THE D.C. AND BALTIMORE METROS WILL BE THE MOST SUSCEPTIBLE GIVEN RECENT HEAVY RAINFALL THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS.
– HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/SAFETY/FLOOD

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

0 Comments
Rainy drive in Clarendon (file photo)

Updated at 2:15 p.m. — A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was also just issued for the area.

Earlier: Arlington and much of the D.C. and Baltimore area is under a Flood Watch today, starting at 4 p.m.

Storms are expected later today, forecasters say. Heavy rain and strong winds are likely.

“Scattered severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening,” the National Weather Service says. “Damaging wind gusts and large hail are the primary threats. An isolated tornado is also possible.”

More on the Flood Watch from NWS, below.

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…Flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible.

* WHERE…Portions of DC, Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: in DC, District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Northern Baltimore, Northwest Howard, Northwest Montgomery, Prince George’s and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park.

* WHEN…From 4 PM EDT this afternoon through this evening.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– Strong to severe thunderstorms will move across the region late this afternoon through the evening hours. Heavy rain will accompany a number of these storms which may drop 1 to 2 inches of rainfall in an hour. Additionally, some regions could see repeat thunderstorm activity leading to an enhanced threat for flooding.
– http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

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

0 Comments
Flood Watch map 7/8/22 (via National Weather Service)

Arlington and much of the D.C. area will be under a Flood Watch starting tonight.

Heavy rain and storms are expected tonight. The rain is expected to persist through Saturday afternoon, raising the possibility of flooding, including flash flooding caused by “excessive rainfall.”

The Flood Watch takes effect at 11 p.m.

From the National Weather Service:

URGENT – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1253 PM EDT FRI JUL 8 2022

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…FLASH FLOODING CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE.

* WHERE…WASHINGTON DC, MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS: IN DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 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 NORTHERN VIRGINIA, ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA, EASTERN LOUDOUN, FAIRFAX, PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK AND WESTERN LOUDOUN.

* WHEN…FROM 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS…EXCESSIVE RUNOFF MAY RESULT IN FLOODING OF RIVERS, CREEKS, STREAMS, AND OTHER LOW-LYING AND FLOOD-PRONE LOCATIONS.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– SHOWERS ARE EXPECTED WITH SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS LATE THIS EVENING INTO MIDDAY SATURDAY. AVERAGE RAINFALL AMOUNTS AROUND 1 TO 3 INCHES ARE EXPECTED, BUT LOCALIZED AMOUNTS AROUND 4 TO 7 INCHES IN HEAVIER SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. RAINFALL AMOUNTS AROUND 1 TO 3 INCHES WITHIN AN HOUR OR TWO ARE POSSIBLE IN AREAS WHERE THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL OCCURS. THE BEST CHANCE FOR THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL WILL BE OVERNIGHT INTO SATURDAY MORNING.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Dog park in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington Rents Continue to Rise — “Apartment rents in Arlington keep on moving upward, maintaining their position as most expensive in the D.C. area and are now well above pre-pandemic rates, according to new data. With a median rental of $2,063 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,469 for two bedrooms, Arlington’s rental rate grew a whopping 2.8 percent from May to June, the sixth highest increase among the nation’s 100 largest urban areas.” [Sun Gazette]

Local Group Donating Thousands of Socks — “The Nursing Professional Development Council at VHC Health decided to have a ‘Sock Hop’ – not a dance party but a sock collection benefiting ‘Doorways,’ an Arlington non-profit helping people out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault. The goal was set at 1,940 pairs – 1940 was the year the Sock Hop started but the generous nurses and staff at VHC Health tripled that number. It’s the biggest sock donation the group has ever received.” [WJLA]

Dems Resuming Breakfasts — “In another sign that life is getting back to normal(ish) – or at least adopting a ‘live with COVID’ practicality – the Arlington County Democratic Committee is resurrecting its monthly in-person breakfasts. The return engagement – the first since early 2020 – will be held on Saturday, July 9 at 8:30 a.m. at Busboys & Poets in Shirlington. Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) and others will discuss gun issues.” [Sun Gazette]

Cleanup Event Saturday Morning — “WalkArlington & BikeArlington partner to clean up a part of the W&OD Trail on Saturday, July 9. We will make our way down the W&OD, starting near the Barcroft Community Center, setting up our tent on the W&OD Trail at the intersection of a small road named ‘Barcroft Center’ and Four Mile Run Drive. We will pick up trash that accumulates alongside the trail. We will provide trash bags, gloves, trash pickers, drinks and some snacks. We will also have Bike and Walk giveaways.” [WalkArlington]

Metro Seeking Feedback on EFC Project — “Metro is seeking public input on the proposed bus loop expansion and pedestrian improvements at East Falls Church Station.  The station currently has four bus bays that are operating at maximum capacity. In coordination with Metro, Arlington County seeks to expand the footprint of the existing bus loop, upgrade the existing bus shelters, and add three bus bays with shelters at the station.” [WMATA]

Flood Watch This Afternoon — “Multiple rounds of scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms are likely this afternoon and tonight. The most likely time period for thunderstorms producing heavy rain and potential flash flooding is this evening, but thunderstorms could develop as early as this afternoon, and may linger well into the night. Several inches of rain is possible in a short period of time, which would cause rapid rises of water.” [National Weather Service]

It’s Wednesday — Heavy rain starting in the afternoon. High of 86 and low of 78. Sunrise at 5:51 am and sunset at 8:38 pm. [Weather.gov]

0 Comments
Radar showing storms and heavy rain

A line of “training” thunderstorms could lead to an extended period of heavy rain and flooding in Arlington and surrounding areas.

The National Weather Service just issued a Flood Warning for the area, in effect until 3 a.m.

From NWS:

848 PM EDT Wed Jun 22 2022

…FLOOD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM EDT THURSDAY…

* WHAT…Flooding caused by excessive rainfall is expected.

* WHERE…Portions of DC, central Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following counties: in DC, District of Columbia. In central Maryland, Montgomery and Prince Georges. In northern Virginia, Arlington, City of Alexandria, City of Falls Church and Fairfax.

* WHEN…Until 300 AM EDT Thursday.

* IMPACTS…Flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations is imminent or occurring.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– At 848 PM EDT, Doppler radar indicated heavy rain due to thunderstorms. Flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly in the warned area. Between 0.5 and 1 inch of rain has fallen.
– Additional rainfall amounts of 0.5 to 1.5 inches are possible in the warned area.
– Some locations that will experience flooding include… Arlington… Alexandria… Bethesda… Annandale… College Park… Langley Park… Falls Church… Huntington… National Harbor… Rosslyn… Howard University… Fort Totten… Gallaudet University… Crystal City… Nationals Park… Reagan National Airport… RFK Stadium… Potomac… North Bethesda… Fairland…
– http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

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

Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list