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Morning Notes

Road Closed Due to Downed Tree — Williamsburg Blvd is closed at N. Westmoreland Street due to a tree that fell overnight and took down several utility lines with it. Arlington’s emergency management office says the closure “may last through evening rush hour.” [Twitter]

Reminder: DUI Checkpoint Tonight — The Arlington County Police Department will conduct a sobriety checkpoint in an undisclosed location tonight. “Officers will stop all vehicles passing through the checkpoint and ask to see the licenses of drivers. Any driver suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be directed to a safe area off the roadway for further observation.” [Arlington County]

Metro Could Become Larger Financial Burden — “Metro expects to turn to state and local governments across the region to cover the costs of pay raises for workers an arbitration panel ordered last week, but the Metro Board chairman is warning of a more significant fiscal ‘ticking time bomb’ just over the horizon.” [WTOP]

Annual CivFed Candidate Forum Scheduled — “The unofficial kickoff to Arlington’s fall election season begins on Tuesday, Sept. 4, when the Arlington County Civic Federation holds its annual candidate forum. Candidates for 8th District U.S. House of Representatives, County Board and School Board have been invited to participate.” [InsideNova]

Basketball Player Punched at Gym — A man who plays professional basketball for LaVar Ball’s Junior Basketball Association says he was sucker punched while playing a pickup game at a Crystal City gym. [Fox 5]

One Hurt in Lee Highway Apartment Fire — A resident of a Lee Highway apartment building suffered burn injuries after a fire broke out in an apartment kitchen Wednesday morning. The fire was out by the time firefighters arrived on the scene. [Patch]

Flickr pool photo by Arlington VA

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Morning Notes

Arlington Doctor Sentenced in Poisoning Case — Arlington doctor Sikander Imran was sentenced Friday to three years in prison, with 17 years suspended, for slipping pills into his pregnant girlfriend’s tea, causing her to lose the unborn baby. The now ex-girlfriend pleaded for leniency during the sentencing. [WJLA, New York Daily News]

Miniature Horses Could Be Allowed at Schools — “A new policy defining the rights and responsibility of those – students, staff or visitors – wishing to bring service animals into schools would allow for dogs and miniature horses… schools spokesman Frank Bellavia told the Sun Gazette there are no miniature horses used as service animals in the school system at the moment.” [InsideNova]

Powhatan Skate Park Renovations Approved — The Arlington County Board on Saturday unanimously approved a $1.87 million contract to overhaul the Powhatan Springs Skate Park, the only such park in Arlington. “This well-loved skate park is in need of a makeover to address crumbling concrete conditions,” said Chair Katie Cristol. “The result will be a safer park that both kids and adults in Arlington who are passionate about skateboarding, inline skating and BMX cycling can enjoy for years to come.” [Arlington County]

Residents Protest Amazon at County Board Meeting — Several public speakers at Saturday’s County Board meeting spoke out against the prospect of Amazon’s second headquarters coming to Arlington. They held signs saying “No Amazon” and decried the company’s “brutal working conditions” and “culture of toxic masculinity,” among other things. [Blue Virginia]

Walter Reed Drive Project Green Lit — “The Arlington County Board today approved a $1.8 million contract to A & M Concrete Corporation to improve bicycle and pedestrian connections on a short but critical segment of South Walter Reed Drive, between South Four Mile Run Drive and South Arlington Mill Drive. The project will provide safer connections between two of Arlington’s busiest trails: Washington & Old Dominion and Four Mile Run.” [Arlington County]

Trees Fall During Heavy Rain — A number of trees around the area fell late last week after a record-breaking stretch of heavy rain. Among the trees to topple was a large one that fell on a home on the 2100 block of N. Vernon Street and injured one person. [Twitter, Washington Post]

Lubber Run Farmers Market OKed — “Field to Table, Inc., an Arlington-based non-profit organization, won the County Board’s approval today to open the Lubber Run Farmer’s Market in the parking lot at Barrett Elementary School, 4401 Henderson Road. The market is expected to open in late May.” [Arlington County]

Nearby: Train Derailment in Alexandria — A large contingent of emergency personnel responded to the CSX tracks near Port City Brewing in Alexandria Saturday morning for a freight train that had derailed. About 30 cars came off the tracks but no injuries or hazardous spills were reported. [City of Alexandria, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Tree Falls on Car Near H-B Woodlawn

(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) A tree fell on a car in the Donaldson Run neighborhood Friday afternoon, amid the ongoing wind storm.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. on the 4200 block of Vacation Lane, not far from the Stratford building that houses the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program.

Initial reports suggest that a tree fell on a car, trapping the driver inside and sending live power lines down across the street. Firefighters were able to extricate the driver, who was reportedly not injured, within about 15 minutes.

Vacation Lane is expected to remain closed for an extended period of time, awaiting the power and tree removal crews.

Photo via Google Maps

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Falling Trees Damaging Houses, Blocking Roads in Arlington

(Updated at 1:10 p.m.) Today’s wind storm has caused tree carnage throughout Arlington County.

As of 12:30 p.m. firefighters responded to seven calls for trees that had fallen on houses, according to the Arlington County Fire Department, but no injuries were reported. The department has responded to another 31 calls for wires down over the past 12 hours or so.

Among the places where there were reports of trees falling on houses:

  • 18th Street S. near Army Navy Country Club
  • 2500 block of Military Road
  • Near the intersection of N. Roosevelt Street and 15th Road N.

Numerous trees and large branches are reported to have fallen and blocked or partially blocked roads. Arlington County Police have responded to more than 40 tree-related calls since midnight, officials say.

Among the roads blocked are 26th Street N. near Lee Highway and Washington Blvd west of Westover, among with:

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonVaFD/status/969612966378328064

As of noon, Dominion was reporting 11,438 customers without power in Arlington, including widespread outages in North Arlington neighborhoods.

Dominion says a total of 335,000 customers have lost power since Thursday night. The company stopped providing police and the fire department with estimated times of arrival for crews responding to downed lines earlier this morning.

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BREAKING: Arlington Schools, Federal Gov’t Closed Due to Wind Storm

(Updated at 6:30 a.m.) Arlington Public Schools are closed today (Friday) due to weather concerns.

All schools and offices are closed, APS announced this morning, though custodians are being asked to report at 6 a.m. “regardless of your regular shift.”

Elementary and middle schools were already scheduled to be closed due to parent-teacher conferences, but those conferences have been cancelled, as have “extracurricular activities, interscholastic games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds.”

Marymount University, meanwhile, is also closed.

Federal government offices in the D.C. area are closed due to the wind storm, the Office of Personnel Management announced early Friday morning.

Due to safety concerns, Virginia Railway Express service has been cancelled for today. Reagan National Airport is encouraging travellers to check the status of their flight before coming to the airport. Power problems have been reported on Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines, causing delays, while the rest of the Metrorail system is running every 12 minutes with reduced speeds above ground.

As of 5:30 a.m., Dominion is reporting more than 9,000 customers without power in Arlington already.

Already, there have been reports of trees, branches and other debris down in Arlington, and the dangerous winds are expected to continue throughout the day. Residents are being encouraged to stay indoors whenever possible and to remain in the lower levels of homes.

More via social media:

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonVaFD/status/969489464883064832

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Military Road Closed Due to Downed Tree

(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) Military Road is closed between 30th and 31st Streets N. due to a reported downed tree and power lines.

It appears that a large tree fell on lines and and across the road. Crews from Arlington County, Dominion and a tree contractor are on the scene.

Nearly 75 Dominion customers are without power, according to the power company’s website.

Police are redirecting traffic around the closure. Officers expect it to be a “prolonged” closure, according to scanner traffic.

Update at 4:15 p.m. — The road has reopened, police say.

Photo (3) via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Rough Day on the Roads — An already rain-soaked Thursday was made worse after a tree fell across the eastbound lanes of I-66, blocking the highway during the morning rush hour. Later, the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway were closed near the Key Bridge due to a crash. [WJLA, Washington Post]

Running of the Bulls Viewing Party — New Spanish restaurant Pamplona in Clarendon is hosting its first annual Running of the Bulls viewing party on Saturday. [Facebook]

Arlington Helps Out With Falls Church Graduation — Arlington voluntarily shifted its high school graduation schedule to help Falls Church’s George Mason High School get a graduation ceremony spot at D.A.R. Constitution Hall last month. [InsideNova]

Nearby: Affordable Housing Decline in Alexandria — There was a 90 percent drop in affordable housing units in Alexandria between 2000 and 2017 and the decline is likely to continue without the construction of more dedicated affordable units. [WAMU]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Large Power Outage in Clarendon Area

Update at 7:50 p.m. — The number of outages in Arlington is down to 200, according to Dominion.

Earlier: More than 5,500 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington following this afternoon’s storms, mostly in and around the Clarendon area.

The Clarendon outage extends from Wilson Blvd down to N. Bedford Street in Lyon Park, near Route 50. Numerous businesses in the area are without power and the busy intersection of Washington Blvd and 10th Street N.

As of 4:50 p.m. Dominion was reporting 5,542 outages in Arlington, with some smaller outages scattered throughout the county. There have also been reports of trees and utility wires down in the roadway in various locations, and at least one tree that fell and damaged a house.

The Arlington County Police Department is reminding drivers to treat dark traffic signals as a four-way stop.

Power outage map (top) via Dominion. Weather radar via weather.com.

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Morning Notes

Local Girl Featured on Today Show — Ellie McGinn, the 8-year-old Fairlington resident who’s battling a rare, degenerative disease, was featured on the Today Show on Tuesday. Ellie and her parents have been raising awareness and funds to search for a cure. [Today Show]

Tree Down on Glebe Road — A tree fell across N. Glebe Road this morning, blocking traffic between Chain Bridge and Military Road. Crews were able to clear the fallen tree and reopen the road by 7 a.m. [Twitter, Twitter]

Safety Changes for School Buses — Some Arlington school buses will be retrofitted over the summer with a brake interlock device, which prevents the parking brake from being disengaged before the brake pedal is pressed. The safety measure is being mandated statewide by the Virginia Department of Education. [InsideNova]

Car Break-in Spree Over Weekend — Yet another series of car break-ins was reported over the weekend. Police say more than 20 mostly unlocked vehicles were broken into. Police are reminding residents to lock their cars and to remove valuables from plain sight. [Twitter]

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BREAKING: Tree Down on Power Lines, Brush Fire Along Four Mile Run Drive

Update at 2:30 p.m. — The fire has been extinguished and Four Mile Run Drive is expected to reopen shortly. The access road is expected to remain closed until the fallen tree is removed.

Update at 2:15 p.m. — Electricity has been shut off to the fallen power lines and firefighters are now working to extinguish the brush fire.

Earlier: A tree has fallen on power lines and sparked a growing brush fire along Four Mile Run Drive.

The incident was first reported by a passerby just after 1 p.m.

Initial reports suggest a large tree fell across the Four Mile Run Drive access road, striking a power line. That sparked a brush fire in the dry grass below, which as of 1:20 p.m. continues to burn.

The fire department cannot extinguish the wildfire around the power line until Dominion Power crews arrive and shut off the power, according to scanner traffic. As of 1:40 p.m. the flames were nearing vehicles parked along the access road.

Residents should expect “a lot of smoke in the area,” according to a police officer on scene. Police have shut down traffic in both directions on the access road near S. Wakefield Street and are preparing to shut down the mainline Four Mile Run Drive.

Photo courtesy Alex Chamandy, John Chandler

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Washington Blvd Blocked By Fallen Tree

Update at 10:40 a.m. — The westbound lanes have reopened.

Washington Blvd is currently blocked in the area of 2nd Street S. due to a large fallen tree, according to scanner traffic.

Police are setting up roadblocks at Columbia Pike and Route 50 to divert traffic.

According to initial reports, the tree — located along the eastbound lanes — fell across all lanes of traffic around 10 a.m. One car was possibly struck by the tree but no injuries were reported.

Police and VDOT crews are working to reopen the westbound lanes; the eastbound lanes are likely to remain closed for an extended period of time.

Image via Google Maps

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BREAKING: Storm Damage Reported Around Arlington

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) A severe thunderstorm that ripped through Arlington just after lunchtime has left some debris and damage in its wake.

In Pentagon City, part of the facade and roof of the Macy’s at the Pentagon City mall was damaged and a portion of it fell onto a car. One minor injury has been reported. As of 2:45 p.m., workers were on the roof inspecting the damage.

According to scanner reports, a tree fell on a car near the intersection of Route 50 and Park Drive. The two occupants of the vehicle were shaken up but not injured.

A tree fell into a home on the 1400 block of N. Wakefield Street, a few blocks from Washington-Lee High School, according to a fire department dispatch. The tree caused damage to the front of the house, but did not hit a car parked next door.

A number of other instances of trees and utility lines falling have been reported around the county, including at the intersections of S. Wayne Street and 6th Street S., S. Adams Street and 8th Street S., and 31st Street S. and S. Randolph Street.

As of 2:45 p.m., just over 550 Dominion customers were without power, according to the company’s outage map.

Via Twitter, residents say the storm brought hail in addition to very strong winds.

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Scattered Power Outages Remain Throughout Arlington

Nearly 900 Dominion customers are still without power in Arlington as of 5 p.m. Monday, with numerous small outages scattered across the county.

That’s down from more than 6,500 outages last night, after an initial line of 60+ mile per hour wind gusts swept through the area. The strong winds continued through this afternoon but have since died down.

Dominion’s power outage map shows the two biggest power outages are in the Highgate/Colonial Terrace community in the Rosslyn area, and along 26th Street N./31st Street N., near Marymount University, where photos (above and via Twitter) show at least one tree down in the roadway and a power pole snapped in half.

Dominion is estimating that power will be restored by 11 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, for each outage.

In all, around 3,000 Dominion customers are still in the dark around Northern Virginia.

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DEVELOPING: Thousands Without Power As High Winds Sweep Through Arlington

Power outages in Arlington 2/12/17

Update at 8 a.m. — Thousands of Arlington residents are waking up to no electricity this morning. The number of outages in Arlington is only down to around 4,900. Marymount University is still without power and portions of the Rosslyn/Courthouse area, including traffic signals at some busy intersection, are dark.

Rosslyn power outages Monday morning(Updated at 12:15 a.m.) More than 6,500 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington tonight after a squall line packing 60+ mile per hour wind gusts swept through the region.

Numerous trees, power lines and utility poles are said to be down across parts of Arlington, primarily in north Arlington. Several transformer fires have also been reported.

In some cases, trees are leaning against live lines and catching on fire. In other cases, power lines and poles are down across roadways, blocking lanes. Glebe Road, Military Road and Williamsburg Blvd are among the roads reported to blocked.

On Williamsburg Blvd, a fire department vehicle was damaged, possibly by falling branches or debris.

A large portion of Arlington north of Lee Highway — from Cherrydale up to McLean, including the Marymount University campus — is in the dark, according to a Dominion outage map.

There are also portions of Shirlington, Fairlington and other areas of south Arlington without power, according to the map.

In all, more than 34,000 Dominion customers throughout Northern Virginia are without power, including more than 7,000 in Alexandria. High winds are expected to continue throughout the day on Monday.

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Tree Down on Lee Highway Near Spout Run

Commuters heading westbound on Lee Highway and southbound on the Spout Run Parkway should expect significant delays due to a tree that fell on a car near the Lyon Village Shopping Center.

The tree fell on the car just past 6 p.m., at the height of the evening rush hour. A police officer arrived on scene shortly thereafter and reported that no one had been injured.

A traffic camera appears to show the tree down in the roadway and one lane of traffic squeezing by on the left.

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