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Metro 29 Diner will remain closed for at least another week, and possibly upwards of a month, due to a serious plumbing problem.

Peter Bota, the owner of the nostalgic New York-style diner, says it all started a few weeks ago after the restaurant’s grease trap — a plumbing device that separates grease, oil and excess food from wastewater — started malfunctioning.

“The stuff that was in the grease trap, the liquid and the grease started flowing into our parking lot. Fortunately, as nasty as it was, it didn’t come back into the building,” Bota told ARLnow.

Since that incident, Bota says the diner’s been stuck in “a holding pattern,” waiting on the green light from Arlington’s planning department to replace the sewer line along N. Albemarle Street adjacent to the restaurant.

“We are just waiting for our permits to be approved so we can do the [construction],” he said. “There will be a road closure on the side street Albemarle, and then there’s excavation to get to the sewer line and replace it.”

Permits filed with Arlington County indicate the work is slated to take place over the course of three days and cost about $15,000. The construction zone is expected to stretch about 20 feet, resulting in partial closures of the roadway and sidewalk along N. Albemarle Street.

Until the sewer line is fixed, Bota emphasized he can’t reopen.

“There’s nothing that we can do… We’re not allowed to operate since everything that goes out of the business in terms of liquid… is going to come back towards the building,” he said.

As for when the county might approve his permit, Bota remains hopeful but uncertain.

“Everything’s been submitted and is in the review process,” Bota said. “So, hopefully, [the county will] fast-track us since we’re an existing business and allow us to get reopened as soon as possible.”

In addition to being a North Arlington dining staple, Metro 29 Diner has had some famous visitors over the years, including then-Vice President Biden in 2012 and Guy Fieri for a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives taping in 2010.

Clarendon Day (file photo)

Several events are scheduled to take place across Arlington on Saturday, bringing both festivities and road closures.

The events celebrate everything from the neighborhood of Clarendon to Bavarian and Irish culture.

Clarendon Day

Kicking off at 11 a.m., Clarendon Day will offer live music, food, craft beer, Virginia wines, art and inflatable obstacle courses. The event, which is one of Arlington’s largest street festivals, ends at 6 p.m.

Metro riders can take the Orange Line to the Clarendon station, the entrance to which is in the middle of the multiblock festival area.

Stretches of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd will be closed from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. to accommodate the event, according to Arlington County police.

The complete list of street closures for the event is below.

  • Wilson Blvd, from Washington Blvd to N. Highland Street
  • Clarendon Blvd, from Washington Blvd to N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street, from 11th Street N. to Wilson Blvd
  • N. Herndon Street, from Wilson Blvd to the alleyway behind CVS
  • N. Hudson Street, from Wilson Blvd to the alleyway behind CVS

Samuel Beckett’s Celtic Festival

Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub in Shirlington is hosting its annual Celtic Festival this Saturday from 12-7 p.m.

The event will highlight traditional Irish music and dance and feature a pop-up market, food and beverages.

Campbell Avenue, from S. Randolph Street to the parking garage entrance in front of Harris Teeter, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

National Landing Oktoberfest

Additionally, the National Landing Business Improvement District is holding an Oktoberfest event from 1-5 p.m. this Saturday at the corner of 22nd Street S. and S. Fern Street, behind what is dubbed “Restaurant Row” in Crystal City.

The beer-centric, Bavarian-ish event includes live music from the Alte Kumpel Band and The Pilgrims of Deep Run. Food and drinks, including offerings from Crystal City Sports Pub, will be available for purchase.

Activities include a stein-holding competition, a best-dressed contest, lawn games and crafting stations for kids featuring hat-making and clove decor. Attendees can register online ahead of time.

Police will close 22nd Street S. between S. Eads Street and S. Fern Street from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.


A worker fell into a hard-to-access area at a construction site along Columbia Pike this afternoon, prompting a rescue operation.

Firefighters were dispatched to the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Oak Street just before 4 p.m. for a report of someone who fell into a concrete box and needed to be hoisted via a rescue basket.

Columbia Pike was closed in both directions near the Sheraton hotel while firefighters worked to bring the person to safety. The victim was then reportedly taken via ambulance to Virginia Hospital Center for possible broken bones.

“At 3:51 p.m. the ACFD was dispatched to the area of Columbia Pike and S. Oak St. for a female patient that fell into a concrete utility box,” fire department spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner tells ARLnow. “Crews made quick access to the patient and removed her utilizing a Stokes basket. The patient was transported to an area hospital with non life threatening injuries.”

Construction in the area includes the realignment of Columbia Pike and the expansion of Arlington National Cemetery. It was not immediately clear at which construction site the person was injured.

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Several roads in Pentagon City and Rosslyn will be temporarily closed this Saturday for the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K and 2023 Rosslyn Jazz Fest.

While jazz enthusiasts sway to soulful tunes, just a few miles away, emergency responders will be lacing up their running shoes for the Arlington Police, Fire, Sheriff, & ECC 9/11 Memorial 5K race in Pentagon City.

From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., two roads will be closed for the music festival:

  • Langston Blvd, eastbound from Fort Myer Drive to N. Moore Street
  • Fort Myer Drive access road, from 19th Street N. to N. Moore Street

The festival will take place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and feature several jazz acts, including Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, Pedrito Martinez Group, Oh He Dead and DuPont Brass, as well as food trucks and games.

Road closures around the Pentagon City and Crystal City will begin at 5 p.m. to prepare for the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K, which has raised money for 9/11-related charities since its inception in 2002.

The race, which kicks off at 6 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m., will start and end at the DoubleTree Hotel in Pentagon City. All road closures in the area will be lifted by 8:30 p.m.

Street closure maps for the 2023 Rosslyn Jazz Fest and Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K (via ACPD)

More on road closures about the 5K from a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department will close the following roadways around the Pentagon and in Crystal City to accommodate the event:

From approximately 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

  • Army Navy Drive, from S. Eads Street to 12th Street S.

From approximately 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

  • S. Eads Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • S. Fern Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • S. Hayes Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • Army Navy Drive, from S. Joyce Street to S. Eads Street
  • S. Joyce Street, from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike
  • Columbia Pike, from S. Oak Street to Washington Boulevard
  • S. Washington Boulevard, from Arlington Boulevard to Columbia Pike
  • S. Washington Boulevard, from SB George Washington Parkway
  • Route 110 S., from I-66 and Wilson Boulevard to Army Navy Drive
  • Marshall Drive, from Iwo Jima Access Road to Route 110 S.
  • Southgate Road, from S. Nash Street to Columbia Pike
  • The ramp to Army Navy Drive from NB I-395 Exit 8A, Arlington Ridge Road, and N. Washington Boulevard
  • The ramp from NB I-395 Exit 8C to Pentagon City / Crystal City

ACPD said motorists should expect traffic and “extended travel times” in the surrounding areas. The department advises seeking “alternative routes to reduce road congestion,” including taking Metro.

The Rosslyn Metro Station is located within walking distance of the jazz festival while both the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations are in walking distance of the race. Paid parking is available at the Pentagon City Mall garage.

Police say additional street parking near both events will be restricted and motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs.

Crash involving overturned vehicle on N. Glebe Road

(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Both directions of N. Glebe Road were closed near the I-66 ramps north of Washington Blvd, in the Ballston area, due to a crash.

The crash happened around 1 p.m. in the southbound lanes of Glebe and involved a pickup truck and a sedan.

Traffic camera video shows the truck merging into the car’s lane suddenly and without signalling, running into its side and causing it to flip on its roof.

Passersby and other motorists could be seen rushing to help the driver immediately after the crash. She was helped out of the overturned car and loaded into a waiting ambulance.

The pickup driver drove across Glebe to the I-66 ramp after the crash but then stayed on scene.

“Both drivers remained on scene,” Arlington County police spokeswoman Alli Shorb confirmed to ARLnow. “Officers remain on scene investigating the crash and as part of the ongoing investigation, will determine if charges will be sought.”

The northbound and southbound lanes of Glebe have since partially reopened as of 1:50 p.m.

Video of the crash and the emergency response is below.

U-Haul crash on Columbia Pike

The westbound lanes of Columbia Pike are blocked near Arlington’s western border after a crash involving a U-Haul truck.

The crash happened around 5:20 p.m. near the intersection of the Pike and S. Jefferson Street. That’s about three blocks from a U-Haul rental location.

Initial reports suggest that the rental truck collided with two vehicles and then mounted a curb, went over a sidewalk, and ran partially up a steep grassy hill. One or two minor injuries were reported.

A tow crew is on scene cleaning up debris from the roadway and trying to figure out how to get the box truck safely down from the embankment.

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(Updated at 11 p.m.) A suspect in a truck crashed into multiple vehicles on I-66 and I-395, then led police on a wild chase in a stolen Arlington ambulance.

The incidents started shortly after 3:30 p.m., with reports of a stolen Freightliner truck striking vehicles on I-66 in the Rosslyn area and again on northbound I-395 just before the 14th Street Bridge. I-395 was blocked by the crashes and at least two people were hurt, including one with reported significant injuries.

The same hit-and-run suspect then allegedly stole another truck before hopping in and stealing an Arlington ambulance around 4:15 p.m. Medics tried to pull the suspect out of the ambulance but he drove off, leading Virginia State Police — followed by Arlington police — on a chase through parts of Crystal City and Pentagon City. The suspect struck numerous vehicles on the northbound HOV lanes of I-395 as he fled into D.C., according to Virginia State Police.

Eventually the ambulance was stopped on I-395 in southwest D.C. and the suspect taken into custody, according to Virginia State Police.

All northbound lanes of I-395, including HOV lanes, were blocked as of 4:45 p.m., with delays on the highway extending upwards of two miles. The HOV lanes reopened by 6:15 p.m. while crews continued to clear the crash scene in the still-blocked main lanes. As of 7:15 p.m. two main lanes had reopened, per VDOT.

At least 20 vehicles were damaged over the course of the hour-long string of incidents, including the ambulance, a VSP cruiser, a parked vehicle in D.C., vehicles on the GW Parkway and I-66, and well over a dozen vehicles on I-395.

Virginia State Police said in a press release Saturday night that the suspect is a 30-year-old Maryland man.

At 3:40 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 12), Virginia State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash in the eastbound lanes of I-66 near the 74 mile marker. The truck that caused the crash fled the scene. The truck had been reported stolen out of Falls Church, Va., and the driver was later identified as Darell T. Caldwell, 30, of Brandywine, Md. The driver of the other vehicle involved in this crash was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

At 3:41 p.m., VSP responded to a multi-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of I-395 near Exit 10 in Arlington County. The crash was caused by the same stolen truck being driven by Caldwell. A total of five people were transported to a nearby hospital as a result of this crash. Meanwhile, Caldwell fled the crash scene on foot.

Minutes later, State Police received a report of a crash on the George Washington Parkway involving another truck being driven by Caldwell that was driving the wrong way when it struck another vehicle. An Arlington County Fire Department ambulance responding to I-395 came upon the crash on the GW Parkway. The ambulance stopped and the medics got out to render aid to the drivers. While the medics were tending to the one driver, Caldwell ran up to the ambulance and drove off in it.

The medics waved down a VSP trooper who was responding to the crash scenes to alert him to the stolen ambulance. The trooper caught up to the stolen ambulance.  When the ambulance refused to stop for the trooper, a pursuit was initiated. At one point, the ambulance stopped in the road. As the trooper was getting out of his patrol car, Caldwell put the ambulance in reverse and rammed the state police vehicle and fled the scene.

The pursuit continued with Virginia State Police being assisted by Arlington County Police. During the course of the pursuit, the stolen ambulance accessed the I-395 Express Lanes and then entered Washington, D.C., where it struck head-on a parked vehicle at 14th Street NW and D Street NW. State police and Arlington County Police took Caldwell into custody without further incident. Caldwell was transported to a nearby hospital for medical evaluation.

The parked vehicle that was struck by the ambulance was occupied by one person. That individual suffered minor injuries.

During the course of the pursuit, the stolen ambulance struck multiple vehicles and again rammed the trooper’s patrol car. At this time, state police have accounted for and are investigating 13 hit-and-run crashes committed by the stolen ambulance. State police has not received any reports of serious injuries resulting from the crashes. No law enforcement were injured during the course of the pursuit. Anyone who was struck by the ambulance during the course of the pursuit is encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026.

Caldwell has been charged by federal and local law enforcement. State police charges are still pending.

Videos of the crashes, the chase and the arrest are below.


(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) Several blocks of N. Harrison Street are blocked in the Yorktown neighborhood due to an unusual crash.

A Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV ended up on top of an Acura TL sedan as the result of a crash in front of Chestnut Hills Park, a popular popular children’s playground.

No injuries have been reported and everyone was able to get out of the vehicles before police and firefighters arrived, according to scanner traffic.

A passenger in the car told ARLnow that the crash happened as the SUV driver was making a U-turn and ended up colliding with the Acura, which was occupied by several members of Yorktown High School’s golf team. The driver’s side of the Jeep came to rest on top of the Acura’s hood.

As of 5:15 p.m. the roadway was back open.

Jay Westcott contributed to this report

Fire response to sewage plant on S. Eads Street

(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) Firefighters are on scene of a fire investigation at Arlington County’s Water Pollution Control Plant.

Initial reports suggest that smoke is coming from a portion of the sewage plant along the 3200 block of S. Eads Street, near Crystal City. The fire department is trying to determine the source of the smoke.

Police have been dispatched to the scene to shut down a portion of S. Eads Street.

During the investigation, a firefighter on scene suffered a medical emergency and is expected to be transported to the hospital via ambulance, according to scanner traffic.

As of 2:15 p.m., the fire department was starting to scale the operation back. The fire was reported to be the result of solid waste that caught fire within one of the plant’s systems.


(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.

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.

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.

More storm damage photos from social media, below.


The cleanup from Saturday’s severe storms is continuing into Sunday.

As of 9 a.m., Dominion is reporting 20,394 customers still without power in Arlington. That’s down from more than 34,000 immediately after the storm. Arlington makes up about two thirds of the 31,603 outages Dominion is reporting across Northern Virginia.

Dominion says it has 170 bucket trucks deployed and is working “as safely and quickly as possible to restore service.” Due to the large volume of trees and utility lines down across the region — particularly in Arlington — Dominion has not yet been able to provide estimates for when power will be restored.

Along with power outages, readers have reported Xfinity TV and internet service outages in parts of the county. The trees that brought down power lines also brought down cable lines in many locations.

The GW Parkway remains closed in both directions between the Beltway and Spout Run in Arlington due to a large number of downed trees.

From parkway spokesman Mark Maloy:

Due to the storm that moved through the northern Virginia area on Saturday afternoon, numerous trees fell across the travel lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Currently, the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (from Spout Run Parkway to the Capital Beltway) is closed as tree crews work to remove trees from the roadway.  This closure will remain in place on Sunday until an assessment has been completed and all hazardous trees removed.  There are numerous other trees downed in areas of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Clara Barton Parkway and the National Park Service is continuing to assess the damage and clear trees. We encourage drivers to use caution in the area and if they encounter any downed trees on the George Washington Memorial Parkway to call US Park Police at 202-610-7500.

Among the more dramatic storm impacts was a large window that blew out of an apartment building in Clarendon amid the damaging wind gusts.

Witnesses tell ARLnow that the window came from the top of The Reserve at Clarendon building along Washington Blvd, between N. Highland and N. Garfield street.

“Windows missing from 11th floor unit at the Reserve, window frames and glass all over Washington Blvd, dented and damaged parked car [with] window frame next to it,” a reader tells ARLnow. “[The damaged] car was parked outside of Clarendon 1021, a block away. Cracked windows in the building where the Clarendon Orange Theory is (across the street from Reserve). Crazy!”

Police closed streets around the building due to the falling glass, though the roads have since reopened.

“At 7:05 p.m., police were dispatched to the 3000 block of Washington Boulevard for the report of two windowpanes that had fallen,” Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed to ARLnow. “No injuries were reported and the roads closed in the area have reopened.”

Videos posted online, below, show the intensity of the wind from Saturday’s storms.

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 3:45 p.m. — Outages are now down to 14,313. Arlington County, meanwhile, is warning people to stay out of Gulf Branch downstream from Military Road due to sewage in the water from a pump failure.

Update at 1:25 p.m. — The number of outages in Arlington has ticked down to 17,811, according to Dominion. The power company is hoping to have power restored to “most customers” later tonight.

Arlington County says the curbside collection of storm debris may take “weeks.”

Map via Google Maps


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