Tysons, VA

Update at 1:55 p.m. — The Fairfax County Police Department says that Lawyers Road is now closed due to flooding at Hunter Mill Road. Old Courthouse Road remains shut down.

Update at 12:30 p.m. — The National Weather Service has now upgraded central Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax from a flood watch to a flood warning, which will remain in effect until 4 p.m.

Old Courthouse Road closed at the Besley Road intersection in Wolf Trap at 10:45 a.m. due to ongoing flooding from Wolftrap Creek, and a NWS map shows that Rocky Run near Tysons also has a a 90% or higher chance of flash flooding.

As of 12:03 p.m., between one and two inches of rain have fallen in the county, and an additional one to two inches of rain could potentially fall in the area covered by the flood warning. Locations in the Tysons area that may be at risk of flooding include Tysons, Vienna, Wolf Trap, Great Falls, Merrifield, and Dunn Loring.

Earlier — A Flood Watch is in effect for most of the region until 10 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.

Remnants of Hurricane Zeta are expected to dump two to three inches of rain on the area.

NWS warns that heavy rain could lead to flooding of small streams, creeks, and urban areas. Clogged drains due to leaf buildup might also cause flooding issues.

Here’s more from the alert:

Do not enter or cross flowing water or water of unknown depth. Stay away or be swept away. River banks and culverts can becom unstable and unsafe.

A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is advising drivers to plan alternate routes so they can avoid roads that tend to flood, noting that cars trapped on flooded roadways creates “needless danger” for drivers, passengers, and emergency responders.

“Our firefighters and paramedics do not want to meet you by (a preventable) ‘accident’!” FCFRD said.

In addition, the Fairfax County Park Authority is asking community members to call before visiting any golf courses, since some venues may be closed if there is indeed heavy rain.

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(Updated 8/20/2020) A much-needed bridge replacement is on pause while the City of Falls Church waits to hear if the Virginia Department of Transportation will award the project funding.

Oak Street Bridge, which crosses Tripps Run, is in poor condition. Yearly inspections since 2012 have found several safety concerns and an urgent need to repair or replace the bridge.

While the bridge was repaired last year to fix damage from severe flooding, Falls Church officials want to replace it to make it safer and a better fit for the community.

A staff update to the Falls Church City Council last Monday (Aug. 10) on projects in the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) shared that the bridge replacement is the only CIP project that has stopped during the pandemic.

The CIP update noted that the city was expecting to hear back in May or June about its application to VDOT’s State of Good Repair (SGR) program for the remaining $928,000. As of last Monday, the city hasn’t heard anything.

“The SGR program is one of the very few funding sources available for paving and bridges that requires no match,” staff said in the update, noting that infrastructure funding was already competitive before the pandemic.

In November, city staff said that construction could begin in early 2021. The CIP update last week noted that the project design is 90% complete, but the funding shortfall is holding the project up.

Previously, the city announced that the $2.6 million replacement received partial funding through Regional Surface Transportation Program funds.

Aside from the bridge, the majority of the city’s CIP projects have progressed during the pandemic, with 18 on schedule and 11 facing delays. Since the last CIP update in January, the city finished two projects — sanitary sewer infrastructure in West Falls Church and primary extension paving along East Broad Street and Hillwood Avenue.

The city also added two new projects to the CIP list after the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) granted the total funding. One project received $6.9 million to address transit access and multimodal connectivity in West Falls Church. The other project, which received $8.3 million, will tackle multimodal improvements in the downtown area.

The CIP update last week noted that receiving the full funding for both projects was “unexpected, but much needed.”

Update corrects name of NVTA

Image via City of Falls Church

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Prepare for more rain today (Friday).

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect from noon today through late tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Here’s more from the alert:

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED

 

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Updated 3:40 p.m. — The Fairfax County Police Department said around 3:30 p.m. that all of the road closures have been resolved. 

Earlier: Several roads are closed in the Tysons area due to the storm.

The Fairfax County Police Department shared an updated list of weather-related road closures around the county this morning.

Currently, the Tysons area is under a Flash Flood Watch and Flood Warning today as Tropical Storm Isaias moves through the D.C. region.

Road closures:

  • Old Courthouse and Besley roads: high water
  • Old Dominion Drive and Swinks Mill Road: tree blocking the roadway
  • Idylwood Court and Idylwood Road: tree on power line over the roadway
  • Friden and Hillside drives: tree blocking the roadway
  • Browns Mill and Beulah roads: high water 

Use the map below to find the Tysons-area road closures. Tysons Reporter will update this article and map as more information becomes available or if the road closures change.

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The eastern portion of Fairfax County and the City of Falls Church are under a Flood Warning today (Tuesday) as Isaias approaches the D.C. area as a tropical storm.

The warning went into effect shortly after 7 a.m. and will last until 1 p.m. The National Weather Services says that McLean, Vienna and Falls Church can expect flooding.

More from NWS:

At 700 AM EDT, Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated that heavy rain was falling over the area. The heavy rain will cause flooding. Up to one inch of rain has already fallen. Additional rainfall amounts of several inches are possible, and Flash Flood Warnings could be required later today. For now, though, flooding will be relatively slow to develop…

A Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. All interested parties should take necessary precautions immediately.

The Tysons area is also under a Flash Flood Watch until 4 p.m. and a Tropical Storm Warning.

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Updated at 1:35 p.m. — The NWS issued a Flood Warning for areas in central Fairfax County, including Merrifield, Tysons Vienna. The warning is set to last until 7 p.m. 

“Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated that moderate to heavy rain was falling over the area. The heavy rain will cause flooding,” according to NWS. “Up to 1 inch of rain has already fallen. Additional rainfall amounts of around an inch are possible.”

Earlier: A Flood Watch will be in effect in Fairfax County for today (Thursday), starting at 10 a.m.

The National Weather Service says that heavy rain is expected this afternoon, followed by a “strong cold front” in the early evening.

“Widespread rainfall totals of 1.5-2.5 inches are expected with locally higher amounts of three inches or more possible,” according to NWS. The rain may likely cause small streams and the primary downstream areas of rivers to flood, along with possible, moderate river flooding.

NWS suggests that people who live near flood zones prepare for flooding.

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Flood Warning, Wind Advisory in Effect — The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for small streams in central Fairfax County that is in effect until 9:30 a.m. A Wind Advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. [National Weather Service]

McLean Assisted Living Resident, Employees Have COVID-19 — “An Arleigh Burke Pavilion Assisted Living resident at McLean’s Vinson Hall Retirement Community tested positive for the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 illness, the community announced Saturday. Three employees also tested positive, and an additional employee is under investigation as a potential case.” [Patch]

Governor Signs New Election Laws — “New laws signed by Gov. Ralph Northam over the weekend will end Virginia’s voter ID law, make Election Day a state holiday and allow no-excuse absentee voting.” [Inside NoVa]

Merrifield Apartment Fire — On Saturday, Fairfax County firefighters extinguished a fire reportedly in the laundry room of an apartment in the 2700 block of Keystone Lane. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter]

Local Daycare Face COVID-19 Challenges — “The state’s new rules for in-home daycare put both parents and providers in a bind, but some local in-home providers are striving to work within the guidelines and stay in business.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Fairfax County and surrounding areas starting tomorrow afternoon.

The watch will be in effect from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning.

More from NWS:

* Multiple rounds of rainfall will occur through early Friday. The heaviest rainfall potential will begin Thursday afternoon and continue into Thursday night. Storm total rainfall amounts through Friday morning are expected to range between 2 and 3 inches.

* Flooding of poor drainage and low lying areas will be possible, and some smaller streams and rivers may exceed their banks.

People are urged to monitor weather forecasts.

Residents in the City of Falls Church can get up to 20 sandbags per household, according to an email from the city.

The city’s Department of Public Works is providing the sandbags, which will be available on a first-come, first-served at the Property Yard A (between 215 and 217 Gordon Road) on Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“City staff will help with loading bags into a vehicle, but they will not be responsible for vehicle damage,” the email said. “Sandbags must be returned to the distribution site after the storm.”

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The City of Falls Church is moving ahead on several efforts to address flooding issues.

City Manager Wyatt Shields told the City Council on Tuesday (Nov. 12) that 16 people have applied for the stormwater task force that the council approved back in October.

“We have had a very strong response to that,” Shields said about the advertisement for the task force, which can have up to seven members.

The deadline to apply is this Friday (Nov. 15), Shields said.

“We are looking for geographical diversity on this panel and the ability to have a city-wide perspective,” Shields said.

In response to residents’ comments that the task force should include sanitary sewer, Shields said that the rationale for not including that is because it is a different engineering problem, skillset and solution.

“To keep this work focused on stormwater was by decision,” Shields said.

When the task force is ready, Shields said that there will be an organizational meeting about the scope of the group.

Shields also pointed out some “big improvements” recently with stormwater management, including work on the washed-out flood wall at Tripps Run.

He added that work is underway to add water-tight man-hole covers in areas where water pools in the streets.

The city may also implement a program — similar to the one in Alexandria — to help homeowners considering a backflow device in their homes, Shields said.

“That would be a targetted program for areas where we have documented backflow where we can provide that assistance,” Shields said.

The program would need approval from the City Council, Shields said.

“That’s not the solution, but it does provide some additional resilience for homeowners,” Shields said, adding that he hopes the program will be available by the end of the calendar

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In an ongoing effort to address flooding issues in the city, the Falls Church City Council approved a stormwater task force earlier this week.

The task force will work with city staff to update the list of priority projects for stormwater improvements in the Watershed Management Plan — sanitary backflows are not in the task force’s scope of work, according to the resolution.

More from the resolution:

What is envisioned with this task force is a rigorous, yet transparent set of criteria that will be used to grade projects. The mindset of the members of the task force must be to help the City as a whole grapple with the problems of flooding. The end result should be a ranking of projects in order of the most cost effective stormwater improvements that will protect the most people.

The task force will report to the City Council, City Manager Wyatt Shields said at the meeting on City Council meeting on Monday (Oct. 28).

Staff recommends that the task force consists of up to seven members, saying in the resolution that a larger size might make scheduling and attending meetings more difficult.

“There could be a liaison but we were not envisioning a city councilmember [on the task force],” Shields said.

Mayer David Tarter suggested that the task force include at-large members to prevent “regionalism” on the taskforce.

“I suspect that having people from each of the districts is probably a good idea,” Mayor David Tarter said. “If someone’s not represented, then they may feel like their interests aren’t being represented.”

The task force’s members are set to be determined before the end of the year.

“The idea is for the deadline for applications to be in mid-November so that we can get them to the Appointments Committee and then to City Council,” Shields said, adding that the goal is to get the appointments finalized by December.

The council voted 6-0 to approve the task force on Monday.

The task force is expected to end on July 1, unless extended by the City Council.

“There will be open meetings. Hopefully, a lot of the public will come to them so they can see the decision-making process,” Shields said.

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