Arlington, VA

Update at 4 p.m. — The Flood Warning has now been cancelled.

Earlier: As what remains of Hurricane Zeta drenches the region, Arlington County is now under a Flood Warning, meaning flooding is currently happening or is imminent.

“Observations show we’re crossing the 1.5″ rain total threshold throughout much of the urban corridor,” the National Weather Service said just before noon. “Flooding is going to be slow to develop but we should see increasing reports of it this afternoon.”

Flooding has already been reported west of Arlington in Fairfax County, along Wolftrap Creek and Accotink Creek. The warning is in effect until 5:30 p.m.

In addition to heavy rain, strong winds are expected between roughly 5-8 p.m. this evening as the center of the storm passes the region.

More on the potential for flooding, from the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1130 AM EDT THU OCT 29 2020

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING FOR… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA… NORTHWESTERN ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… EASTERN HOWARD COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… SOUTHEASTERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… NORTHERN PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… BALTIMORE COUNTY IN NORTHERN MARYLAND… BALTIMORE CITY IN NORTHERN MARYLAND… ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… NORTHEASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…

* UNTIL 530 PM EDT.

* AT 1130 AM EDT, DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED HEAVY RAIN. FLOODING IS ONGOING OR EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY IN THE WARNED AREA. BETWEEN 0.5 AND 1.5 INCHES OF RAIN HAVE FALLEN.

ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN THE  WARNED AREA THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. ALL INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS IMMEDIATELY.

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

Image via National Weather Service

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Update at 12:15 p.m. — A Flood Warning has now been issued.

Earlier: Arlington and much of the region is under a Flood Watch as the remnants of Hurricane Zeta track across the South and towards the D.C. area.

Rain is expected to begin overnight and continue throughout Thursday. Around 2-3 inches of rain are expected to fall.

Zeta will also bring windy conditions, with winds of up to 30-40 mph during the peak of the storm, later in the day on Thursday. That raises the possibility of downed trees and power lines.

Zeta made landfall late Wednesday afternoon as a Category 2 hurricane, stronger than initially expected. As of 9 p.m. tonight the storm was still packing hurricane-force winds as it tears through Gulfport, Biloxi and other areas along the Gulf of Mexico. It’s expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to Birmingham, Atlanta, Asheville, Roanoke and Richmond before reaching our region.

More on the Flood Watch from the National Weather Service:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF VIRGINIA AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA,  INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS: IN VIRGINIA, ALBEMARLE, AUGUSTA, CENTRAL VIRGINIA BLUE RIDGE, CLARKE, EASTERN HIGHLAND, GREENE,  MADISON, NELSON, NORTHERN VIRGINIA BLUE RIDGE, PAGE, RAPPAHANNOCK, ROCKINGHAM, SHENANDOAH, WARREN AND WESTERN HIGHLAND. IN EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA, EASTERN PENDLETON AND WESTERN PENDLETON.

* FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON

* HEAVY RAINFALL FROM ZETA COULD LEAD TO SOME FLOODING OF SMALL STREAMS, CREEKS, AND URBAN AREAS. RAIN AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 3 INCHES ARE EXPECTED WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

* SCATTERED INCIDENTS OF FLOODING DUE TO HEAVY RAIN ARE POSSIBLE. CLOGGED DRAINS DUE TO LEAF DEBRIS MAY CAUSE ADDITIONAL FLOODING CONCERNS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

DO NOT ENTER OR CROSS FLOWING WATER OR WATER OF UNKNOWN DEPTH.

STAY AWAY OR BE SWEPT AWAY. RIVER BANKS AND CULVERTS CAN BECOME UNSTABLE AND UNSAFE.

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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Isaias made landfall in North Carolina last night as a Category 1 hurricane and is now approaching the D.C. area as a tropical storm.

Wind from the storm is expected to ramp up locally over the next hour, but the main threat remains heavy rain.

The National Weather Service issued a Flood Warning this morning for Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax. Several additional inches of rain are likely to fall and cause flooding, forecasters say.

More from NWS:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
701 AM EDT TUE AUG 4 2020

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING FOR…
THE CITY OF FAIRFAX IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
EASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…

* UNTIL 100 PM EDT.

* AT 700 AM EDT, DOPPLER RADAR AND AUTOMATED RAIN GAUGES INDICATED THAT HEAVY RAIN WAS FALLING OVER THE AREA. THE HEAVY RAIN WILL CAUSE FLOODING. UP TO ONE INCH OF RAIN HAS ALREADY FALLEN.ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF SEVERAL INCHES ARE POSSIBLE, AND FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS COULD BE REQUIRED LATER TODAY. FOR NOW, THOUGH, FLOODING WILL BE RELATIVELY SLOW TO DEVELOP.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, RESTON, ANNANDALE, SPRINGFIELD, FORT WASHINGTON, FAIRFAX, FORT HUNT, VIENNA, GROVETON, FALLS CHURCH, HUNTINGTON, MANTUA, FORT BELVOIR, PIMMIT HILLS, NATIONAL HARBOR, MCLEAN, REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT, ROSSLYN AND CRYSTAL CITY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

A FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. ALL INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS IMMEDIATELY.

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(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) Arlington County is urging residents to prepare today for Tropical Storm Isaias, which is currently making its way up the East Coast.

While windy conditions and some thunderstorms are likely as Isaias approaches this afternoon and evening, the main threat locally is heavy rain. Forecasters say the tropical storm could dump 3-6 inches of rain on the immediate D.C. area, potentially causing flooding.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Arlington, D.C. and surrounding areas through Tuesday. A Tropical Storm Watch was upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning late Monday morning.

The last time such a warning was issued for Arlington was for Hurricane Irene in 2011. That storm caused moderate damage around Arlington, mostly from felled trees.

More on the storm threat and preparations:

Read More

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Ten members of the Arlington County Fire Department are in the Virginia Beach area today to assist with the response to Hurricane Dorian.

The firefighters and equipment — including ACFD’s water rescue unit — departed for Portsmouth, Va. Thursday afternoon. They are being joined by rescuers from Alexandria and the City of Fairfax as part of a 26-person hurricane relief team, organized by the Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management, according to ACFD spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Marchegiani.

The team expects to stay in the area for at least three days.

Dorian is currently battering the Outer Banks of North Carolina as it slowly makes its way northeast. Besides clouds and some wind today, the D.C. area is not expected to feel the effects of the storm.

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Morning Notes

Spotted: Leading Edge of Dorian — The “exhaust” of Hurricane Dorian could be seen over the D.C. area yesterday afternoon, in the form of a large sheet of cloud. [Twitter]

Arlington Name Centennial Approaching — “Arlington government officials currently are in the brainstorming phase on plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Arlington becoming ‘Arlington.’ It was on March 17, 1920, that Gov. Westmoreland Davis signed legislation formally changing the county’s name from Alexandria County to Arlington County.” [InsideNova]

Bloomberg BNA Changes Name — Crystal City-based news organization Bloomberg BNA has changed its name to Bloomberg Industry Group. [Twitter]

Video: APS Staff Gets School Year Started — Arlington Public Schools staff starred in a music video to the tune of the Black Eyed Peas Hit “Let’s Get It Started,” created for start of the new school year. The video also features now-former superintendent Patrick Murphy dancing while getting off a school bus at the end. [YouTube]

Local Startup Raises $51 Million — Arlington-based telecom startup Federated Wireless has raised $51 million in Series C funding, the company announced yesterday. [Federated Wireless]

What Long-Time Residents Like About Arlington — “Judy and Raoul Wientzen have owned their home in North Arlington since 1984. Judy told us what they love about their home.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

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Morning Notes

Hurricane Prompts Influx of Shelter Dogs from N.C. — “Dogs, cats and kittens were all transported from shelters ahead of the now Category 2 Hurricane Florence. They arrived… in Arlington Wednesday. Six dogs and two cats arrived from Hertford County, NC. Two dogs were adopted on-site. A total of 38 dogs and seven cats arrived from Florence County, SC. In total, 53 animals are now safe and sound in the D.C. area.” [WUSA 9]

PAC Raising Money for Female Candidates — Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol is among those expected to attend a “kick-off fundraiser” tonight for Brass Ovaries PAC, which raises money for first-time, female candidates for public office. [Tysons Reporter]

How to Pronounce ARLnow — FYI: the name of this site is pronounced “A-R-L now,” not “Ahrrrl now.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Hurricane Florence Update — The Tomb Sentinels at Arlington National Cemetery will remain on guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as they have for 81 years, regardless of what happens with Hurricane Florence. However, according to forecasters, “there is no need to cancel outdoor plans, events, or travel in the Washington region this weekend” due to the hurricane. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]

DEA Lease Renewal Is Official — “The Drug Enforcement Administration will remain in its Pentagon City headquarters for at least 15 more years. The General Services Administration announced Wednesday it signed a 511,487 SF lease renewal for the DEA at 600-700 Army Navy Drive, two buildings owned by the California State Teachers Retirement System.” [Bisnow]

Neighbors Still Peeved Over Salt Dome Plan — “This is an emergency caused by rust. I know Neil Young says rust never sleeps but it doesn’t move that fast,” said Michael Hogan, president of the Old Dominion Citizens Association, regarding the “emergency” plan for a temporary salt storage facility next to the deteriorating salt dome near Marymount University. “This is just a terrible land-use decision.” [Washington Post]

Living in Arlington On a $80,000 Salary — Not much of interest happens in this millennial money diary, set in Arlington, but there is this discussion of tea vs. coffee: “I drink my third green tea. I’m trying to drink less coffee, so today I’m trying tea instead, but this is not cutting it. To all those people who say green tea gives them as much energy as coffee — I’m calling shenanigans.” [Refinery 29]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Memorial Bridge Closure Delayed — “Work on Arlington Memorial Bridge was scheduled to close all lanes this weekend, but with the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence, the National Park Service announced that the closure has been pushed back. Now, instead of Friday, the temporary closure of both sidewalks and all six lanes on the crumbling bridge is planned for 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 through 5 a.m. on Sept. 24.” [WTOP]

Economist Food Truck Comes to Rosslyn — Today The Economist is scheduled to bring its food truck to Central Place Plaza in Rosslyn from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. The truck offers “a taste of the future,” including free meatless burgers. Also offered: a 12-issue subscription to the magazine for $12. [Rosslyn]

Bezos and Amazon Board in Town — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the Board of Directors of his $1 trillion company are in town for meetings and a much-anticipated speech at the Economic Club of Washington Thursday night. Some speculate the board is helping to evaluate the D.C. area as a possible location for Amazon’s second headquarters, while the company has denied rumors that Bezos will be making an HQ2-related announcement during his speech. [Washington Post]

AFAC Asks For More Cash — “The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) has announced a special appeal to its donors, volunteers and the public to raise $50,000 to offset the funds lost when the Arlington government reduced its support… In fiscal years 2017 and 2018, the county government provided $50,000 in addition to the base grant of $477,925 to address a spike in families needing food assistance. The additional funding was not included in the fiscal 2019 budget.” [InsideNova]

Iota Book in the Works — The co-owner of the late, lamented Iota Club is trying to raise money online to compile a book showcasing memorabilia from the former Clarendon music venue. More than $1,000 of a $90,000 goal has been raised so far. [GoFundMe]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Over the past 24 hours, as Hurricane Florence has gotten closer to a predicted landfall on the Carolina coast, the risk of major impacts here in the D.C. area have decreased.

Currently, it appears that rain is the main danger. The 2-4 inches currently predicted could be enough to cause flooding locally, as the region is already waterlogged from well above average rainfall, but is a far cry from the 6-20 inches of rain predicted for large parts of southern and central Virginia.

Though it looks like we’ll be spared the brunt of the storm, Arlington’s emergency management department is urging residents to be prepared for the worst nonetheless.

The agency released the following set of hurricane preparedness tips yesterday.

As the Hurricane Florence gets closer, there is an increasing risk of direct impacts to our region. The major concerns with this storm are rainfall amounts and wind speeds. Excessive rain may cause flooding and as the ground becomes more saturated, it will be easier for winds to knock over trees and take down power lines. Be prepared for power outages. Do not report power outages to 9-1-1, unless there is a life-threatening emergency. To report trees or wires down or flooded roadways, you can contact the non-emergency number at 703-558-2222. Remember: do not travel through flooded roadways. Turn around, don’t drown.

The Arlington County Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management is encouraging all residents to prepare now for Hurricane Florence. Do not wait until the day before. Here are some tips to get you and your family ready:

  • Be Informed: Stay aware of things going on by having multiple ways to get information and keep an eye on the forecast.
    • Log into your Arlington Alert account to update your information and sign up for weather and traffic alerts.
    • Follow Ready Arlington on Facebook and Twitter
  • Plan Ahead: Make an emergency plan, and discuss it with each family member.
    • Plan for possible evacuation.
      • Fill your gas tank in your car.
      • Have cash on hand. During power outages, ATMs and credit card machine will not work.
      • Use text and social media when able to get in touch with family members and plan for what to do if there is no phone service or internet.
      • Have names and phone numbers of family members, utilities, doctors/pharmacists, etc written down.
    • Prepare your home:
      • Clear gutters and downspouts of debris.
      • Trim trees and shrubbery.
      • Secure or bring inside any outdoor furniture or loose items.
      • If you have a generator remember to only run it outdoors.
      • Place a thermometer in your fridge and freezer in case of power outages. Any food that has reached 40 degrees or higher should be thrown out. If doors are kept closed, food in the fridge will be kept cold for about 4 hours, and the freezer for about 48 hours.
      • Turn off or disconnect appliances. If the power goes out, a momentary power surge can cause damage.
      • Move items in your basement off the floor in case of flooding.
      • Review your insurance policy.
  • Build a Kit: Get supplies together that you may need for your family for at least 3 days. Make sure to include the needs of pets.
    • Have food that is nonperishable that does not require power to make.
    • Ensure you have flashlights and check batteries. Do not use candles as they can be a fire hazard.
    • Keep cell phones charged. Consider an external charger.
    • Refill medication/first aid kits.
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In the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, a dozen Arlington County Police officers volunteered to head down to Puerto Rico and assist law enforcement on the island.

The officers first arrived in November and were greeted by grateful residents. They came back with unforgettable stories to tell of their service to the community.

Among those featured in the video above is Det. Rosa Ortiz, who grew up on Puerto Rico before moving to the United States in 1984.

More on ACPD’s efforts during the Puerto Rico recovery effort, via a police press release:

In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria, one of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes on record, roared through Puerto Rico. It completely destroyed the island’s power grid and caused catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities.

Some 1,560 miles away, the Arlington County Police Department answered the calls for help.

Twelve Arlington County Police officers volunteered to deploy to Puerto Rico, roughly a month after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean. ACPD’s officers deployed in three staggered teams between November 10 – December 18, 2017, and served the Puerto Rico community for 16 days each.

The officers directed traffic at critical intersections impacted by power outages, relieving this burden from the local officers, who could then focus on other law enforcement responsibilities. They made themselves a part of the community, offering support and comfort in desperate times. They selflessly served a community in need, and represented ACPD’s values of Duty, Honor and Commitment. But mostly, they wanted to help.

“I am proud that our officers are willing to dedicate their time to provide the citizens of Puerto Rico with an added sense of security in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Police Chief M. Jay Farr. “Our officers take an oath to serve and protect and their willingness to deploy shows their commitment and dedication, not just to the Arlington County community, but to citizens everywhere.”

The request for assistance came through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the national emergency management mutual aid system. Each of ACPD’s three teams provided traffic direction at the intersection of Route 66 and Route 3 in the town of Rio Grande, roughly 24 miles outside the capital city of San Jaun. Throughout their deployment, they served the Puerto Rico community, and were joined by other Virginia Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) teams from Prince William and Hampton, as well as teams from, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Florida, Houston and Montana.

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