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Morning Notes

(Updated at 9 a.m.) Bill Ending School Mask Mandates Signed — Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed legislation yesterday (Wednesday) letting parents opt their children out of mask requirements, adding an emergency clause that sets a deadline of March 1. Fairfax County Public Schools said in a statement to Tysons Reporter that it’s reviewing what this means for the district, which sued to keep its mandate. [Patch]

Wind Advisory Takes Effect Tonight — The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, that will be in effect from 10 p.m. today (Thursday) to 10 a.m. tomorrow. The alert warns that winds could reach 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, potentially blowing down tree limbs and creating power outages. [NWS]

Tysons Area Schools to Hold Graduations in D.C. — Langley, Madison, Marshall, and McLean high schools will have graduation ceremonies at DAR Constitution Hall on May 31 and June 1 after the events were previously moved due to D.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, which ended Tuesday (Feb. 15). FCPS said the rule “would have prevented a number of students and families from attending.” [WTOP]

Seven Corners to Get New Fire Station — Fire Station 28 personnel moved to temporary quarters yesterday as Fairfax County prepares to tear the existing station down and build a new one in its place. The new building will have two levels and 13,500 square feet of space, and the current estimated occupancy is mid-2024. [FCFRD/Twitter]

Vienna Inn Named Top 10 “Lovable” Dive Bar — DC Eater ranked the longtime Town of Vienna staple as the 10th most lovable dive bar in the D.C. area: “Around since 1960, this Northern Virginia neighborhood institution is famous for its chili dogs and its convivial vibe. During the pandemic, the chill bar debuted curbside takeout, delivery, and heated outdoor seating.” [DC Eater]

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Updated at 6:05 p.m. — High winds have led to a surge in 9-1-1 and non-emergency public safety calls in Fairfax County.

The county is urging people to call 9-1-1 only if there is an emergency.

At least 76 traffic incidents have also been reported due to the ongoing weather, including events at the Route 50 and Prosperity Avenue intersection, according to Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik.

Earlier: More than 2,000 people in Tysons have lost power due to strong wind gusts that have pummeled Northern Virginia this afternoon (Friday).

According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, one of the biggest outages in the Tysons area is north of the Dulles Toll Road to the Potomac River, where 1,073 customers are currently without power. A crew has been dispatched to the area, but the cause of this outage is pending investigation.

An additional 1,084 people along Route 7 between I-495 and Spring Hill Road have also lost power. The outage has already been attributed to the wind storm, and a Dominion crew is awaiting assignment.

Two separate outages in the area around Wolf Trap National Park have collectively affected 1,195 customers.

Among those affected by the Route 7 outage is the Tysons District Taco (1500 Cornerside Blvd), which announced at 5:34 p.m. that it has closed until further notice after losing power.

Dominion Energy estimates that power could be restored throughout the area any time between 7 p.m. and midnight.

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory that took effect at noon and was later upgraded to a High Wind Warning, which will remain in effect until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday). Even though no rain or thunder was anticipated, the agency issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning at 4:38 p.m., saying that wind gusts could reach up to 60 miles per hour.

“Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall,” the NWS said. “This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.”

The Severe Thunderstorm Warning expired at 5:15 p.m., but local residents could be dealing with the storm’s impact well into this evening.

Image via Dominion Energy

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Morning Notes

Wind Advisory in Effect — The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, starting at noon today (Friday). In effect until 2 a.m. Saturday, the alert says to expect northwest winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 miles per hour. Gusts could blow around unsecured objects and bring down tree limbs, potentially leading to power outages. [NWS]

McLean Community Center Gets New Executive Director — The MCC Governing Board has chosen Daniel Phoenix Singh as the center’s next executive director was to succeed George Sachs, who is retiring on May 7. Singh’s selection to the position, which has an annual salary of $150,000, was effective April 12 but not publicly announced until the board’s meeting on Wednesday (April 28). [MCC]

Help Tysons Plan for COVID-19 Recovery — The Tysons Partnership is conducting a community survey until May 14 to gauge people’s interest in transit, dining, shopping, office work, and other activities affected by the pandemic. A follow-up to a similar survey from last summer, the results are expected to be released at the end of the month and “will be significant to recovery efforts,” President and CEO Sol Glasner told Tysons Reporter. [Tysons Partnership]

Police Body Cameras Coming to Falls Church — The City of Falls Church City will use grant funds and an anticipated $650,000 surplus in the current fiscal year to establish a body camera program for its police department. City Manager Wyatt Shields told the News-Press that the cameras should arrive in the next couple months. A Use of Force Committee recommended that the city evaluate the feasibility of body cameras in February. [Falls Church News-Press]

Tysons Social Tavern Reopens With Outdoor Patio — After a year-long closure, Tysons Social Tavern is back with operating hours from 4-10 p.m., seven days a week, and a new outdoor patio. The bar took over the O’Malley’s Pub spot at the DoubleTree Hilton in Tysons two years ago. [Tysons Social Tavern]

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Morning Notes

Wind Advisory in Effect Today — A wind advisory will be in effect today for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Winds could reach speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 miles per hour. Gusts could blow around unsecured objects and result in fallen tree limbs or power disruptions. [National Weather Service, Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management/Twitter]

Northam Plans to Speed Up Marijuana Legalization — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to ask the legislature to legalize the adult possession of an ounce or less of marijuana beginning on July 1, according to several sources with knowledge of the administration’s ongoing discussions with lawmakers. Lawmakers passed legislation last month that wouldn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2024.” [VPM]

Falls Church Narrows Down Possible New School Names — Committees tasked with selecting new names for the city’s elementary and high schools will present five recommendations each to the Falls Church City School Board by April 9. The groups have whittled hundreds of suggestions down to 18 options for the high school and 53 for the middle school. The school board will make the final decisions on May 13. [Falls Church News-Press]

Greater Washington Partnership Envisions Regional Train System — “An alliance of the Washington area’s top chief executives is pushing for Maryland and Virginia commuter trains to cross jurisdictions to provide service that would be more frequent and more interconnected…It could be achieved within a quarter-century, said the group, which has rallied support from transit advocates, the region’s passenger railroads and public- and private-sector groups.” [The Washington Post]

Satellite Telecommunications Company Moves Into Tysons — SpaceLink announced earlier this week that it has established a headquarters office in Tysons. The company, which also operates in Silicon Valley and Huntsville, Alabama, is developing a “network of satellites in medium Earth orbit that will provide secure, continuous, high-bandwidth communications between its clients’ low Earth orbit spacecraft and the ground.” [Virginia Business]

Fairfax County Sees Dip in Unemployment Rate — Fairfax County’s jobless rate dropped almost half a percent between December 2020 and January 2021, according to data from the Virginia Employment Commission. However, unemployment rates throughout Northern Virginia are still more than double pre-pandemic numbers. [Sun Gazette]

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Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area could experience wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour this afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory for the region last night that will be in effect from 2-6 p.m. today (Tuesday).

“Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects,” the NWS said. “Tree limbs could be blown down. A few power outages may result.”

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department advises securing outdoor objects and keeping electronic devices charged.

The wind advisory comes as refrozen ice lingering from yesterday’s snow and sleet wreak havoc on local roads. The Virginia State Police reported shortly after 7 a.m. that its troopers had cleared 13 traffic crashes since approximately 4:15 a.m. and were in the process of investigating another 32 crashes in the Northern Virginia region.

“The majority of the crashes have involved only damage to vehicles. No fatal traffic crashes reported,” VSP Public Relations Director Corinne Geller said, advising drivers to slow down and watch for black ice this morning, especially on overpasses and bridges.

In Fairfax County, first responders were on the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Leesburg Pike over Columbia Pike in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Falls Church around 7:45 a.m. Ice blocking the westbound left lane further contributed to travel delays.

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

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A Wind Advisory is in effect through 2 p.m. today (Monday) for Fairfax County.

The National Weather Service cautions that winds with gusts of up to 50 mph are expected in most of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.

The NWS first issued a wind advisory last night that was expected to continue until noon today, but the agency announced at 6:16 a.m. today that the advisory’s hours have been extended until to 2 p.m.

Here’s more from the alert:

* IMPACTS…Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department warns that scattered power outages are possible as winds could cause power lines, tree limbs, and trees to fall. Fallen power lines pose a particular danger when the ground is saturated by water, as it is in Fairfax County after recent rainy days.

Downed power lines can energize the ground up to 35 feet away, or more if there is water, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, which advises anyone who sees a downed power line to call 911.

“It is especially important to understand that downed lines can energize other objects, including fences, cars/trucks, buildings, bushes and trees, and telephone/cable TV cables,” the FCFRD says. “Assume all downed power lines are live and dangerous!”

Photo via FCPD/Twitter

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Get ready to bundle up if you venture outside this afternoon — forecasters expect a windy day.

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for Fairfax County and surrounding areas. The advisory says people can expect west winds from 20-25 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 mph from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Forecasts say the temperature will be around the low 40s today — which could feel more like the 20s with wind.

More from NWS:

* WHERE…Portions of The District of Columbia, central, north central and northern Maryland and northern and northwest Virginia.

* WHEN…From 11 AM this morning to 5 PM EST this afternoon.

* IMPACTS…Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

People are advised to be cautious while driving and to secure outdoor objects.

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Be warned, Fairfax County is under a wind advisory and it’s beginning to have residual impacts across the region.

Winds are expected to last all day with the strongest winds around noon.

According to the National Weather Service, the maximum wind gusts up to 50 mph are expected throughout the region, with most locations seeing up to 30 or 40 mph wind.

The strong winds are also having an impact on some local roads. Early this morning, Westmoreland Street at Orland Street in McLean was closed due to low hanging wires. The situation has been resolved since then and the street is now open.

Image via Twitter

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Monday Morning Notes

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.

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Morning Notes

VDOT: Slow Down, Beware of Slick Spots — “[VDOT] crews worked overnight to treat roads and will continue to do so today, as needed. If you can delay travel until the sun comes up, great. If not, please assume that all surfaces are icy. Your commute *will* take longer today. Reduce speeds, no heavy braking, and use your headlights!” [Twitter]

Fairfax County Government Open on Time — “Fairfax County Government offices are open on Wednesday, Jan. 30, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Employees are reminded that they should notify their supervisor if they elect to use unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.” [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Fairfax Connector Running Extra Service — “To accommodate passengers who are reporting to work later than usual this morning due to inclement weather, Fairfax Connector will operate extra service on the following routes today: 394, 395, 599, 698, 699.” [Twitter]

Wind and Wind Chill Warnings — Fairfax County is under a Wind Advisory through 6 p.m. tonight; wind gusts of up to 50 mph could result in downed trees and power lines. A Wind Chill Advisory will go into effect at 9 p.m., as whipping winds and falling temperatures cause wind chills to dip to -5 to -10 degrees. [Weather.gov, Weather.gov]

Prison Sentence for Fraudster — “A woman was sentenced in Alexandria federal court to 15 years in prison for defrauding over 50 victims out of more than $5.4 million. Among the victims was a 71-year-old McLean woman with cancer.” [Patch]

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