Tysons Corner, VA

Stormy Afternoon Ahead With Flash Flood Watch — The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for today (Monday) for Fairfax County and surrounding areas from 3 p.m. through late tonight. Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall totaling 1-2 inches are expected. “Much of this rain may fall in short periods of time in any one given location, resulting in the risk for flash flooding this afternoon and tonight.” [NWS]

Georgetown Pike Now Open Again — All lanes of Georgetown Pike (Route 193) between Centrillion Drive and Georgetown Ridge Court in McLean closed for emergency road repairs on Sunday following a fallen tree and wires. The road reopened several hours later. [Twitter]

New Field in Tysons — “Quantum Field officially opened [earlier in July] and players will soon get the chance to enjoy this lighted, state-of-the-art synthetic turf rectangular field.” [Connection Newspapers]

Firefighters Fought Tysons Fire — Firefighters responded to a small fire on roof in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive in Tysons West on Sunday. [Twitter]

Langley High School Students Lauded — “Five local high-school students recently received the McLean Citizens Association’s 2019 Outstanding Teen Character Awards for their dedication to the community.” [Inside NoVa]

McLean Resident Lands Federal Agency Role — “The US Senate June 27 voted to confirm Aimee Jorjani as the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.” Jorjani is a McLean resident. [Connection Newspapers]

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(Updated at 11:45 a.m. 7/19/19) Fairfax County declared a local emergency as it seeks federal disaster aid to help with flash flooding damage.

In a board matter approved at the Board of Supervisors meeting today (Tuesday), Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said, “The McLean-Falls Church area was particularly hard hit. Today, more than a week later, there are roads in the county that remain closed with no estimated date for reopening.”

The flooding caused extensive disruption to the area from water rescues to road closures last week.

The region experienced about one month’s worth of rain, making it the heaviest one-hour total rainfall since at least 1936, according to the Washington Post. The City of Falls Church and Arlington County both declared a state of emergency just days after the storm.

More from a copy of the board matter that Tysons Reporter received:

Fortunately, despite the intensity of the storm, no one was severely injured or worse. The Office of Emergency Management and the county’s public safety and public works staffs were great! I commend them for reacting promptly and very professionally to emergencies that occurred throughout the county.

Since the storm, my office has received dozens of emails and phone calls from residents who experienced devastating damage to their property. Many residents had several feet of water and mud in their basements. Others experienced even worse damage. Some residents have estimated the cost to repair the damage will be as high as six figures.

The Office of Emergency Management has asked residents and businesses to file damage reports so that the county can evaluate whether we will pursue federal disaster aid… [Residents] are anxiously inquiring whether Fairfax County will do the same. They also need to know what federal aid might be available to them if a federal disaster is declared.

Residents are also learning that their property insurance may not cover their damages. Some residents believe that a lack of adequate infrastructure to convey some or all the stormwater contributed to the damage they suffered. Some have inquired about filing potential claims against the county and/or the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Now, County Executive Brian Hill will need to let the board know about the status and timing for determining whether or not the county will receive federal disaster aid after the county retroactively declared a local emergency.

“Many asked why we didn’t do a declaration the day after the storm like Arlington,” Hill said.

Hill said that he had several conversations with Foust about the process and that meetings are scheduled with the county’s stormwater management crew. “We will probably need to change how we do our engineering going forward,” Hill said.

The county’s Emergency Management Coordinator Seamus Mooney is set to update the county in the last week of July, Hill said.

Additionally, Foust’s board matter directed the county to create an informational flyer or brochure about how residents can submit damage claims to the county and the Virginia Department of Transportation, along with a list of county services and resources that could assist residents experiencing storm damage.

Chairman Sharon Bulova said that it’s also important to push information on social media on what people should report and why.

“We will likely have additional storm and water events in the future,” Bulova said, adding, “We’ve gotten really good at snow and not so much with water.”

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Another McLean road requires lengthy repairs after suffering damage from Monday’s major flash flooding.

In addition to Kirby Road’s closure due to severe storm damage, Swinks Mill Road by Scott’s Run is also closed, Jennifer McCord, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, told Tysons Reporter.

“We are making plans for permanent repairs at all locations that will likely take at least several weeks,” McCord said.

The two roads are the only remaining ones closed in Fairfax County for long-term repairs, McCord said.

“Crews worked around the clock on cleanup this week, clearing debris, assessing damages and making temporary repairs to reopen roads, and continued to respond to heavy rains received yesterday evening,” McCord said.

Photos courtesy @jase700/Twitter, map via Google Maps

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Following a similar announcement in Arlington, the City of Falls Church declared a state of emergency after Monday’s flooding.

This means that through the City Emergency Operations Plan, affected residents could qualify for aid and assistance as directed by state law and city code.

Specified assistance includes fee waivers for bulk-waste pickup on Wednesday, July 17, and rebuilding permits for damaged property, according to the City of Falls Church press release.

The emergency declaration will remain in effect until otherwise noted. More information can be found online.

The full press release is below.

Acting City Manager Cindy Mester declared a local emergency for the City of Falls Church, effective 8:30 a.m. on July 8, 2019, in response to the flash flood emergency. This declaration activates the City Emergency Operations Plan and authorizes the provision of aid and assistance as prescribed by State law and City Code and the ordinances, resolutions and approved plans of the City of Falls Church, in order to mitigate the effects of the weather event. The emergency state remains in effect until rescinded.

To help in the aftermath of the flooding, the City is waiving fees for solid waste bulk collection for the Wednesday, July 17 pick-up and for permits.

Residents must call 703-248-5160 (TTY 711), Option 1 to request special collection by noon on Tuesday, July 16. Bulk items left curbside will not be picked up unless a resident calls to schedule a special collection. This offer is only for current residential curbside customers. Contractor-related work is not eligible for curbside special collection pickup. Brush collection fees are not waived. Visit www.fallschurchva.gov/Special for complete details. Items that are eligible for special bulk collection with waived fees include:

  • Furniture
  • Household Appliances
  • Rugs
  • Other items too large or heavy to fit into a trash container.

Permits for flood-related rebuilding are still required, but the fee is waived. This includes electrical repair, gas appliance replacement, and more. More information can be found through the City’s Building Safety Division and Permits Counter: 703-248-5080 (TTY 711); www.fallschurchva.gov/Permit.Residents and businesses can take the following steps to help in the aftermath of the flooding:

  • Call your insurance company, if you have not already done so, to report damage.
  • If any gas appliances were exposed to floodwaters, do not attempt to either relight or disconnect them by yourself. Contact Washington Gas: 1-844-WASH-GAS (1-844-927-4427), Option 1
  • The Virginia State Bureau of Insurance has staff specifically trained to handle disaster insurance questions and problems. Their website also has free consumer guides on what to do after an insured commercial or home property loss. Virginia State Bureau of Insurance:  1-877-310-6560.

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