Victim of West Falls Church ATM Shooting Dies — “A 73-year-old man has died days after he was shot at an ATM in Falls Church, Virginia, during an attempted robbery, police said days after the attack. The victim was identified as Nelson Alexander, a loving, family-oriented man and involved member of his church who sang in the choir, his loved ones said.” [NBC4]
FCPS Hires Firm for Superintendent Search — The Fairfax County School Board has awarded human resources recruitment firm GR Recruiting a contract to conduct a nationwide search for Superintendent Scott Brabrand’s successor. Fairfax County Public Schools says parents, students, staff, and community members will be involved in the process, with the next superintendent taking over on July 1, 2022. [FCPS]
Another Full I-66 West Closure Coming Tonight — “All lanes of I-66 West approaching Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) will close Monday night, October 25, for continued bridge beam installation at the I-66/I-495 Interchange. Traffic will be detoured using Route 7 and I-495. Multiple lanes of I-495 North approaching I-66 will be closed, along with a full closure of the 495 Express Lanes North and associated ramps at the interchange so that this work may be implemented.” [VDOT]
Nonprofit Opens New Office in Vienna — “A nonprofit organization focused on providing day programs for adults with disabilities held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and talent show on Thursday as it celebrated the opening of its new administrative office in Vienna. The new office for the nonprofit SPARC is at The Church of the Good Shepherd, a United Methodist church located at 2351 Hunter Mill Road in Vienna.” [Patch]
County Board Looks at Waiving EV Permit Fees — “Fairfax County supervisors on Oct. 19 directed the county’s Department of Land Development Services to analyze the possibility of waiving permitting fees associated with installation of electric-vehicle infrastructure. The intention is to reduce barriers to switching to environmentally friendly alternatives, said Chairman Jeff McKay (D).” [Sun Gazette]
Updated at 12:15 p.m. — The crash site has been cleared, and all travel lanes on George Washington Memorial Parkway are now open with no delays reported as of noon, according to Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination.
FINAL: Crash with Injury. George Washington Parkway SB before VA-123. Fairfax County, VA. Incident clear and all travel lanes are reopened. No delays reported at this time.
— MATOC Alerts (@MATOC) October 22, 2021
Earlier: A driver was killed in the crash that shut down southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean this morning (Friday), the U.S. Park Police says.
Park Police officers responded to the one-car crash on the parkway near the entrance to the CIA headquarters at approximately 5:18 a.m. The driver, who was the vehicle’s sole occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This incident is currently under investigation,” a U.S. Park Police spokesperson said. “Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”
Traffic closures remain in effect at the I-495 ramps to southbound George Washington Parkway and Turkey Run, according to police.
Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination reported at 5:51 a.m. that all southbound lanes on the parkway were blocked between the Capital Beltway and Route 123, slowing traffic to a crawl.
Ramps from the Inner and Outer Beltway Loops to George Washington Parkway were also closed, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.
George Washington Pkwy southbound CLOSED between I-495/Capital Beltway and VA-123/Chain Bridge Rd
GW SB not accessible From I-495.
Extended closure expected. NB Lanes Open.
Listen live to WTOP's latest traffic reports every 10 minutes on the 8s. https://t.co/iHSDUC0yin
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) October 22, 2021
Updated at 4:50 p.m. — The gas leak at Dolley Madison Library has stopped, and all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units have returned to service, the department has reported.
Washington Gas said in a statement that it discovered a gas line had been damaged by a contractor, but the company was able to stop the flow of gas around 3:30 p.m., and it’s now working to repair the line. There has been no impact to customers other than the library, and service will be restored there after repairs are complete.
Earlier: Dolley Madison Library and the McLean Community Center have been evacuated due to a gas leak at the library, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says.
Both facilities have been closed, as has a stretch of Ingleside Avenue by Oak Ridge Avenue.
Fire department units are currently on the scene at 1244 Oak Ridge Avenue in McLean. The department says a gas pipeline was struck by workers, but so far, the identity of the workers and the project they were involved with is unclear.
In a 2:33 p.m. update, FCFRD shared that the line is 2 inches in size, and the leak had been stabilized with no injuries reported. Washington Gas has arrived at the scene and is currently working to stop the leak.
MCC says the Old Firehouse Center will still be open for its after school program.
Traffic on Ingleside Avenue by Oak Ridge is being diverted.
Units on scene of a gas leak in the 1200 block of Oak Ridge Avenue- Dolley Madison Library. Unknown size gas line hit by workers. Library and McLean Community Center evacuated as a precaution. Ingleside Ave closed from 1235 Ingleside Ave to Dolley Madison. Avoid area. #FCFRD pic.twitter.com/6oWe3jl6kE
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) October 14, 2021
— Fairfax Library (@fairfaxlibrary) October 14, 2021
A closure announcement from today, October 14: pic.twitter.com/DGe050vg42
— McLean Community Center (@mcleanvacenter) October 14, 2021
David Taube contributed to this report.
Last Day for Voting Registration in Virginia — Today (Tuesday) is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 2 general election, which will determine Virginia’s next governor, House of Delegates, and other races. New voters and people who need to update their name or address can register online or by visiting the Fairfax County general registrar’s office. [Office of Elections]
Post Service Pilots Paycheck Redemption in Falls Church — The U.S. Postal Service is testing a program where people can redeem paychecks for Visa gift cards, topping out at $500, in Falls Church, Washington, Baltimore and the Bronx. It began in September and could expand to other places, possibly going nationwide after the holiday season. [The Washington Post]
More Overnight I-66 Closures Starting Today — “All lanes of I-66 West approaching Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) will close nightly October 12-14 for continued bridge beam installation at the I-66/I-495 Interchange. Traffic will be detoured using Route 7 and I-495. The ramp from I-495 North to I-66 West, as well as the 495 Express Lanes North, and multiple lanes of I-495 North approaching I-66 will also be closed so that this work may be implemented.” [VDOT]
Falls Church Warns of School Bus Delays — “Falls Church City Public Schools in Virginia is alerting parents that some school bus routes could be delayed because of double runs starting Tuesday. The problem is driver shortages. The announcement comes as many school districts in the D.C. region are experiencing similar issues.” [WTOP]
35th District Delegate Candidate Forum Tonight — The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area is hosting an online candidate forum at 7 p.m. today for Virginia’s 35th House District, which includes the Town of Vienna and part of Tysons. Register in advance to hear the conversation between incumbent Del. Mark Keam (D) and challenger Kevin McGrath (R). [Patch]
A portion of I-495 South, also known as the Capital Beltway Outer Loop, will be fully closed during overnight hours starting tomorrow (Oct. 8) so construction crews can continue installing overhead bridge beams at the I-66 interchange in Dunn Loring.
The closure will extend to the I-66 West ramp to I-495 South, the 495 South Express Lanes, and several 495 Express Lanes ramps.
“Drivers traveling on I-66 and I-495 during this time should expect delays and consider using alternate routes,” the Virginia Department of Transportation said in a news release. “Message boards across the region will direct drivers on I-95 and I-495 to use alternate routes those nights.”
Here are more details on the impending closures from VDOT:
I-495 South approaching I-66
- Two lanes will be closed Friday (Oct. 8) from 10 p.m.-6 a.m., Saturday (Oct. 9) from 10 p.m.-7 a.m., and Sunday (Oct. 10) from 9 p.m.-5:30 a.m.
- All lanes of I-495 South will be closed Friday and Saturday from midnight to 5 a.m., and Sunday from 11:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
Ramp from I-66 West to I-495 South
- The ramp will be closed Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m.-5 a.m., and Sunday night from 11:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m.
- 495 Express Lanes and ramps will be closed from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. every night.
Traffic will be detoured onto I-66 West to the Nutley Street exit in Vienna before looping onto I-66 East back toward I-495 South.
VDOT notes that the construction work depends on the weather and could be rescheduled if there are inclement conditions.
This will be the third consecutive weekend of construction-related closures on I-495 after recent lane closures on the Beltway at the Dulles Toll Road interchange in Tysons for joint bridge work there.
This weekend’s beam installation is part of work on a new flyover ramp that will connect I-495 North to I-66 West, one of several changes coming to the interchange courtesy of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project to add toll lanes on I-66 from Dunn Loring to Gainesville.
According to VDOT, the reconfigured interchange will provide access to and from the 495 Express Lanes to the new I-66 Express Lanes, enable drivers to switch between express and general-purpose lanes when changing roadways, and replace existing noise walls while adding new ones on I-66 near Idylwood Park.
Work has been ongoing throughout the I-66 corridor since 2018. Just this past weekend, two new ramps from Nutley Street to I-66 West opened to traffic in Vienna. The express lanes are expected to open to traffic in December 2022.
(Updated at 8:40 a.m.) Flood Watch in Effect — Fairfax County is under a Flood Watch into this afternoon, as “significant” rain is expected. Several roads have been closed due to flooding or downed trees, including Potomac River Road at Georgetown Pike, Lawyers Road at Hunter Mill, and Old Courthouse at Besley Road. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, FCPD]
Suspect in Tysons Sexual Assault Charged in New Incident — Fairfax County police have filed new sexual assault charges against a Woodbridge man who was arrested on Sept. 3 in connection with a sexual assault reported at a Tysons hotel in July. Reported on Aug. 26, the second incident involved the man allegedly assaulting a woman he’d arranged to meet at a hotel in the Seven Corners area. [Patch]
FCPS Shares SAT Results — The Class of 2021 performed above the national average on the SAT with just a 4.4% drop in participation, compared to a 31.4% global decline, despite the challenges of conducting standardized testing during the pandemic, Fairfax County Public Schools reported yesterday (Wednesday). Results from the College Board showed that Asian and white students recorded higher average scores than their Black and Hispanic counterparts. [WTOP]
Area Officials Consider Prioritizing Equity in Planning — The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments board will vote on Oct. 13 on a regional transportation and land use plan that would prioritize low-income residents and communities of color when allocating funds for affordable housing, transportation, and other projects. Planners say the move would help address disparities in health outcomes and access to transit and other services. [The Washington Post]
Tysons Media Company Has Suitors — “Tegna Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), the Tysons-based operator of dozens of U.S. television stations, said Tuesday it has recently received multiple acquisition proposals — a new round of overtures after offers last year were pulled as the Covid-19 pandemic was taking hold. According to reports, media mogul Byron Allen is teaming with alternative investment firm Ares Management Corp. (NYSE: ARES) on a bid, while private equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc. (NYSE: APO) and Standard General LP are joining on another.” [Washington Business Journal]
Regional Park Authority Founders Celebrated — The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority recently lauded the achievements of its founders, including conservationist Ira Gabrielson, who gave land to Fairfax County that became Oakton’s Gabrielson Gardens Park. Started 62 years ago, NOVA Parks has preserved more than 12,000 acres of land and oversees attractions like the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail. [Sun Gazette]
(Updated at 10:15 a.m.) A Flash Flood Warning has been issued for much of northeastern Fairfax County with a particular emphasis on the Tysons and Vienna area.
By 8 a.m., between one and three inches of rain had already fallen, and instances of flash flooding have been reported throughout the morning. The National Weather Service alert warned of “life threatening flash flooding of creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets, and underpasses.”
The alert is in effect until 11:45 a.m.
9:02 am: Numerous reports of flooding continue to come in from near Vienna/Tysons into the District. Rainfall rates of as much as an inch in 15 to 20 minutes or three inches per hour. Best to continue to stay off local roads unless absolutely necessary. https://t.co/KkgWXGd3jT pic.twitter.com/1OOYCNyee6
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) August 20, 2021
By 10:02 a.m., Beulah Road at Browns Mill Road in Wolf Trap, Hilltop Avenue at Cedar Lane in Dunn Loring, and Georgetown Pike at Swinks Mill Road by Scott’s Run were added to the list of flooding-induced road closures.
“Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads,” the NWS said in a flood warning for the DC region this morning. “Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.”
At least one person got stuck in a vehicle in the Vienna area on Old Courthouse and Beasley roads but self-evacuated, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said.
UPDATE: driver self evacuated. No injuries. All units returning to service. Roadway will be closed. Seek alternate route. #FCFRD encourages drivers to #TurnAroundDontDrown! Don't drive into flooded roads or around barriers closing roads. #weather #traffic https://t.co/lFRbDeUxc2
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) August 20, 2021
The fire department also responded to a fallen tree in the McLean area that crashed into a home in the 800 block of Dolley Madison Boulevard and toppled an oil tanker.
Units on scene of a tree into a home in the 800 block of Dolley Madison Boulevard in McLean area. Medium size tree fell. Minimal damage. All occupants safe. Oil tank toppled over. Haz Mat crews evaluating. Situation stable. Most units returning to service. #FCFRD #weather pic.twitter.com/xuMvmlIxId
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) August 20, 2021
Emergency responders said they expect several calls for help as people attempt to drive through flooded, and sometimes closed, roadways “only to stall and become trapped.”
They encouraged people to seek alternate routes and plan their travel.
A flash flood watch, which means flooding is possible, also involved part of DC and areas of Maryland (including Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, and surrounding areas) for this morning. An earlier alert, also a flash flood watch, identified other parts of Virginia (such as Manassas and Stafford).
“Heavy rainfall may result in rapid rises on streams, creeks, and in urban and poor drainage areas,” the NWS said.
The NWS also says that isolated severe thunderstorms, and some possible flooding, could occur on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 21 and 22) as a slow-moving system approaches from the Great Lakes this weekend.
Photo via NWS
(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) 302 people in McLean are without power after a tree fell and took out some utility wires on Spring Hill Road overnight.
Dominion Energy spokesperson Peggy Fox says the fallen tree broke one pole and two cross-arms, bringing down four spans of wire.
Spring Hill Road has been closed between Georgetown Pike and Old Dominion Drive so that crews can work to address the downed pole and restore power, WTOP reported.
According to Dominion’s outage map, a crew is currently assessing the damage caused by the tree, and the estimated time of restoration is between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., a timeframe confirmed by Fox.
Big repair project on Spring Hill Rd due to tree falling on wires overnight:
4 cross-arms & 1 pole broken.
4 spans of wire down.
300 customers without power.
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) July 21, 2021
The Spring Hill Recreation Center (1239 Spring Hill Road) is temporarily closed due to the ongoing power outage, according to the Fairfax County Park Authority.
“Summer camps have been relocated to the school next door,” the park authority said on social media. “Indoor classes are temporarily canceled. Outdoor classes are being held as scheduled, but check with your instructor.”
Spring Hill RECenter is temporarily closed due to a power outage. Summer camps have been relocated to the school next door. Indoor classes are temporarily canceled. Outdoor classes are being held as scheduled, but check with your instructor. pic.twitter.com/SeeB6jgFeD
— Fairfax County Parks (@fairfaxparks) July 21, 2021
County Commits to Carbon Neutrality by 2040 — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors pledged yesterday (Tuesday) to make county government operations carbon-neutral by 2040 as part of a newly adopted Operational Energy Strategy. The move follows up on a recommendation issued by the county’s Joint Environmental Task Force last fall. [Fairfax County Government]
Virginia Named Best State for Business — CNBC named Virginia the number-one state for business in the U.S. for the fifth time, making it the only one to ever top consecutive rankings. CNBC, which didn’t release rankings last year due to the pandemic, highlighted the Commonwealth for its ability to recruit and retain talent. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Northrop Grumman to Test Moon Outpost — “NASA has finalized a $935 million contract with Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman for a moon outpost living quarters for astronauts as part of its Artemis program, which will eventually return humans to the surface of the moon…NASA is currently targeting November 2024 to launch the spacecraft on a SpaceX rocket.” [WTOP]
Park Street in Vienna Closed for Utility Work — “Park Street SE will be closed to SE-bound traffic between the traffic circle and Cherry Street SE for water utility work tomorrow, July 14, from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Thursday, July 15. One-directional NW-bound traffic on Park Street SE will be open.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]
McLean District Leads String of Vehicle Thefts — Fairfax County police have been investigating a series of stolen vehicle reports since early June. The incidents usually take place overnight and involve the suspects entering unlocked vehicles with the keys inside. The majority of thefts have occurred in the McLean District, which has 15 cases. [FCPD]
Tysons Boulevard Closure Delayed — Plans to close a section of Tysons Boulevard’s northbound lane for bicyclists and pedestrians have been postponed “due to a small delay in installation.” The temporary closure was scheduled to begin today (Tuesday) but will instead start next Wednesday (June 14). [Fairfax County Department of Transportation]
I-495 Ramps in Idylwood to Close Overnight — “The ramps from northbound I-495 to I-66 East and I-66 West are scheduled to be closed nightly Tuesday, July 6, through Thursday, July 8, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., and Friday night, July 9, from midnight to 4 a.m. for paving and implementation of a traffic shift…The I-66/I-495 Interchange is being rebuilt as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.” [VDOT]
Nearby: Tornado Touched Down in Arlington — The National Weather Service confirmed on Friday (July 2) that a tornado touched down during the thunderstorm that passed through the D.C. area the previous day. The twister charted a 4.4-mile path from northern Arlington to the National Mall and brought winds that reached 90 miles per hour. [ARLNow]