Hurricane Sandy Updates

Updated 10-31-2012 5:30 p.m.

Arlington County continues recovery efforts. This will likely be our last Sandy update, as response efforts have wound down and we are in recovery mode. As always, you can get information from all our regular County communications channels. We very much appreciate everyone's patience and understanding throughout this major weather event. Some last updates of note:

  • At this point, we still have about 18 streets that are blocked or partially blocked by downed trees. These are priorities for County crews.
  • As of 5:30 p.m., Dominion is reporting 2,077 Arlington households are without power. We understand from Dominion that it expects to have all customers restored by Thursday night. View an interactive outage map.
  • Arlington crews have made excellent progress on restoring traffic signals. As of 5:00 p.m., crews report that we have no dark intersections. Six signals are on generator power or are flashing.
    • Treat all flashing intersections as all-way stops.

And on the lighter side:

  • Thank you to the many Arlingtonians to contributed to our Hurricane Sandy Flickr group! Seeing all the damage, we are truly grateful that we had no storm-related fatalities or injuries in Arlington. Check out the photos, and post more!
  • Hurricane Sandy displaced at least two Arlington resident ... beavers, who left their homes and wandered into residential areas. Read the story.

Stay safe, everyone!

 

Updated 10-31-2012 12:30 p.m.

County Recovery Efforts Continue -- Stay Safe for Halloween!

As you trick-or-treat tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 31:

  • Watch out for slip and trip hazards such as wet leaves and small branches on sidewalks and driveways.
  • Be on the lookout for dangling wires.
  • Trick or Treaters—try and get your treats early while it is still light outside.
    • If you can’t--take a flashlight and remember to look high and low for hazards such as dangling wires and trees.
  • Homeowners—welcome any trick or treaters by clearing your sidewalks of debris that might pose a threat.
  • Drivers -- some signals, and some traffic signs are still down -- please be careful as you drive around the County -- look out for those little ghosts and goblins!

County crews hard at work:

  • As of last night, crews have already collected 80 tons of brush and debris.
  • Help us out -- remember that leaf bags are only to be used for leaves, not brush and other storm debris. Thank you!

Lubber Run Community Center closed Wednesday, Oct. 31

  • Programs have either been cancelled or moved to an alternative location.
  • Check the County website for more detailed program information for Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Looking for ways to help others recover from Hurricane Sandy?

VDEM (Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management) is offering a list of volunteer opportunities. Information on how to become a disaster volunteer in Virginia and initial information on volunteering in other states to assist with recovery efforts is available at http://www.vaemergency.gov/volunteer .

 

Updated 10-30-2012, 4:35pm

County Government open Wednesday, Oct. 31

  • Arlington County Government offices, libraries, courts, community centers, and nature centers will re-open Wednesday, for normal business operations. Schools will also be open.

County moving into recovery mode

  • With the weather improving and forecast calling for milder, drier weather, Arlington County is moving into recovery operations.
  • Arlington’s damage assessment teams are surveying the entire County. At this early stage, they expect damages will be in the millions of dollars.
  • Trash and Recycling Services to resume Wednesday, Oct. 31:
    • Trash and recycling services, including scheduled brush and leaf bag collection, will resume Wednesday, Oct. 31.
    • Monday/Tuesday pickup is rescheduled for Wednesday, Wednesday/Thursday pickup is rescheduled for Thursday, and Friday pickup is normal.
    • Note: It may take an additional day for pickup on your route, but pickup is expected to be completed by Saturday.
    • For storm debris, please request a brush collection online or call 703-228-6570. The normal requirement for brush to be less than 18-inches in diameter has been waived.
  • Emergency operations are winding down as we move into recovery mode.
  • Public safety, operations staffing are returning to normal levels.

 

Updated 10-30-2012, 1:55pm

In-person absentee voting

Arlington voters can vote in-person absentee through 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

Brush and leaf collection

  • Brush and leaf bag collection will resume Wednesday, Oct. 31 with trash and recycling services.
  • Both will follow the deferred schedule - Monday/Tuesday rescheduled for Wednesday; Wednesday/Thursday rescheduled for Thursday; Friday as normal.
  • For storm debris, request a brush collection online or call 703-228-6570. The normal requirement for brush to be less than 18-inches in diameter is waived.
  • The Solid Waste Bureau thanks you for your patience!

ART Bus returning

  • ART (Arlington Transit) is gradually returning to service. This afternoon, ART 51 and ART 41 are beginning service. They may be delays.

50,000 Arlington Alert subscribers can’t be wrong

  • The County's free Arlington Alert system has kept 50,000 subscribers informed during Hurricane Sandy.
  • The number of subscribers rose by some 2,000 during the approach and arrival of the storm, providing vital emergency information by email, text and smartphone.
  • Arlington Alert will continue to provide updates in the storm's aftermath as well as warnings and instructions for future public safety events.
  • Subscribe to Arlington Alert at https://www.arlingtonalert.com/index.php.

Dominion’s Response to Hurricane Sandy

The following response comes to Arlington County from Dominion Power:

“Strong winds and rain did escalate last night as was forecast. In order to keep our crew personnel safe, we did have to suspend restoration for a short duration.  However, work planning and staging continued through the night and crews were redeployed this morning to continue restoration work, including repairs and damage assessments.

"While 201,000 customers in Northern Virginia have been affected by the storm, more than half have been restored.  As of 11:40 a.m., about 94,000 customers were without service in the region.

"As we continue restoration work today, we will be performing damage assessments to determine estimated restoration times.  We anticipate being able to provide individual restoration estimates beginning Wednesday. Late this afternoon, we will project the time for completion of all restoration work in Northern Virginia.  We anticipate significant progress today with critical facilities receiving priority attention.   

"Dominion’s workforce is fully mobilized and supplemented with significant resources from other utilities and from contractors. 

"As always, please encourage family, friends and workers to continue to be safe around power lines.  Remember downed wires and anything it is in contact with down power lines, including trees or branches, could be energized.  In addition to staying away from downed lines, we ask drivers to please slow down when they see crews on the road restoring power. It’s for their safety as well as the safety of our crews.

"Also, customers who have been restored may see temporary service interruptions today and tomorrow, as we work to safely restore other customers. These service interruptions allow us to safely make repairs. We ask our local officials to urge public safety and tree personnel to stay 30 feet from down lines.”   

Report downed power lines and power outages to Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

Dominion recently launched a mobile site that will help customers report outages using a smart phone or tablet Customers using these devices can go directly to the mobile site at http://m.dom.com/. They also will be automatically redirected to the mobile site when accessing the company’s web site at www.dom.com.  A tutorial on using the mobile site can be found at the following link: Smartphone Outage Reporting Tutorial

Several storm related tips are available at www.dom.com or on a smartphone at m.dom.com.

Outage numbers as of 12:40 p.m.:

Alexandria:                 8,424
Arlington:                    17,748
Fairfax:                        42,644
City of Fairfax:            298
Falls Church:             266
Fauquier:                    6,189
Loudoun:                    4,948
Prince William:          3,812

 

Updated 10-30-2012, 12:10pm

When driving

  • With flooded roadways, remember, “Turn Around, Don't Drown.” Water may be much deeper than you think.
    • Slow down on wet roads to avoid hydroplaning.
  • If you encounter traffic lights without power, drivers are reminded to obey all-way stop rules at intersections without power.
    • Treat each traffic light as a four-way stop, with the driver on the right having the right-of-way.
    • Proceed with caution only when traffic permits.
    • Enter intersections only when it is safe to do so, using turn signals to let other motorists know your intentions.
    • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
    • Watch out for and obey police officers directing traffic within intersections.

Avoid pooled water

  • As many schools are closed, and we were all children once, we know kids are attracted to flowing water such as in creeks and streams.  We ask that parents closely monitor their children and don’t let them play near creeks or streams as these will be rising rapidly.
  • Don’t walk through standing water when you can’t see the bottom.

Trash and Recycling

  • Trash and recycling services, including brush and leaf collection, will resume Wednesday.
    • Monday/Tuesday pickup is rescheduled for Wednesday.
    • Wednesday/Thursday pickup is rescheduled for Thursday.
    • Friday pickup is normal.
    • Note: It may take an additional day for pickup on your route, but pickup is expected to be completed by Saturday. Thank you for your patience! Please continue to watch for an announcement regarding brush collection after the storm.

Downed Trees

  • Arlington County crews are working to clear trees that are blocking roads. At this point, they are not hauling the debris away (that likely will begin tomorrow).
  • To report a downed tree, call 703-228-6525.

 

Updated 10-30-2012, 8:42am

Good morning.  It appears Arlington has been spared the worst of the storm’s impact. While we have had some tree and structural damage along with power outages, the effects are relatively light compared with other Mid-Atlantic areas and with what we had expected.

The derecho storm in June helped prune trees of overgrowth and emphasized for residents the need to maintain plans for emergencies.

  • We continue to urge caution. Conditions remain potentially dangerous outside. Avoid going out onto the roads. The National Capital Region is still experiencing wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
  • Never drive into standing water.
  • Exercise extreme caution when using generators:
    • Do not bring generators into the house. Don’t use camp stoves and lanterns without ventilation.  Never use stoves for heating.  Any of these can cause deadly buildup of carbon monoxide, a silent killer. If using a space or kerosene heater, practice proper safety procedures.
    • Read more generator safety tips.

Additional updates:

  • Power outages: Approximately 15,000 Dominion customers in Arlington County were without power as of 8:45 a.m., about 16% of the County’s 96,303 customers. This is down from a high of about 18,000 without power.
    • View an interactive outage map.
    • If you are without power, call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), or report through Dominion’s mobile website, http://m.dom.com/ 
    • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as long as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
    • If power is out, use flashlights, not candles.
  • Overnight, 22 houses were hit by fallen trees; we are happy to report that there were no resulting injuries. All have been assisted.
    • There are no known storm-related fatalities or injuries in Arlington.
    • Overnight calls into the Emergency Communications Center (9-1-1) doubled, compared with a week ago.
  • Approximately 20 traffic signals not working or flashing. County staff working on getting generators to key intersections.
    • Treat all dark intersections as all-way stops and be cautious.
  • Approximately 40 roads blocked or partially blocked by downed trees.
    • Many trees are touching downed power lines and the removal must be coordinated with Dominion to ensure safety.
    • Our crews are out and working. They are not yet picking up yard debris; we will keep you informed.
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia asks you to consider a donation to the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund. All money donated assists Virginians who are affected by disasters.  For more about the fund and to donate: https://payments.vi.virginia.gov/donatenow.

And, just for fun … do you have storm-related photos to share with us? Please contribute to our Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/ArlingtonSandy

 

Updated 10-29-2012, 6:19pm

 

  • For frequent updates on Hurricane Sandy's impact on Arlington, call: 415-655-0811.
  • Power outages in Arlington continue to mount, with Dominion reporting some 3,000 Arlington customers without power. Dominion crews are assessing damage and restoring power as conditions allow, but will have to take shelter if conditions become too dangerous. View Dominion's interactive power outage map.

Updated 10-29-2012, 5:32pm

  • Arlington County Government and Courts closed on Tuesday, 10/30
  • Arlington County Schools closed, Tuesday 10/30
  • No ART bus service
  • Metrorail and Metrobus will not resume service Tuesday morning.  An announcement on when service may be restored will be made after Metro is able to assess damage and weather conditions in the morning.

Updated 10-29-2012, 1:32pm

  • Arlington Public Schools closed Tuesday, 10/30
  • Arlington County Board’s “Open Door Monday” cancelled for tonight
  • Dominion’s mobile website
  • High wind danger
  • Do not drive into standing water

Open Door Monday session cancelled

Tonight’s scheduled “Open Door Monday” session with the Arlington County Board is cancelled. We urge everyone to get to a safe place and stay there.

Dominion Power mobile website

Dominion has launched a website, optimized for mobile use, from which you can report outages, get information, etc.

High wind danger

As high winds approach, exercise extreme caution. For the safety of our employees, Arlington County will implement its high-wind policy. As the wind approaches sustained speeds of 30-40-45 miles-per-hour, we will pull crews off the roads and in to a safe place. This includes Parks staff, who will suspend responding to downed tree calls during these dangerous wind conditions. As winds approach very high, sustained speeds, police and fire personnel will respond only to life-threatening calls.

Please exercise extreme caution; emergency managers urge you to go a safe place and stay there. We also encourage you to remove/secure loose items from your yard, balcony, deck, etc., as these could become dangerous projectiles in high wind. Do this if you can do so safely.

  • Monday & Tuesday trash and recycling services are delayed until Wednesday. Bring your trash carts and recycling bins into your house/garage; do not leave them outside, as they could become airborne and dangerous.

Driving in flood conditions

We are receiving reports of ponding on some roads. Standing water is deceptive; do not drive into standing water. Do not go out onto the roads if at all possible; we urge you to get to a safe place and stay there.

  • Do not drive into standing water. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles .
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-ups.

Updated 10-29-2012, 11:20am

It's a good idea to remove or secure loose items from your yard, balcony, deck, etc., as these could become dangerous projectiles in high wind. Do this if you can do so safely.

  • Monday & Tuesday trash and recycling services are delayed until Wednesday. Bring your trash carts and recycling bins into your house/garage; do not leave them outside, as they could become airborne and dangerous.

Updated 10-29-2012, 8:45am

Arlington emergency managers urge everyone to stay where you are. High winds and the danger of falling trees will present an extremely unsafe environment. Get yourself to a safe place and stay there.

Items of note:

  • Monday & Tuesday trash and recycling services are delayed until Wednesday. Bring your trash carts and recycling bins into your house/garage; do not leave them outside, as they could become airborne and dangerous.
  • For details on County cancellations, visit the County website, www.arlingtonva.us.
  • Emergency Winter Shelter is open 24/7.
  • If you have a life-threatening emergency, always call 9-1-1. The non-emergency number (for the Emergency Communications Center) is 703-558-2222.

Who to Call 

To prepare for a possible power outage, print out or write down these numbers

  • Power outages: Dominion Virginia Power, 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), or 1-888-667-3000.  (or www.dom.com)
    • Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and folks with disabilities
  • Natural gas emergencies: Washington Gas 703-750-1400 or 800-752-7520. If you smell gas, leave and call 9-1-1. Washington Gas Safety Page
  • Trees Down: 703-228-6525
  • Street flooding, water, sewer and storm-sewer: 703-228-6555 (emergency hotline)
    (Note: During high rains, call volume is often greater than normal. Operators will respond to your call as soon as they can.)
  • Traffic signal outages: 703-228-6511
  • Community assistance: If you are without power, out of food, need shelter or any number of vital services, call 703-228-1300 to get connected to people and organizations that can help.
    • You can also dial 2-1-1 from any phone.
    • For life-threatening emergencies, always call 9-1-1.
  • Internet or Cable TV outages:
  • If you have a life-threatening emergency, always call 9-1-1. The non-emergency number (for the Emergency Communications Center) is 703-558-2222.

Media Contacts

Communications Duty Officer
703-228-3936