(Updated at 9:15 p.m.) Thousands were without power in and around Crystal City and Pentagon City for much of the day due to a widespread outage.
The outage was first reported just after 11:15 a.m. Arlington County firefighters investigated a possible underground explosion and treated a Dominion worker with burns from steam that came out of a manhole, according to scanner traffic.
“At 11:18 a.m. a splice in an underground cable failed causing an arc/flash and 10,000+ outages in Crystal City, Pentagon City & nearby neighborhoods,” Dominion spokeswoman Peggy Fox told ARLnow shortly before 4 p.m. “We’re working to have all customers restored as quickly as possible, hopefully in a half an hour. A worker was treated at the scene and released.”
ACFD also responded to a large quantity of stuck elevator calls in the area, owing to the outage.
More than 10,250 Dominion customers were without power as a result of the outage. The outage map extended into the Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge residential neighborhoods, including Oakridge Elementary.
Arlington’s parks department closed the Long Bridge Aquatic and Fitness Center and the Gunston Community Center due to the outage.
As of 5:15 p.m., Dominion said all but 1,229 customers had their power restored, with outages still reported along Crystal Drive by ARLnow readers. As of 9 p.m. all customers had been restored, per Dominion.
Transformer blew on 15th st pic.twitter.com/TUBEKFx8RW
— Rachid Maalouf (@MaaloufRachid) August 22, 2023
Can confirm, I’ve never seen so many people out on the sidewalk as all homes and businesses have lost power! https://t.co/yFeHtFooAb
— James Gethyn Evans (@jagevans) August 22, 2023
Yup. It's chaos here right now. https://t.co/CBZSZVrBdf
— Alex Matsuo 👻🏳️🌈 (@TheSpookyStuff) August 22, 2023
After big storms, many of the same questions are asked: namely, why don’t we just bury power lines?
Surely the expense of constantly fixing power lines downed by falling trees, branches and the occasional crash — both in terms of the repairs themselves, lost productivity, etc. — cannot be far off from the cost of just moving them underground?
As our exploration of the topic last week found, however, it’s not quite that simple. It would cost tens of billions of dollars to bury lines across the state, and previous looks at the question specifically in Arlington also concluded that it’s infeasible from both a cost and a permissions perspective — getting everyone to agree to let the power company dig up their yards.
Instead, Dominion and local governments have been conducting more targeted undergroundings, along high-density corridors like Columbia Pike and in places where storm damage is more frequent. That has cut the power restoration time after big storms, a Dominion spokeswoman told us, but outages will remain a fact of life as long as there are storms and trees.
Of course, there are likely those that would argue that with climate change whipping up fiercer storms, burying more lines should be more seriously considered.
Where do you stand?
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) The herculean effort to clean up from Saturday’s storms and restore power to tens of thousands is continuing Monday morning.
The GW Parkway remains closed to most traffic between Spout Run Parkway and the Beltway — and is expected to remain closed until later this week, as crews work to clear a large number of downed trees and branches.
The southbound lanes of Spout Run Parkway, where at least one car was damaged by a fallen tree Saturday, also remain closed.
From a press release issued Monday afternoon:
The George Washington Memorial Parkway is currently experiencing closures due to the aftermath of Saturday’s storm. Crews are diligently working to clear fallen trees from the roadway, and these closures are expected to last for the next few days.
To enhance and expedite the restoration process, George Washington Memorial Parkway has deployed a total of five crews, including its own team, assistance from the National Capital Parks-East (NACE), and three additional emergency contracting crews.
The North Parkway, from Spout Run Parkway to I-495, remains closed, except for the northbound lanes from Route 123 to I-495. Additionally, the southbound lanes of the Spout Run Parkway are also closed.
These closures are necessary to ensure the removal of hazardous trees, including those that have fallen across the roadway and broken limbs that pose a risk to travel lanes. The recovery work is estimated to be completed within three to four days.
Round-the-clock power restoration work whittled down the peak of more than 34,000 without electricity in Arlington — half that of the 2012 derecho — to 3,154 as of 11:15 a.m. Monday, according to Dominion’s website.
The remaining small outages are scattered throughout the county, though most are concentrated in north-central Arlington — between Route 50 and Langston Blvd — including the Orange Line corridor, which was particularly hard hit.
Throughout Northern Virginia, 4,732 Dominion customers remained in the dark this morning, according to the power company. Crews have been working long shifts and overnight to restore power, with much of that effort happening in Arlington.
As of 4 p.m., the outages were down to 2,029 in Arlington and 2,338 throughout Northern Virginia.
So what’s @DominionEnergy doing to get the power back on?
Steve explains much better than me… pic.twitter.com/jDrJfiwOur
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) July 30, 2023
More storm stories are emerging as the cleanup continues.
In Courthouse, a heavy metal table was blown off a condo patio during the storm’s intense winds and is now stuck high in a tree, above a sidewalk.
“The tree is right across the street from the entrance of the Palatine apartment building,” a tipster told ARLnow on Sunday. By Monday morning, however, the table had been removed by a tree maintenance crew, the tipster said.
Trees came down throughout Arlington, taking down utility lines, blocking roads, and in at least eight known cases falling onto houses. One unlucky family was on their way to Walt Disney World in Orlando when a huge tree smashed into their stately brick house near Lacey Woods Park, we’re told.
For those on the go, it’s not just drivers who have to deal with fallen trees and other debris. A trail cleanup is planned for 5:30 p.m. today on the Mount Vernon Trail near Rosslyn, which “got hit particularly hard,” according to a social media post.
The MVT got hit hard yesterday particularly near @rosslynva. Join us for a post storm cleanup at the southern end of Trollheim Bridge/Bridge 31. We will be removing branches and debris.
— Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail (@MtVernonFriends) July 30, 2023
Additionally, numerous trees are reported to be down on the Custis Trail and at least one park is closed due to storm damage.
“Rocky Run Park is closed for maintenance due to damages caused by the July 29 storms,” said Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation. “Please do not go onto the park grounds.”
Arlington National Cemetery, meanwhile, is also closed today except for funerals amid widespread tree damage at the nation’s most hallowed ground.
⚠️UPDATE: ANC closed to visitors and pass holders on Monday, July 31 ⚠️
Funerals will still be conducted as scheduled and open to attendees.
Our crew needs a little more time to return ANC to its proper condition before we welcome visitors. We apologize for the inconvenience. pic.twitter.com/3uPTMDjLI5
— Arlington National Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) July 30, 2023
More storm damage photos from social media, below.
Following the July 29 storms, there are many downed trees on the County’s trails (like these images from the Custis Trail). We appreciate your patience as crews work to survey and address these areas. Please use caution when using the trails as cleanup will take some time. pic.twitter.com/s8WXxxYIPU
— ARL VA Parks & Rec (@arlparksrec) July 30, 2023
— Elizabeth Hartig Schneider (@Beth867_539) July 30, 2023
— Claudia Bermudez Buttine (@LoBer81) July 30, 2023
— Kymberly Escobar (@kymesco) July 30, 2023
— HennaThis (@HennaThis) July 30, 2023
Update at 11:20 a.m. on 7/31/23 — The number of outages in Arlington is down to 3,154. The GW Parkway remains closed.
Update at 9 a.m. on 7/30/23 — More than 20,000 Dominion customers are still without power as of Sunday morning.
(Updated at 8:30 p.m.) Tens of thousands are without power in Arlington after severe storms ripped through the county Saturday evening.
As of 6 p.m. Dominion was reporting 34,068 customers without power in Arlington alone and more than 83,000 across Northern Virginia. The outages were still above 28,000 as of 8 p.m., suggesting many may remain in the dark overnight.
The peak outage figure from today’s storm is about half that of the 2012 derecho.
The storm damage is widespread and includes numerous trees and power lines down across the county. Significant damage was reported along the Orange Line corridor — Virginia Square, Clarendon to Courthouse, and Rosslyn — including fencing blown over, street lights topped, trees and branches down, and construction debris scattered.
The intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Highland Street in Clarendon was being completely blocked as of 8 p.m. due to window panes that blew out of a building during the storm. A photo sent to ARLnow showed a shattered window pane that fell onto a parked car.
Numerous roads were blocked or impeded after the storm, including some major routes like I-66 and the GW Parkway.
“Numerous trees and large branches blew down blocking eastbound [I-66]” near Rosslyn, according to the National Weather Service; the lanes reportedly reopened around 6:30 p.m. U.S. Park Police is also reporting the GW Parkway blocked near Spout Run due to trees down. Heavy traffic is still reported on both routes as of 6:45 p.m.
Both directions of Spout Run are blocked due to trees down, including one said to be down on a vehicle near Lorcom Lane, per scanner traffic.
ART buses were delayed due to the storm damaged, according to Arlington Transit.
Trees are down on at least eight houses, including one on the unit block of S. Fillmore Street, where people were reported to be trapped. They have since been reported to be out and safe. Other trees were reported down on houses on the 900 block of N. Cleveland Street, the 5200 block of 11th Road N. and the 3000 block of 17th Road S., as well as in yards, on fences, and across neighborhood streets.
A number of structure fires were also reported, mostly due to downed wires or lightning strikes.
Just after the storm passed a house was on fire in the Barcroft neighborhood, near the intersection of S. Pershing Drive and 2nd Street S. Another residential structure fire was reported on the 4900 block of 7th Road S. As of 6:10 p.m., Arlington County firefighters were responding to a report of a tree down on a house and power lines sparking on top of the roof, on the 2900 block of 22nd Street N. in Maywood.
Additionally, the fire department responded to several calls of smoke inside of homes and other buildings, as well as calls for stuck elevators as a result of power outages.
Arlington fire department resources are maxed out, according to scanner traffic. Authorities are asking residents not to call 911 except in the event of an emergency due to the high volume of calls.
ACFD and regional partners are experiencing a significant increase in call volume. Emergency incidents will be addressed based on their priority level and available resources. Expect response times to be delayed. pic.twitter.com/LXp9CfhFQS
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) July 29, 2023
Among the other reports of storm damage in Arlington:
- 23rd Street S. and S. Hayes Street: 23rd Street S. blocked by downed trees and utility lines
- N. Illinois Street and Washington Blvd: Numerous trees down, including one that fell into a house
- 19th Street N. and N. Nelson Street: Trees down blocking street
- N. Kirkwood Road south of Langston Blvd: Trees down blocking street
- 19th Street N. and N. Nelson Street: Trees down
- S. Woodrow Street and 2nd Street S.: Trees and wires down
- Rosslyn (various locations): Fences blown down and construction debris scattered
- Wilson Blvd and N. Lexington Street: Tree and utility lines down
- N. Lexington Street and 8th Road N.: Utility lines down
- N. Garfield Street and Clarendon Blvd: Utilities line down blocking road
- Gulf Branch Nature Center: People are unable to leave the parking lot due to a downed tree and lines
- N. Pershing Drive and N. Fillmore Street — Road blocked by downed tree
- N. Jackson Street and N. Pershing Drive — Trees down, blocking road
- Washington Blvd and 13th Street N. — Construction fencing down in front of apartment building under construction in Clarendon
- WB Route 50 at N. Courthouse Road — Tree down, partially across road
- 10th Street N. and Route 50 — Traffic lights are “backwards, causing a major issue,” per scanner
- WB Route 50 at N. Edison Street — Tree down, blocking two lanes
- 2500 block of N. Upland Street — Tree down onto car, blocking road
- Key Blvd and N. Herndon Street — Trees down, blocking road
- S. Wakefield Street near Barcroft Elementary — Tree down onto wires
- 1700 block of S. Garfield Street — Tree down blocking road
- 100 block of N. Oakland Street — Tree down across road
- 10th Street N. between Wilson Blvd and Washington Blvd — Police are blocking intersections due to power outage and debris
- 2nd Street N. and N. Highland Street — Tree down blocking roadway
- N. Kenilworth Street and 19th Street N. — Trees down blocking road
- Arlington Ridge Road near 23rd Street S. — Trees down, road blocked
“There’s stuff down everywhere,” said ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott, after photographing damage across the county. “It’s almost like the derecho in 2012.”
Westcott said he saw many drivers “Wild West-ing it” through darkened traffic signals, rather than treating the intersections as a four-way stop.
The line of storms that crossed Arlington packed damaging wind gusts. A 58 mph gust was recorded at Hoffman-Boston Elementary, while a 60 mph gust was recorded at National Airport. Across the Potomac, a 84 mph gust was reported at George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Campus, according to the National Weather Service.
Some views of the storm and the damage across Arlington via social media:
Update at 2:35 p.m. — About 500 customers remain without power in Arlington. A Dominion spokeswoman says the outage was caused by an “unrelated tree contractor [dropping] a tree on our wire.”
At 9:28am, a 3rd party, unrelated tree contractor, dropped a tree on our wire impacting 8,117 customers.
Our Operations Ctr restored 3,079 in less than 1 min.
497 customers are out.
➡️ We expect to have service restored in the hour as crews finish repairs.
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) July 1, 2023
Earlier: Nearly 4,600 Dominion customers are in the dark as a result of a widespread power outage Saturday morning.
It’s unclear what caused the outage, which stretches from Ballston to Bluemont to Boulevard Manor to Dominion Hills along the Wilson Blvd corridor, according to Dominion’s outage map and emailed tips to ARLnow.
As of publication time, Dominion is estimating that power will be restored between 1-4 p.m.
A hundred-some Dominion customers are without electricity along Old Dominion Drive after a tree fell on power lines.
The outage is affecting the Rock Spring neighborhood in far northern Arlington, including the area around Discovery Elementary and Williamsburg Middle School. A portion of Fairfax County is also within the power outage boundaries, as listed on the Dominion website.
Old Dominion Drive is expected to remain closed near the Arlington-Fairfax County border for at least four hours, as the fallen tree is removed and the lines repaired, according to scanner traffic.
Dominion lists the estimated time of power restoration as between noon and 3 p.m.
The outage comes as thunderstorms are expected in the D.C. area this afternoon.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Old Dominion Dr. is shut down in both directions near Cloverlawn Ct in Mclean. A tree is blocking the road after falling on power lines and a car. No injuries were reported. Work crews are on the scene to clear the road. Please use an alternate route. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/e1fCWvdZB2
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) June 12, 2023
Just over 5,000 Dominion customers were without power Saturday afternoon, according to the power company’s website.
The large outage, centered around Columbia Pike but running from Douglas Park in the south to Lyon Park in the north, is the result of storm damage, Dominion said. A line of thunderstorms with gusty winds and heavy rain rolled through Arlington prior to the outage.
A total of 5,044 customers were affected as of 2:45 p.m.
Dominion reported nearly 20,000 outages throughout Northern Virginia following the storms. The good news is that an earlier Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been dropped for Northern Virginia locales, suggesting that the worst of the storms is over.
Update at 7:20 p.m. — Power has mostly been restored after an hours-long outage. Fewer than 250 homes and businesses in Arlington remain in the dark as night falls, according to Dominion.
— SRtwofourfour (@SRtwofourfour) April 22, 2023
(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) A power outage left much of Falls Church, big parts of western Arlington, and a small portion of Fairfax County in the dark this morning.
More than 5,500 Dominion customers are without power, the utility company reported on its website. As of 9:15 a.m., 2,165 customers in Arlington — including parts of the East Falls Church, Leeway Overlee and Madison Manor neighborhoods — were affected. That includes nearly all of the Langston Blvd corridor west of N. Harrison Street.
More than 3,000 customers in Falls Church were also without power.
On its website, Dominion listed “circuit out” as the cause of the outage.
Shortly after 9:30 a.m., the power company’s outage map was updated to show that the outage was down to just over 1,200 customers, with a few hundred in Arlington and the rest in Falls Church.
The outage may be linked to a reported electrical line fire and transformer explosion in the City of Falls Church. A tipster sent the following photo showing the line on fire.
Hat tip to @tweedyBard
Strong wind gusts have brought down trees and knocked out power in parts of Arlington tonight.
More than 3,500 Dominion customers were without power in Arlington as of 10:45 p.m. The power company’s outage map shows sizable outages in the following local areas:
- Long Branch Creek, including the intersection of S. Glebe Road and S. Arlington Ridge Road
- Glebewood and Waverly Hills, along N. Glebe Road just south of Langston Blvd, where ARLnow observed power crews and a tree down
- Old Glebe, Chain Bridge Forest and Rivercrest in far northern Arlington, along the N. Glebe Road corridor
There were also smaller outages in the Dominion Hills and Bluemont neighborhoods. Estimates of when the power would be back on were not available on Dominion’s website.
The outages come amid wind gusts of up to 60 mph in the D.C. metro area, which is under a High Wind Warning. National Airport recorded a 60 mph gust around 10 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
Damaging winds are expected to continue through about midnight, forecasters said.
Throughout Northern Virginia, Dominion reported more than 43,000 customers without power.
10:30p: Winds seem to have eased slightly in the past hour, but still gusting 40-50 mph. They probably won’t diminish much more until after midnight. Could still see a few more trees come down before then.
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) April 2, 2023
— Matthew Young (@matthewyoung31) April 2, 2023
Update at 5:25 p.m. — Metrorail service has been restored on the Orange and Silver lines after a power outage in Ballston that lasted around half an hour. Riders should expect residual delays, Metro said.
Earlier: Metrorail service on the Orange and Silver lines has been suspended due to a power outage.
WMATA said shortly before 5 p.m. that “a power outage at Ballston” has prompted a suspension of train service between Clarendon and West Falls Church/McLean.
So far there is no word on when service might resume. Shuttle buses have been requested to the affected stations, the transit agency said.
Dominion’s website currently lists an outage in Ballston with an estimated restoration time of 8-11 p.m.
Orange/Silver Line Delay: Train service suspended between Clarendon & West Falls Church/McLean due to a power outage at Ballston. Buses requested.
— Metrobus Info (@Metrobusinfo) January 23, 2023
UPDATED: Orange/Silver Line Delay: Train service restored btwn Clarendon & West Falls Church/McLean following earlier power outage at Ballston. Expect delays.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) January 23, 2023
Update at 3:05 p.m. — Numerous small, scattered outages have been reported around Arlington. The number of Dominion customers in the dark is now down to just over 800, with the larger earlier outage since largely resolved.
As of 10 a.m., more than 1,500 Dominion customers are in the cold, according to the power company’s website.
The following outages were reported on Dominion’s map.
- 718 customers, in Penrose and Lyon Park
- 715 customers, between Ballston and Westover
- 114 customers, in Glebewood
- At least two smaller outages in Bellevue Forest and Ashton Heights
The Penrose outage has closed Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services offices at Sequoia Plaza, the county announced this morning.
DHS is closed today. Due to a power outage at Sequoia Plaza, Dept. of Human Services offices are closed today. Client appts will be rescheduled. Sorry for the inconvenience. @ArlingtonVA
— Arlington County Department of Human Services (@ArlingtonDHS) December 23, 2022
“Dominion Energy continues to closely monitor the extremely cold, windy weather and its potential to impact our Virginia and North Carolina service territory,” the company said in a statement today. “Our crews are positioned and ready to respond to any damage or power outages that may be caused as a result of the ice storm.”
“If you experience a power outage, please make sure you report it to Dominion Energy immediately,” the company added. “Please stay at least 30 feet away from all downed wires and damaged equipment. If you need to report an emergency or a downed wire, please call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357)… We appreciate your patience.”
The county is under both a Wind Advisory and a Wind Chill Advisory today. More outages are possible throughout the day, with 50 mph wind gusts expected.