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Morning Notes

Pastel colors in the skies over the National Mall during peak bloom weekend, as seen from Arlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Traffic Restricted on Deteriorating Bridge — “As a result of a bridge inspection today, Friday, March 25, engineers closed the existing southbound lane of the West Glebe Bridge between Arlington and Alexandria due to further degradation of structural beams.  The northbound lane of the bridge over South Four Mile Run will remain open, making the bridge one-way to traffic and requiring a detour for southbound automobiles. The bridge’s maximum load rating of 5 tons will remain in place with a critical need for heavier vehicles – primarily buses and dump trucks — to comply for public safety.” [Arlington County]

Graupel Covers Fields, Prompts Tweets — An ice pellet downpour covered the ground in parts of Arlington on Saturday afternoon: “Well that was wild… heavy downpour rain and graupel swept through near Clarendon.” [Twitter, Twitter]

The Story Behind the Pentagon Chicken — “The Pentagon Building Operations Command Center initially considered using on-staff pest control to capture the chicken. But the pest control staff wasn’t scheduled to come on duty for another hour. The Building Operations Command Center, or BOCC, then came up with the idea to contact the emergency number at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.” [Patch]

Bullying Incident at Middle School — “After a bullying incident involving her 6th grade son with autism, an Arlington mother asked the school board Thursday night to do more to create an environment where such incidents don’t happen to any child. On Friday both mother Kathleen Clark and her son Colton described what happened to 7 News, and Kathleen talked about changes she hopes Arlington Public Schools makes to help children better know how to relate to others who are different from them in some way.” [WJLA]

Seventh Grade Hoops Team Goes Undefeated — “An Arlington Travel Basketball girls teams capped an undefeated 16-0 season in the Fairfax County Youth Basketball League with victories in postseason tournament-championship games. The seventh-grade girls squad, coached by John Lomas, won the Division I championship game, 51-42, over Lee-Mount Vernon.” [Sun Gazette]

Lease Above Courthouse Metro Extended — “Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc. (CNI) extends federal services division office lease in Arlington, VA. Represented by Edward Saa and Timothy Jacobs, CNI Federal experienced explosive growth in the 2020-2021 government fiscal year in awarded contracts necessitating a 10,000-SF office presence to service customers.” [Press Release]

More Afternoon ART Buses — “More of a good thing: Midday frequency gets a boost for ART 52 and 75 bus weekday routes starting Monday.” [Twitter]

Nearby: Stabbing in Seven Corners — “Fairfax County police officers arrested and charged a 21-year-old Falls Church man after two men were stabbed just before 2 p.m. yesterday (Thursday). Police were called to Seven Corners at Arlington Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive for an assault and determined a man was involved in two separate assaults that escalated when he stabbed both men, police said.” [FFXnow]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 37 and low of 28. Sunrise at 7:00 am and sunset at 7:29 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Pentagon City Plan Passes Unanimously — “The Arlington County Board adopted a new vision for a vibrant and livable Pentagon City, following an 18-month planning process. The Board voted 5-0 to approve the Pentagon City Sector Plan (PCSP) and its associated Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance amendments.” More than 110 people spoke at the Board’s meeting on Saturday, many of them opposed to a portion of the plan that would allow a significant increase in density on the RiverHouse property. [Arlington County]

Second HQ2 Phase Advancing — “PenPlace, the 3.2 million-square-foot second phase of Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters, has earned the key support of Arlington County staff as it heads into its final stretch of reviews. During the last Site Plan Review Committee meeting Thursday, Peter Schulz, a staffer with the Arlington planning division, said ‘staff has no major outstanding issues’ with regard to PenPlace’s architecture and landscape design.” [Washington Business Journal]

Chipotle Lists Clarendon Location on Website — Despite denying plans to open a Clarendon location, Chipotle has now listed the soon-to-open location at 3017 Clarendon Blvd on its website. [Chipotle]

Cookie Purveyor Coming to Courthouse — “Captain Cookie & The Milkman is opening across the river for the first time as a part of the local treat-yourself brand’s ongoing regional expansion. The shop should open at 2200 Clarendon Blvd. in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood this spring. The space was most recently a GNC. “It’s just a calcium supplement store now,” co-owner Kirk Francis jokes. The menu spans eight flavors of cookies that are baked on site, local milk from South Mountain Creamery, and Ice Cream Jubilee ice cream.” [Washington City Paper]

Metro Reducing Delays on Local Lines — “Additional weekday service improvements will start Monday, February 14, with customers seeing more trains, more often on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines, at least every 20 minutes. The change expands on earlier service improvements to the Red (every 12 minutes), Green and Yellow lines (every 20 minutes).” [WMATA]

Arlington Company Admits PPP Fraud — “Zen Solutions Inc., located in Arlington, Virginia, has agreed to pay approximately $31,000 in damages and civil penalties to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by obtaining more than one Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in 2020. Zen Solutions also agreed to repay the duplicative PPP loan in full to its lender, relieving the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) of liability to the lender for the federal guaranty of approximately $192,000 on the improper loan.” [U.S. Attorney’s Office]

Vehicle Flips Along Washington Blvd — From Dave Statter on Saturday night: “Crash with a vehicle overturned at Washington Blvd & Brookside Dr (betw Rt 50 & Pershing).” [Twitter]

Icy Conditions Possible This Morning — From Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “Road surface temperatures above freezing have meant no deployment of salt with today’s winter weather event. But be prepared for possible slick spots overnight into the morning. Crews will be on the lookout.” [Twitter]

It’s Valentine’s Day — Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 33 and wind gusts up to 21 mph. Sunrise at 6:59 a.m. and sunset at 5:45 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny, with a high near 41. [Weather.gov]

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A sign cautions visitors to icy conditions at Long Bridge Park and Aquatic Center (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Forecasters are warning of possible ice issues Tuesday morning.

After a rainy Monday, temperatures are expected to drop below freezing overnight. That could cause icy spots and hazardous driving conditions.

More from the National Weather Service:

836 PM EST Mon Feb 7 2022

…Icy Spots Possible into Tuesday Morning…

Temperatures will drop below freezing after the precipitation ends tonight across portions of northern and central Virginia. This may cause wet surfaces to freeze, causing the possibility of icy spots into Tuesday morning. Anyone travelling overnight into Tuesday morning should allow extra time to get to their destinations.

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Ice on tree branches (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Update at 3:10 p.m. — The ice threat has diminished, according to the National Weather Service:

…WINTER COMMUTING HAZARD STATEMENT IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT…

The threat of accumulating ice from light freezing rain and freezing drizzle has diminished and dry conditions are expected for the Monday morning commute.

Earlier: Forecasters are giving the D.C. area a heads up that Monday morning’s commute could be a doozy.

While odds are it will just be overcast and cold, there’s also a 30% chance of freezing drizzle, which would make roads very slippery and lead to crashes and significant disruptions.

Local residents are being advised to monitor the forecast and the weather conditions before heading out in the morning.

More from the National Weather Service:

…POTENTIAL WINTER COMMUTING HAZARD FOR THE BALTIMORE / WASHINGTON METRO AREAS MONDAY MORNING…

There is a potential for hazardous commuting conditions for the Monday morning commute. A period of freezing drizzle is POSSIBLE (a 30 percent chance) Monday morning across the Baltimore / Washington metro areas, primarily east of Interstate 95, with a light glaze possible on area roads.

If this threat does materialize during the Monday morning rush- hour, many roads could quickly turn icy. This could lead to dangerous traveling conditions, multiple accidents, and extensive delays.

If commuting Monday morning, be aware of the POSSIBILITY of significant travel disruptions. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time, and consider using public transportation and telework options.

Stay tuned for updates on this potential winter weather episode.

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Morning Notes

Snowvid-19, at Westover Baptist Church (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Icy Conditions Possible This Morning — “The risk of dangerous driving conditions will continue Monday morning — after freezing rain coated parts of the D.C. region Sunday — with the potential for wet roads to refreeze overnight.” [WTOP, Twitter]

Mail Delivery Complaints in 22207 — The local Nextdoor social network was abuzz last week with mail delivery complaints from residents of northern Arlington neighborhoods, specifically in the 22207 zip code. Amid snowstorms and a Covid wave, residents reported not receiving any mail for several days. A spokesman for Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tells ARLnow that the congressman’s office “had a call with USPS” on Thursday. “Rep. Beyer is working on getting answers on why this is happening (snow is a factor but it seems like many of the issues preceded the storm) and trying to get it fixed,” the spokesman wrote.

Citizen Police Academy Applications Open — “The Arlington County Police Department is now accepting applications for the 26th Community Police Academy (CPA), formerly the Citizen’s Police Academy. The CPA is an educational program designed to create better understanding and communication between police and the community they serve. The intent of the CPA is to make participants aware of how the Arlington County Police Department operates and its role in the community.” [ACPD]

It’s Monday — Today will be sunny, with a high near 34. Northwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Sunrise at 7:27 a.m. and sunset at 5:05 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny and chilly, with a high near 28 and a northwest wind 6 to 11 mph. [Weather.gov]

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A crew shovels snow in Clarendon (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

If you have a sidewalk on your property, you now have less than 12 hours to clear away the snow and ice from it.

Arlington’s snow removal ordinance, approved in 2010, gives owners 36 hours to shovel public sidewalks adjacent to their property after a storm with more than six inches of snow accumulation.

According to the county website, that means the deadline is 2 a.m. tonight.

“A recent weather event has concluded and deposited snow/ice accumulations of more than 6 inches,” the county says. “Arlington’s sidewalk snow removal ordinance requires residents and businesses to clear adjacent public sidewalks of snow and ice by 2:00 A.M. on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.”

Those cleared sidewalks — and roads — could be icy by tomorrow morning, however. A period of light freezing rain is possible overnight, forecasters say.

From the National Weather Service:

244 PM EST Tue Jan 4 2022

…POTENTIAL WINTER COMMUTING HAZARD FOR THE BALTIMORE / WASHINGTON METRO AREAS WEDNESDAY MORNING…

There is a potential for hazardous commuting conditions for the Wednesday morning commute. A period of light freezing rain is POSSIBLE (a 30 to 50 percent chance) Wednesday morning across the Baltimore / Washington metro areas with a light glaze of ice possible on area roads.

If this threat does materialize during the Wednesday morning rush-hour, many roads could quickly turn icy. This could lead to dangerous traveling conditions, multiple accidents, and extensive delays.

If commuting Wednesday morning, be aware of the POSSIBILITY of significant travel disruptions. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time, and consider using public transportation and telework options.

Stay tuned for updates on this potential winter weather episode.

The freezing rain threat is greatest east of I-95, however, and Arlington was not included in a just-issued Winter Weather Advisory.

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Looking down Lynn Street in Rosslyn toward Georgetown, in the snow (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 10 a.m.) A frigid night is on tap and the refreezing of melting snow could make roads and sidewalks extra slippery.

The National Weather Service on Monday issued a Special Weather Statement about the ice concerns overnight:

…Icy Patches Likely Overnight Into Tuesday Morning… Falling temperatures and water from melted snow will result in patchy ice on area roads overnight into early Tuesday. This will be especially problematic on untreated roadways. Motorists should exercise extra caution overnight into early Tuesday, and assume that any surfaces which look wet or slushy may in fact be icy.

Adding to the driving danger in Arlington: many neighborhood roads have yet to be touched by a snow plow. As of Monday night, the county remained in “Phase 2” of its snow removal plan, during which crews focus on primary and secondary roads only.

Arlington snow plow map as of 10:15 p.m. The roads in red have not yet been plowed. (via Arlington County)

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says that crews will “work throughout the night to clear roadways,” but the county said Monday night what some had suspected: that Covid has reduced snow plow staffing.

“The County’s snow removal is currently impacted by COVID-19 related staffing shortages,” the county said. “Roads are being cleared as quickly and safely as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Monday’s winter storm was one for the record books.

The 6.9 inches of accumulation recorded at Reagan National Airport is a new official D.C. record for Jan. 3 and the first major snowfall event in about three years. In Arlington, storm spotters reported between 6.5 and 9.2 inches of snow, with higher amounts generally to the south.

The storm’s impact will be felt Tuesday and perhaps beyond.

As previously reported, Arlington Public Schools will be closed while trash collection has been cancelled for both Monday and Tuesday. Additionally, Arlington County government offices, recreation centers, vaccination clinics, and — as of Tuesday morning — Covid testing booths will be closed on Tuesday.

The federal government will be opening on a three hour delay on Tuesday, the Office of Personnel Management said tonight.

While unnecessary travel is being discouraged, particularly overnight, limited bus service is now available.

After being suspended for most of the day, some Metrobus service started a gradual return as of 6 p.m. ART bus service in Arlington is currently expected to be restored at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

It’s going to be a cold night, meanwhile, for more than a thousand households around Arlington.

As of 10:30 p.m., 1,240 homes and businesses were without power in Arlington, according to Dominion. It could be days before the outages, scattered across the county, are fully resolved.

“Please prepare for the possibility of being without power for multiple days,” power company spokeswoman Peggy Fox said tonight. “This is a multi-day restoration effort.”

Dominion reported more than 90,000 customers without power across Northern Virginia — and even more statewide — Monday night.

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Ice and snow has prompted another day without residential waste collection in Arlington, and that will have a ripple effect for residents next week.

“Due to icy road conditions and crew safety concerns, there will be no trash/recycling/yard waste curbside collection today,” Arlington County said this morning.

As a result of the delays, the trash collection schedule for next week will shift back by a day.

“Thursday’s route will now be completed on Saturday, 2/20,” the county said. “Friday’s route will be completed on Monday, 2/22, which will shift next week’s collection schedule by one day next week… Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

The county’s collection service serves mostly single-family homes; apartments and condos are served by private haulers.

Table via Arlington County

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Morning Notes

Distance Learning Only for APS — “Due to inclement weather… Level 1, in-person learning support, Level 2 Career & Technical Education students and staff supporting these programs will temporarily revert to distance learning.” [Arlington Public Schools]

County Government Open — “Arlington County Government offices, courts, & facilities are OPEN Friday, 02-19-2021. Courts will open at 10AM. All facilities will follow normal operating hours.” [Twitter]

Be Careful Out There — “Northern Virginia crews continue to clear and treat roads overnight, for both some additional wintry precipitation as well as refreeze from low temperatures. Drivers are asked to continue to limit travel if possible, or to use extreme caution and be aware of the potential for slick pavement, even where surfaces appear clear or were previously treated.” [VDOT]

Doses May Be Delayed — “Virginia is seeing delays in this week’s vaccine shipments due to severe winter weather in the Mid-Atlantic region and across the country. The Virginia Department of Health says the state will likely see a delay in the delivery of approximately 106,800 doses, due to distribution channels in the Midwest and elsewhere that are currently shut down.” [InsideNova]

Architectural Review of HQ2 Phase 2 — ” It very intentionally does not look like anything else in Pentagon City or Crystal City, or anywhere else in the region. The style, a populist, jazzy take on high-tech modernism, isn’t aimed at architecture critics, but at the public, which shows remarkable forbearance to the predations of large corporations so long as they have a reputation for being innovative and forward thinking.” [Washington Post]

County Board Members Endorse Candidate — “Alexandria City Council member Elizabeth Bennett-Parker has picked up the endorsement of two Arlington County Board members in her quest for the 45th District House of Delegates seat. Board members Libby Garvey and Katie Cristol endorsed the candidacy.” [InsideNova]

New Spanish Publication on the Pike — “As part of its increased business support efforts, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) has launched a new publication dedicated to supporting the area’s Hispanic business community. The publication, Boletín, is a small booklet of resources and information specific to those Spanish speaking businesses serving Columbia Pike’s residents.” [CPRO]

Arlington Man Arrested for Armed Robberies — “An Arlington man was arrested last night and is facing charges in connection with a series of recent armed robberies. Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau determined that in three of the four robberies, the suspect approached the victim, displayed a firearm and took their personal property. In the other case, the suspect took a victim’s purse by force.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

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Yesterday’s Winter Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning.

The winter storm that has been causing major problems in Texas and the central U.S. is making its way towards the D.C. area on its march up to New England. It’s expected to drop 3-6 inches of snow on Arlington and the immediate D.C. area before the precipitation switches to sleet and freezing rain.

The ice accumulation could cause dangerous road conditions and power outages, forecasters and local officials warn.

“With heavy snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice in the forecast for Northern Virginia on Thursday and Friday, significant road impacts are expected,” the Virginia Dept. of Transportation said today. “While VDOT crews prepare to deploy, residents are asked to closely monitor weather updates and plan ahead to avoid nonessential travel tomorrow and Friday.”

“Crews will finish pre-treating about 2,000 lane miles of interstates and primary routes in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties today,” VDOT added. “Drivers are asked to be alert to brine tankers and to give them room, as they move slowly to spray the salt water solution on the pavement. Pretreatment will help prevent ice from bonding to assist crews with snow and ice removal at the storm’s onset.”

Arlington County crews are also currently pretreating local roadways.

A Winter Storm Warning was issued for the region this morning. More from the National Weather Service:

1024 AM EST WED FEB 17 2021

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM THURSDAY TO 6 AM EST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW ALONG WITH SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS AROUND 3 TO 6 INCHES WITH ICE ACCUMULATION AROUND ONE TENTH TO ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH.

* WHERE…THE WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS.

* WHEN…FROM 3 AM THURSDAY TO 6 AM EST FRIDAY. SNOW WILL BEGIN BETWEEN 3 AND 5 AM. SNOW WILL CHANGE TO A MIXTURE OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN DURING THE LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON HOURS.

* IMPACTS…POWER OUTAGES AND TREE DAMAGE ARE LIKELY DUE TO THE ICE. TRAVEL COULD BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…SNOW THURSDAY MORNING WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES WITH SNOWFALL RATES AROUND 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR POSSIBLE ALONG WITH VISIBILITY REDUCED TO AROUND ONE-QUARTER MILE AT TIME.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD, AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY.

File photo

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(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Authorities are urging Arlington residents and others in the D.C. area to stay home today amid an extended bout of freezing rain.

Sidewalks and many roads are reported to be very slick. The ice is expected to build as the day goes on.

County and VDOT crews are out spreading salt, but even treated surfaces can become icy as rain falls amid sub-freezing surface temperatures. At least two bridges in the Courthouse area were closed due to slick conditions.

“Due to icy conditions the 10th Street bridge and Courthouse Rd bridge of Route 50 have been closed,” an Arlington Alert said at 9:30 a.m.

The earlier Winter Weather Advisory was upgraded to an Ice Storm Warning as of 2 p.m. Saturday. As of 3 p.m., the National Weather Service reported more than a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation in Arlington.

More from NWS:

156 PM EST SAT FEB 13 2021

…ICE STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST SUNDAY…

* WHAT…TWO TO THREE TENTHS OF AN INCH OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN CAUSING SIGNIFICANT ICING IMPACTS.

* WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

* WHEN…UNTIL 7 AM EST SUNDAY.

* IMPACTS…DIFFICULT TRAVEL CONDITIONS.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…ROADWAYS ARE BECOMING VERY ICY AND DANGEROUS. AVOID ALL UNNECESSARY TRAVEL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TRAVEL IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. PREPARE FOR POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES.

WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY.

In an email earlier this morning, VDOT said those who absolutely must travel should “use extreme caution.”

Significant icing is anticipated with the next wave of inclement weather. With prolonged freezing rain and low pavement temperatures expected through the day Saturday, VDOT strongly advises against nonessential travel. Those who must drive should closely monitor weather and road conditions, and use extreme caution. Even on treated roads, slick pavement will be possible. […]

Crews have positioned materials and equipment, and will apply treatment such as sand and salt as needed to icy patches and trouble spots to improve traction. Tree crews are ready to trim and remove branches weighed down or broken by ice, and to support utility companies on potential downed or entangled lines.

Numerous crashes have been reported around Arlington since this morning, including on treated roads. Virginia State Police say the VSP division that serves Arlington and other parts of Northern Virginia has responded to 83 crashes and 29 disabled vehicles as of 4 p.m.

“Virginia State Police continues to discourage Virginians from driving through Sunday (Feb. 14) due to extremely icy and treacherous conditions across much of Central, Southeastern and Northern Virginia,” a spokeswoman said via email.

More from social media:

https://twitter.com/jenkochan/status/1360593888415797254

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