(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) A thunderstorm that has reportedly dropped hail in nearby Arlington County and D.C. has also knocked out power for more than 3,000 McLean residents.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for northeastern Fairfax County, though it was scheduled to end at 4:45 p.m.
According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, power outages attributed to failed circuits were affecting 1,638 customers around Ingleside and Langley as well as 839 customers in the area around the Route 123 and George Washington Memorial Parkway interchange.
Another 703 customers in downtown McLean are also without power, though a cause is still under investigation.
Crews are awaiting assignment, and an estimated time of restoration for the power outages is pending investigation, according to Dominion.
In addition, traffic delays may be coming after a downed tree was reported on the southbound GW Parkway after Route 123.
[8/26 at 4:13 PM] A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued until 4:45 PM for Northeastern Fairfax County. Significant lightning is associated with these storms. Please move indoors immediately. #VaWx pic.twitter.com/8EmcwGPhyE
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) August 26, 2021
Listen live to WTOP's latest traffic reports every 10 minutes on the 8s. https://t.co/k7ONQAzTiR or on the WTOP app
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) August 26, 2021
(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) Over 8,000 people in Fairfax County still don’t have electricity this evening (Wednesday) as crews work to restore power and clear downed trees, the aftermath of last night’s thunderstorm.
Commuters were experiencing delays as part of Leesburg Pike that’s requiring detours. Emergency responders shut down the roadway between George C. Marshall and Dominion drives in Falls Church due to downed trees and power lines there.
Police told Tysons Reporter around 4:30 p.m. that the road remains closed in both directions and that power crews are attempting to clear the roadway and restore power, which could be completed in 10-12 hours.
“Follow detour signs in the area and please drive with caution,” Fairfax County Police Department said on Twitter.
Leesburg Pike remains shut down between George C Marshall Dr and Dominion Dr in Falls Church due to downed trees and power lines in the roadway. Follow detour signs in the area and please drive with caution #FCPD pic.twitter.com/FAFAYoEDRh
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) August 11, 2021
The Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library was closed due to the ongoing power outage resulting from fallen trees and downed power lines on Route 7, which remains closed for about a quarter-mile from the I-495 interchange.
A Fairfax County Public Library spokesperson confirmed the Tysons-Pimmit closure to Tysons Reporter and added that the Kingstowne and Sherwood Regional branches were also shut down at 11 a.m. due to a lack of power.
Leesburg Pike inside just I-495 is closed for about a 1/4 mile. Huge tree took down 4 poles & 2 spans of wires lay across Route 7.
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) August 11, 2021
Metrobus warned of possible delays as it rerouted buses going in both directions on Route 28A due to the scene.
Metro’s Orange Line has also been experiencing numerous delays late last night and into this morning.
While power was restored to the West Falls Church station around 9:45 p.m. yesterday after a storm-related outage, service was suspended again an hour later between Vienna and East Falls Church in response to “an unauthorized person” on the train tracks at West Falls Church.
Lingering power issues outside Dunn Loring then contributed to delays as far as New Carrollton in Maryland; starting around 5 a.m., Metrorail reported that normal service on the Orange Line had resumed about an hour later, but by 7 a.m., a disabled train at Dunn Loring triggered more delays, this time in Vienna.
Metrorail said at 7:45 a.m. to expect delays in both directions on the Orange Line due to the “train malfunction” at Dunn Loring.
While electricity has been restored for many of the 50,000-plus Fairfax County residents who lost power last night, thousands of Dominion Energy customers are still without power, primarily in the Merrifield and Falls Church area.
Many businesses in the Pimmit and Falls Church areas put up signs indicating that they are closed due to the power outages, including the Whole Foods, Capital One Bank, Orangetheory Fitness, and My Eye Doctor in Idylwood Plaza.
At Tysons Station plaza, store after store posted closed signs. The sign for Java Loco Coffee said it expected to be closed for the day. Trader Joe’s used two freezer trucks in the rear of the plaza to store meats and food beginning last night when the store’s power went out, an employee said. Also in the rear of the plaza, Tyson’s Barber regained power around 11 a.m., a worker said Wednesday with a sigh of relief.
Behind Tysons Station plaza, a detached Seven-11 was closed, but a Sunoco gas station had its pumps working as well as electricity. Across from Tysons Station, an Exxon had no pumps working, and an employee operated the store in the dark for cash-paying customers and regulars.
According to the utility company’s outage map, Dominion expects power to be restored between 7 p.m. today and midnight, mirroring similar restoration estimates for nearby areas.
— Peter Kiley (@PDad) August 11, 2021
Meanwhile, a heat advisory will be in effect today from noon until 8 p.m., and an excessive heat watch, where dangerously hot conditions are possible, will be in effect for tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon and evening.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is reminding people to use air conditioning, avoid direct sunlight, choose appropriate clothing, hydrate, and follow other safety tips.
The Falls Church Community Center has been turned into a cooling center until 8 p.m., the City of Falls Church announced this morning. Face coverings and social distancing are required for all, and visitors must sign a COVID-19 waiver.
The city also shared information about how to handle fallen trees and suggested reporting downed power lines to the police department at 703-241-5053.
“Community members should play it safe in the aftermath of last night’s storm that left many without power today as well as downed trees and branches,” the city said in its news release.
Falls Church City residents may see a delay in trash and recycling collections today. Bins that are not collected by 4 p.m. can be reported to the city’s Solid Waste Hotline 703-248-5160, option 1.
Severe thunderstorms and flash floods are possible during afternoon and evening hours from today through Saturday.
After people in Tysons noticed roughly 100 trees were cut down on the edge of an upcoming townhome and condominium development, a community Twitter account asked its followers who might be responsible.
Tysons Reporter found the answer — the property along Magarity Road is slated for redevelopment by the Toll Brothers Group. The group claimed responsibility for taking down the trees.
Previously, the property named The Commons at Mclean was abandoned and overgrown by weeds until taken over by the new developers.
Eric Anderson, the president of the Toll Brothers Group, said that the trees were in a development right of way and needed to be taken down.
“Per the [Tysons Comprehensive Plan], there were requirements in place to allow for [a] future right of way on all sides of the property,” he said, adding that the space will be used to build a bike lane, sidewalks and an expanded roadway.
“I ran that trail this morning. Missing the sweet smell of pine. They were old-growth trees as well, probably 40-50 yrs old each,” one person commented on Twitter.
By the time the new development is complete, Anderson said that 355 new trees will be planted on the property.
Last night as we slept 85+ trees were shamelessly murdered in #TysonsVA 22102 along Magarity Rd (from Anderson Rd to Westgate Elem). Who's responsible for this? RT if you love #trees! pic.twitter.com/zW9vJydPft
— Tysons, Virginia (@TysonsVA) May 30, 2020
Photo courtesy @TysonsVA /Twitter
After Wawa chopped down trees it wasn’t supposed to, Town of Vienna officials want to create a plan to prevent anything similar happening again.
Town Manager Mercury Payton told the Vienna Town Council on Monday (Dec. 9) that a committee is working “to identify more efficient communication with residents about construction incidents.”
The town announced last month that Wawa’s actions were a result of “misunderstanding and human error.” The loss of the trees sparked an uproar among locals — what Councilmember Steve Potter called an “extremely emotional” incident at the Monday meeting.
Payton apologized to both the residents who live behind the Wawa site and all of the residents in the town.
“I feel awful about the fact that the town played a role in initiating the action that Wawa took in removing the trees,” Payton said.
Payton told the councilmembers that the town’s urban arborist told Wawa about the health of the trees that Wawa eventually cut — even though they were not included in the approved site plan.
“It is in my view that if the town urban arborist had not brought the matter up to Wawa, Wawa would not have brought the trees down,” Payton said. “They would have stuck to the site plan and the issue would not have occurred.”
Payton said that the arborist should have advised Wawa that a site plan change was necessary, but that, ultimately, the site plan is Wawa’s responsibility.
Payton later said the arborist did not do anything incorrectly when pressed by Councilmember Pasha Majdi about the roles and responsibilities of the arborist.
“I don’t think the best way to run this town is to say that someone should have done something that they are not tasked with doing and it’s not required and it’s not explicated to that staffer,” Majdi said.
“From our perspective, we try to go above and beyond,” Payton responded.
Currently, the town’s departments each manage their own communication with residents about projects, Payton said. The internal review is meant to identify how the departments can follow a unified communication plan.
Several councilmembers expressed support for the internal review, including Councilmember Douglas Noble, who requested to see the outcome of the committee’s findings and recommendations.
“I always like to see what the problem is first… and then work forward,” Noble said.
“The trees are dead. They aren’t alive,” Potter said. “There are a lot of trees that this could happen to again.”
After a storm last night, two roads in the Westhampton neighborhood in McLean are closed due to fallen trees.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the roads closed are:
- Hutchinson Street at Great Falls Street
- Turner Avenue at Grayson Place
Both are blocked by a tree in the roadway.
Power outages last night in McLean and Tysons have been resolved.
After extreme weather took a toll on Cherry Hill Park, the City of Falls Church has turned the remaining parts of the destroyed trees into art.
Recreation and Parks Director Daniel Schlitt commissioned a local artist to create statues from leftover stumps created by a violent storm last year that killed a few trees, Susan Finarelli, a city spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.
Artist Andrew Mallon lives in Falls Church and specializes in chainsaw log-art. He began work on the installation in early August after Schlitt hired him for the job, Mallon told Tysons Reporter.
The installation includes four different statues, each scattered throughout the park.
The logs portray animals that would be found in neighboring forests, Mallon said. The art includes baby animals, because he thinks of parks as gathering places for families.
Mallon declined to say how much money the city paid him for the work, and Finarelli did not respond to a follow-up email.
The carvings were completed last Friday (Aug. 23) and are now on display for public viewing at 312 Park Avenue, Mallon said.
Cherry Hill Park will be a bit noisy the next few weeks. A local artist is using chainsaws to transform stumps into carved sculptures. Here are the "before" pictures. You're welcome to swing by to see the sculpting in progress! pic.twitter.com/LLauQN5RjF
— City of Falls Church (@FallsChurchGov) August 12, 2019
Photos via City of Falls Church
As a storm moves through the area, some residents in McLean are impacted by fallen trees and power outages.
A preliminary local storm report from the National Weather Service says that there is a “tree down with power lines down on Spring Vale Avenue.” ABC 7 meteorologist Alex Liggitt tweeted that trees are down in McLean.
Another NWS report says wind damage was reported in Tysons.
The Dominion Energy map shows two power outages currently in McLean as of 4:50 p.m. today (May 2) — one affecting 30 customers by the Old Dominion School Site Park and another one affecting 61 customers in between Scott’s Run Nature Preserve and I-495.
Dominion expects that power will be restored later tonight for both outages — between 7-10 p.m. for the Old Dominion area and between 8-11 p.m. for the one by the American Legion Bridge.
53 mph wind gust right by the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Trees down in McLean, VA and Rockville, MD so far. Let me know if you have any reports!
— Alex Liggitt (@ABC7Alex) May 2, 2019
Downed Trees Block Roads — A High Wind Warning is in effect for Fairfax County for most of the day. A number of trees are reported to have fallen in parts of the area, blocking roads, including in McLean on Old Dominion Drive at Franklin Park Road and on Georgetown Pike near the Beltway. [Twitter, Twitter]
Police Department Mourns Fallen K-9 — “Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. announced the unexpected death today, Feb. 22, of K-9 Doby, one of our K-9 officers.” [FCPD]
FCPS Gets More Than Half of Budget — “For the second year in a row, Fairfax County plans to grant all of the transfer funds requested by the county school board… FCPS accounts for 52.9 percent of the county’s general fund budget. Hill’s proposed county transfer to the public school system exceeds the $2.1 billion requested by the school board.” [Fairfax Times]
The Case for Suburb-to-Suburb Transit — “The Purple Line, which is expected to begin service in late 2022, will provide an important suburb-to-suburb link, and local officials should seriously consider constructing extensions to Tysons Corner and Largo.” [Greater Greater Washington]
More Childless Households in Falls Church — “While the 2.4 million population in the Northern Virginia region, overall, is characterized by a continuing growth in numbers of children, and households with children, this is not true for Falls Church… the number of households with children in the City has actually decreased by 5.3 percent in that same period.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Local Doc Goes on Medical Mission Trip — “On Jan. 26, 2019, a team from… Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery of McLean flew from Dulles Airport to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic” on a medical mission trip to treat “both children and adults of Dominican and Haitian background.” [McLean Connection]
New Look for Tysons Reporter — Tysons Reporter is debuting a new, cleaner look for our site today. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Route 50 — “Officers responded to the report of a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian on Arlington Boulevard near Summerfield Road, at approximately six [Friday] night. The pedestrian was crossing Arlington Boulevard, not in a crosswalk, and was hit by a dark colored mid to full-size pickup truck with an open bed. The truck did not stop and drove away from the scene. The pedestrian, 93-year-old Pericles Apostolou, from Falls Church, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.” [FCPD]
Tegna Auctioning Office Fixtures — Broadcast conglomerate Tegna is moving from its current Tysons home to the Boro development. As part of the move, it’s auctioning off furniture, TVs and other items of value from around the office. Bids close Thursday. [Washington Business Journal, Rasmus Auctions]
Local Hackers Gather in McLean — “All day Monday, the NoVa Hackers held their SchmooCon Epilogue in McLean… Over 150 members attended topical lectures, competed in MetaCTF challenges, and participated in discussions about cyber and information security between insider groups.” [WDVM]