Arlington, VA

Update at 6:40 p.m. — Power appears to have been restored to all Arlington and most Fairfax County customers, according to Dominion’s website, after an issue with a transmission line.

Earlier: More than 1,600 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington due to a widespread power outage.

The outage is affecting parts of Arlington County, Fairfax County and the City of Falls Church, according to Dominion. A cause was not given on the company’s website, but the restoration time was estimated as between 5-10 p.m.

The outage is affecting North Arlington neighborhoods, including areas around Jamestown Elementary, Yorktown High School and Bishop O’Connell High School.

Wide swaths of McLean, Pimmit Hills and West Falls Church are also affected in Fairfax County, where more than 26,000 Dominion customers are reported to be in the dark.

Arlington County police are responding to several intersections where the traffic signals are inoperable, for traffic control.

The outage comes amid wet and breezy conditions, as the remnants of Hurricane Zeta exit the area. A Dominion spokeswoman said via social media that the outages stem from an issue with a transmission line.

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Update at 9:10 p.m. — Power was briefly restored but is back off, according to a Dominion spokeswoman.

Earlier: About 3,700 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington as of 8 p.m. Friday night.

A massive outage is mostly affecting customers in Alexandria, but thousands in Arlington’s Crystal City, Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge and Fairlington neighborhoods are also in the dark.

Some have reported the power flickering.

Power restoration is currently estimated between 10 p.m.-1 a.m., according to Dominion’s website. The cause of the outage is a malfunctioning circuit at a substation, according to a company spokeswoman.

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Morning Notes

Dozens March for Racial Justice — “A group of about 100 people marched more than three miles on a hot August afternoon through Arlington demanding justice for victims of police brutality and calling on the county’s elected officials to bring police reform to the county.” [Patch]

Police Investigating More KKK Stickers — “Stickers that appear to promote the Ku Klux Klan have been found on traffic signs and utility boxes in Arlington over the past month, Arlington police said… They were found between July 2 and 28 in four locations, mostly in the Yorktown neighborhood, on the back of traffic signs and on a utility box.” [Washington Post]

Big Power Outage on Saturday — “A power outage in South Arlington has about 3,000 customers without power, according to Dominion Energy. The outage is affecting several neighborhoods between Columbia Pike and Interstate 395, including Arlington Mill, Columbia Forest, Douglas Park, and Nauck.” [WJLA]

Parents Rally Against School Plan — “All 12 school jurisdictions in the D.C. area have announced their intentions to start the 2020-2021 school year virtually, and not all parents are pleased with that decision. Vienna, Va. resident Jill Gartin rallied with other parents and students today at Arlington district headquarters to make their voices heard… ‘It’s been awful because I have five kids running on one wifi. It’s draining and the kids are miserable.'” [WJLA]

Ribbon Cutting for Vida — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony last week for Vida Fitness’ new Ballston location, its first outside of D.C. It’s only the second ribbon cutting pictured on the Chamber’s Instagram account (the first was Bowlero in Crystal City) since the pandemic started. [Instagram]

Meridian Pint Fighting for Survival — “As you all may have heard, there is a possibility we may have to permanently close our doors. With the effects of Covid-19 the restaurant industry is feeling an enormous impact, Meridian Pint is no exception. We did get a Payroll Protection Loan but those funds have since been fully depleted. We are asking for your help.” [Facebook]

Nearby: MoCo May Reinstate Restrictions — “COVID-19 cases have been increasing across the state while Montgomery County’s have plateaued to about 70 to 80 new cases a day. But now officials are considering whether to reinstate some restrictions to try to decrease the virus’s spread and reduce cases.” [Bethesda Magazine]

Yes, But Where’s *This* Story? — Wondering why something that happened over the weekend was not included in Morning notes? We may be planning to cover it later today. Or, if it’s something that we might not know about, you can tell us about it for potential future coverage.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Update at 7 p.m. — Outages in Arlington are now down to just over 3,000 power customers, according to Dominion’s website. Affected neighborhoods include Pentagon City, the Columbia Pike corridor near Penrose Square, the area around Wakefield High School, Lyon Park, Virginia Square, and Old Glebe.

Earlier: The worst of this afternoon’s severe storm has passed, leaving thousands without power in Arlington in its week.

While rain, lightning and thunder continues, the clean-up is getting underway. Dominion reported more than 10,600 customers without power in Arlington as of 4:30 p.m., with outages scattered throughout the county but concentrated in residential North Arlington.

The storm packed strong winds, with Reagan National Airport recording a 58 mile per hour gust.

Police and firefighters are responding to numerous reports of downed trees and wires, as well as sparking electrical transformers, including at:

  • 13th Street S. in the Douglas Park neighborhood
  • N. Utah Street in Waverly Hills
  • N. Irving Street near Clarendon
  • N. Manchester Street near Wilson Blvd
  • S. Utah Street in Fairlington

The power outages have also resulted in a number of calls for stuck elevators, including in Pentagon City. Multiple people are stuck in elevators in parts of the county, according to scanner traffic.

Among those currently without power: Rocklands BBQ in Virginia Square.

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About 1,750 Dominion customers are without power on a steamy July afternoon due to an outage in the East Falls Church area.

Dominion lists the reason for the outage as an “equipment problem” and estimates restoration between 7-10 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

Portions of the East Falls Church neighborhood, as well as some neighborhoods to the east along Lee Highway, are currently affected as of 4:30 p.m.

Update at 5:15 p.m. — The number of homes and businesses without power is now down to less than 250.

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(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) Last night’s intense thunderstorms knocked out power to hundreds of homes across Arlington and darkened traffic signals at some key intersections.

The early morning storms packed torrential rain and strong winds that brought down tree branches, and frequent lightning and thunder that woke many up from their slumbers.

A Flash Flood Warning for Arlington was issued in the midst of the storms, and some local flooding was reported. Route 50 was closed at Glebe Road due to high standing water, and Four Mile Run rose 6.5 feet in 40 minutes, overtopping its north bank, according to the National Weather Service.

In Arlington, nearly 750 Dominion customers were still reported to be without power as of 7 a.m. The outages were scattered, with the larger clusters around Shirlington, Fairlington, Douglas Park and Cherrydale.

Among the intersections with traffic signals reported to be dark is the busy five-points intersection in Cherrydale.

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Morning Notes

Amazon Nears Thousandth HQ2 Hire — “Even amid the region’s economic shutdown, Amazon has still been staffing up its HQ2 offices in Arlington, quickly approaching its 1,000th hire at the second headquarters campus, said Brian Kenner, head of HQ2 policy. ‘We’ve been very happy with the caliber of candidates,’ Kenner said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Pandemic Making Single-Family Homes Pricier — “Could the bloom be off the rose when it comes to urban (or urban-village) living? Figures are preliminary at best, but there is some inkling that the COVID-19 pandemic may be changing patterns among home-buyers. ‘Relatively better performance of single-family homes in relation to multi-family condominium properties clearly suggest migration from the city centers to the suburbs,’ said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association Realtors, in parsing sales data from May.” [InsideNova]

New Arlington Poet Laureate — “Award-winning poet and Marymount University professor Holly Karapetkova has been selected as the second Poet Laureate of Arlington County. During her two-year appointment, which begins July 1, 2020, she will serve as an advocate for poetry and the literary arts, working to raise Arlingtonians’ consciousness and appreciation of poetry in its written and spoken forms.” [Arlington County]

Snubbed Business Owners Speak Out — “ASAP Screen Printing is a small business. Yet the Arlington County government did not find the company small enough to deserve assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead providing grants to the likes of” hotels and franchisees of chain restaurants like Subway and Jimmy John’s, writes ASAP owner Mohammad Shiekhy. [InsideNova]

Toppled Tree Knocks Out Power to Neighborhood — A large tree fell, took down utility lines, and knocked out power to more than 100 homes in North Arlington’s Bellevue Forest neighborhood last night. [Twitter]

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(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Homes and businesses in several north Arlington neighborhoods were without power late Wednesday afternoon.

The outages, roughly centered around Virginia Hospital Center, were reported after the fire department was dispatched to the intersection of N. George Mason Drive and Washington Blvd for a report of a utility pole on fire.

As of 4:30 p.m., Dominion was now reporting about 1,775 customers without electricity as a result of the outage, which extended from the Yorktown neighborhood to the north to the Bluemont neighborhood in the south.

A similar pole fire prompted a fire department response in the Penrose neighborhood on Monday, as seen below.

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The arrival of cold temperatures was preceded by a line of rain showers packing gusty winds that knocked out power to part of Arlington.

Portions of residential North Arlington along Lee Highway — including the Cherrydale, Waverly Hills and Donaldson Run neighborhoods — are without power as of 8:30 p.m. In all, Dominion is reporting 1,641 customers in the dark.

Video posted to social media shows dark clouds and rain arriving, as flashes from transformers can be seen in the background.

Traffic backups are being reported at the now-dark “five points” intersection on Lee Highway in Cherrydale. Police have also been dispatched to assist with traffic control on N. Quincy Street at 20th Street N., where downed utility lines have been reported.

Mother Nature, meanwhile, is not done with us yet. High winds and near-freezing temperatures are expected Saturday. From the National Weather Service:

STRONG WINDS ARE EXPECTED SATURDAY. A WIND ADVISORY MAY BE NECESSARY AS WINDS COULD GUST TO 50 MPH.

A FREEZE WATCH IS IN EFFECT SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY MORNING FOR PORTIONS OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

More on the storm and the power outages via social media:

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(Updated at 3 p.m.) A portion of Old Dominion Drive is closed after a large free fell and landed on a passing car.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. just east of the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and N. Thomas Street, near Dorothy Hamm Middle School and The Horizons Apartments.

The tree fell on a car heading eastbound on Old Dominion Drive, crushing most of the frontend. The driver, who suffered minor cuts and some chest pain, told ARLnow that he did not notice the tree falling until it was too late.

“It was very shocking,” said the driver, Michael. “If I did not have my seatbelt on, we would not be talking right now.”

As of 2 p.m. the road was still closed in both directions, as VDOT crews with chainsaws, a front loader and dump trucks were working to clear the large tree from the roadway. Police are also on scene, helping to direct traffic.

Elsewhere in Arlington, there have been numerous reports of downed trees, branches and wires amid today’s gusty winds.

A tree that fell this morning near the intersection of 23rd Street S. and S. Dinwiddie Street, near Wakefield High School, closed the road and knocked out power to the neighborhood. As of 2 p.m. Dominion’s website reported 124 customers in the area were still without power, with no estimated restoration time.

A Wind Advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m.

Map via Google Maps

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Yorktown High School students are enjoying a three-day weekend thanks to a power issue at the school.

An internal breaker blew, shutting off power to most of the building, according to Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia. APS is awaiting delivery of a part to fix the issue, and expects power to be restored by this afternoon.

The school is expected to be back open on Monday, before closing again to students for the Super Tuesday primary. (The school serves as a polling place for the Yorktown precinct.)

Yorktown’s athletics department says all sports practices and tryouts will proceed as normal today.

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