A serious-looking crash temporarily closed N. George Mason Drive this afternoon, but no serious injuries were reported.
The incident happened around 3:30 p.m., just north of the intersection of N. George Mason Drive and Pershing Drive, in the Buckingham neighborhood.
A driver in a car somehow knocked over a light pole in the center median of George Mason Drive, then drove over a sidewalk and up an embankment before running into a two-story brick apartment building.
The building was not significantly damaged. George Mason Drive was closed while a tow truck driver maneuvered and used a chain to pull the car from the embankment and back onto the street. The road has since reopened.
A second vehicle that was reported to be involved in the crash was pulled over by police one block away from the accident scene.
In a separate incident that happened around the same time, the top of a utility pole with live wires snapped and fell down in the Lyon Village neighborhood, prompting several street closures. From Arlington Alerts:
Due to a pole with wires down the following streets are closed until further notice: Key Blvd at Fillmore, closed on Fillmore; Edgewood at Highland, closed on Highland N; 18/Harvard with no access NB; and Key at Highland with no access NB. Please seek alternate routes for this area.
As of 4:30 this afternoon, multiple power lines were down, including one that stretched across S. George Mason. Residents were standing outside their homes watching crews work to restore power.
Traffic lights at S. Columbus Streets were also dark due to the power outage.
As of press time, the cause of the downed wires had not been determined. Dominion Electric is currently reporting that 50 customers are out of power in the area due to a broken pole.
The company predicts power will be restored between 7-9 p.m. tonight.
A downed power line at S. Chesterfield Road and S. Columbus Street has knocked out power to parts of South Arlington and Alexandria this afternoon.
As of 3:35 p.m., more than 1,200 Dominion customers are reported to be without power in the area. Among the reported outages are homes in the Claremont neighborhood, Claremont Elementary and Wakefield High School, the DMV on Four Mile Run Drive, and numerous traffic lights on Route 7, Four Mile Run Drive and George Mason Drive.
Police officers were directing traffic at the intersection of George Mason Drive and S. Columbus Street. They also blocked off Chesterfield Road from Columbus Street at 14th Street.
A FedEx truck pulled down the power lines, according to scanner traffic. The tractor trailer could be seen behind the downed lines at Chesterfield Road.
Dominion crews are now on scene, preparing to repair the power lines. At the outage’s peak, Dominion reported more than 3,300 customers without power.
Firefighters are on the scene of downed wires and a car fire near the intersection of Lorcom Lane and Lee Highway in Waverly Hills.
A high voltage line came down on top of six cars around noon, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani. At least one of the cars caught fire and smoke from the blaze could be seen from as far away as Ballston.
Video (below) show the smoke and fire coming from what appears to be a small parking lot next to an apartment building.
It’s unclear if anyone was inside the cars when the power lines came down, but no injuries have been reported. No word yet on what caused the wires to come down.
Firefighters were unable to douse the flames with water due to the live wires, Marchegiani said. A Department of Defense foam tanker was dispatched to the scene in order to extinguish the fire, according to scanner traffic.
A Dominion Power crew has arrived on the scene and will be working to shut off power to the lines.
Northbound Lorcom Lane is currently closed between Old Dominion Drive and Lee Highway due to the fire department activity. Police are planning on closing two lanes of Old Dominion at Lorcom, according to scanner traffic.
— Chief 288 (@Chief288) July 21, 2015
— Sophie Pyle (@sophiepyle) July 21, 2015
— Lucien Zeigler (@lucienzeigler) July 21, 2015
Photo (top) courtesy Sophie Pyle
Shirlington Movie Theater to Renovate — The AMC Lowes Shirlington 7 movie theater will be undergoing a “complete renovation” this year, starting as soon as July. The theater will be getting reclining leather seats, like the AMC theater in Courthouse, plus a new concession area with beer and wine and new bathrooms. [Washington Business Journal]
Downed Trees, Wires in Arlington — On Sunday morning a tree fell on Old Dominion Drive, bringing wires down with it, causing power outages and and closing the road for hours. On Sunday night, an accident on Wilson Blvd caused downed wires and the closure of Wilson from N. Illinois to N. Jefferson Street. [WTOP]
Candidates: Lack of Diversity at Top County Ranks — Candidates for Arlington County Board spoke about the lack of diversity among top county staff last week, at a forum sponsored by the African-American Leadership Council of Arlington. The County Board has little direct involvement in the hiring of county staff, save the Board’s hiring of and direction to the County Manager. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Downed Wires Close the Pike — Columbia Pike was closed in both directions between S. Greenbrier Street and S. Dinwiddie Street this morning due to a tree that brought down live wires. The road was expected to remain closed for several hours. [WTOP]
Planning Still Underway for Pike Transit — Columbia Pike residents are becoming impatient for Arlington County to complete the planning of new transit options for the corridor, following the cancellation of the streetcar project. However, a plan is not expected until 2016. County Board member John Vihstadt, who helped to scuttle the streetcar project, told a public forum last week that he wants the county to speed up its processes “but frankly I don’t know if we can.” [Washington Post]
Arlington Mill Project Wins Award — The Arlington Mill Community and Senior Center has won a 2015 Urban Land Institute Washington Trends Award for “Excellence in Housing Development.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool by Brian Allen
Utility Pole Struck on Glebe Road — A car struck a utility pole on Glebe Road near 14th Street N., just before 9:30 last night. All lanes were closed while crews worked to clear the downed pole from the roadway. All lanes reopened by 5:00 this morning.
Rosslyn Metro Center For Sale — Rosslyn Metro Center, the 22-story office building above the Rosslyn Metro station, is for sale. Should it sell, the buyer would likely seek to redevelop the property. [Washington Business Journal]
Goal: Wreath for Every ANC Grave — The group Wreaths Across America is seeking about 25,000 volunteers to help lay 235,000 holiday wreaths in Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 13. For the first time, in honor of the cemetery’s 150th anniversary, the group wants to lay a wreath on every grave. [Washington Times – WARNING: AUTO-PLAY VIDEO]
RedRocks Seeks Entertainment, Delivery Permit — The Columbia Pike outpost of RedRocks Pizzeria (2501 9th Road S.) is seeking a site plan amendment to allow live entertainment and food delivery service. The request, which is expected to be approved by the Arlington County Board this weekend, has the “full support” of the local civic association. [Arlington County]
Crystal Tech Fund Expansion — Crystal City-based Crystal Tech Fund has started construction on an expansion project that will double the size of its workspace. [Tech Cocktail]
GOP Oppo Firm Resides in Arlington — America Rising, one of the top Republican opposition research firms during this latest campaign cycle, has its office “in a nondescript building in Arlington.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Rob Cannon
Update at 3:15 p.m.: All lanes are now reported to be back open.
Arlington police are preparing to close Jefferson Davis Highway (Route 1) at the Reagan National Airport overpass, near Crystal City, due to a report of a downed power line.
Firefighters are on the scene and requested the busy artery be closed in both directions, according to scanner traffic.
No word yet on how long the road will be closed.
(Updated at 10:25 a.m.) All northbound and southbound lanes of N. Glebe Road were closed between Vernon Street and Chesterbrook Road during the evening rush hour due to a serious single-vehicle wreck.
An SUV ran into a utility pole and flipped on its side on the 3900 block of N. Glebe Road around 5:00 p.m. tonight. The driver suffered an apparent cardiac arrest, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Paramedics attempted to revive the man, but he was later pronounced dead at Virginia Hospital Center.
A dog that was in the vehicle at the time of the accident did survive, we’re told.
As of 7:00 p.m., Dominion was on scene preparing to clean up and replace the damaged utility pole and downed power wires. Police were preparing to open the southbound lanes of Glebe to two-way traffic.
The company plans to work on downed lines and blown transformers in more than 40 locations around the county.
As of 10:00 a.m., 5,264 Dominion customers are still without power in Arlington. That’s down from more than 18,000 at the storm’s peak. The company says it plans to have all Superstorm Sandy-related outages restored by Thursday night.
Arlington County crews are continuing to clean up debris-covered streets and assess damage. The county expects damages in Arlington from Sandy “will be in the millions of dollars.”
Dominion is planning to work at the following locations today:
- 10th St & N. Daniel St
- 14th St west of N Longfellow St
- 25th St east of Old Dominion Dr
- 29th St N & Sycamore St
- S. 12th St
- 40th St south of 41st St
- Carlyn Springs Rd & South 1st Pl
- Columbia Pk & Buchanan St
- Hayes St @ 23rd St
- Lee Hwy & N Calvert St
- Lee Hwy & N. Vermont St
- Little Falls Rd & 26th St
- 10th St & N Edgewood St
- North 17th St & North Hartford St
- N 19th St & Lexington
- N 23 Rd St & N Fillmore St
- N 25th St & N 26th Rd
- N 5th St east of N Monroe St
- N Barton St & 10th St
- Yorktown Blvd & N Brandywine St
- N Harrison St & 16th St
- N Kennsington St & 35th Rd
- N 25th Rd & N Kensington St
- N Pollard St btwn Wilson Blvd & 6th St
- N Quinn St & N 12th St
- N Stuart St & N 25th St
- N. Edison St & N. 38th St
- N. Quincy St. & N. 18th S
- N. Stafford St off Lee Hwy
- N. West St & Washington Blvd
- Patrick Henry Dr & Washington Blvd
- N. Oakland St north of Old Domonion Dr
- S 11th St & Frederick St
- S 16th St & S Ives St
- S 24th Rd
- S 4th St & Illinois
- S 4th St & Jefferson St
- S Eads St south of 12th St
- S Glebe Rd & S 3rd St
- S. Shirlington Rd. south of 25th St
- Washington Blvd & N Longfellow St
- Westmoreland St & Williamsburg Blvd
- Wilson Blvd & N Madison St
(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Tropical storm-force winds from Hurricane Irene, combined with a steady, soaking rain, brought down at least 75 trees throughout Arlington last night, completely or partially blocking at least 35 streets, authorities said.
The falling trees blocked main roads, like Columbia Pike and westbound I-66, and knocked out power to various parts of the county. The 100 block of N. Liberty Street, Rock Spring Road and N. Wakefield Street, N. Quantico and N. 18th Street and N. Edison and Little Falls Road all remain blocked this afternoon, according to authorities and residents. County crews with chainsaws are helping to remove fallen trees and tree limbs from the roadway.
Some trees fell onto power lines and the roofs of houses, courtesy of wind gusts up to 59 miles per hour. A tree also fell onto the Blue Line tracks near Arlington National Cemetery, forcing Metro trains to single-track through the area.
Dominion was reporting more than 14,000 customers without power in Arlington as of 6:00 a.m. Numerous traffic lights were either dark or flashing as power flickered in many parts of the county overnight. The number of reported power outages dropped to just below 8,000 by noon on Sunday.
So far, only one minor storm-related injuries has been reported, according to Arlington County spokeswoman Jennifer K. Smith.
South Frederick Street has been shut down between Columbia Pike and 10th Street S. after a truck knocked down a utility pole and became entangled in power lines.
A garbage truck reportedly knocked down the pole just after 3:00 p.m. today. The road will be closed for awhile to allow crews time to clean up the broken pole and a tangle of wires.
Update at 3:45 p.m. — Traffic has reopened on Route 50.
A strong thunderstorm brought high winds, stinging rain and booming thunder to Arlington and the much of the Washington metro area this afternoon.
At least eight cases of downed trees, branches and utility wires have been reported. More than 5,700 Dominion customers were without power immediately after the storm.
The following damage has been reported:
- On Route 50, traffic was blocked in both directions at Montague Street after power lines fell across the road.
- The ramp from I-395 to Shirlington was flooded.
- The traffic light at Wilson Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive was dark after power lines were knocked down on nearby North Madison Street.
- A tree came down at Wilson Boulevard and North McKinley Road, knocking out power to the neighborhood.
Here’s some video from the height of the storm in South Arlington.
Arlington Police and Fire personnel have been busy all day responding to calls of trees down, wires down, trees and branches on wires, trees catching fire due to lines falling on them, wires and trees blocking roads, and combinations thereof. There have been at least 16 such calls in the past two hours.
In some cases first responders have been able to clear trees from the road by themselves. In cases where wires are down or branches are leaning on wires, all firefighters can do at this point is block off the area and add the incident to Dominion’s long to-do list.
Power outages have been a problem all morning, although Dominion does seem to be making headway in getting more areas back on-line. Currently, there are just over 65,000 power outages reported in Northern Virginia. That’s down from more than 75,000 earlier this afternoon.
Among the power outages reported is an extended outage affecting apartment buildings near Pentagon Row in Pentagon City. These outages could be dangerous, due to the loss of heating in the affected buildings.
Here is an incomplete list of locations where emergency personnel have been called for trees, branches, or lines down.
- 200 block of N. Park Dr.
- 1300 and 1700 block of N. Kirkwood Rd.
- N. Pershing Dr. and Piedmont St.
- 5600 block of S. 5th St.
- 1900 block of N. Quincy St.
- 6100 block of N. 11th St.
- 3100 block of N. Military Rd
- S. Queen St. and S. 23rd St.