Alexandria, VA

(Update 7:30 p.m.) A Flash Flood Watch in effect in Alexandria from 11 p.m. tonight until 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

“Plan for hazardous wind of equivalent tropical storm force,” warned NWS. “Remaining efforts to protect property should be completed as soon as possible. Prepare for limited wind damage.”

Alexandria Fire Department spokesperson Raytevia Evans said the department is coordinating with other departments to monitor water levels to prepare, whether it’s a full storm or just a downpour.

“We’re focused across the entire city,” Evans said. “Because those floodings happen in those areas often, like Old Town, those kinds of things we’re monitoring, but we’re also making sure inland water rescue teams are prepped and ready to go for various areas.”

According to NWS:

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Significant flash flooding of small streams and creeks is likely
tonight into Tuesday evening as rainfall associated with Tropical
Storm Isaias spreads northward. Widespread rainfall totals of 3 to
6 inches are expected with locally higher amounts possible. The
highest amounts are expected east of the Blue Ridge Mountains
particularly over the I-95 corridor late tonight through Tuesday.
Tropical storm force winds are expected along and east of the
I-95 Corridor and north central Maryland. Tree damage and power
outages are possible in this area. Moderate coastal flooding is
also possible at times of high tide as Isaias makes its closest
approach to the area and continuing Wednesday morning.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

* FLOODING RAIN:
Prepare for life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible
extensive impacts along and east of the I-95 corridor. Potential
impacts include:
– Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues.
– Rivers and tributaries may rapidly overflow their banks in
multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, arroyos, and
ditches may become dangerous rivers. In mountain areas,
destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys while
increasing susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. Flood
control systems and barriers may become stressed.
– Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple
communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed
away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes.
Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with
underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous.
Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out.

Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having significant impacts
east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

* WIND:
Prepare for dangerous wind having possible significant impacts along
and east of the I-95 corridor.
Potential impacts in this area include:
– Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage
to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings
experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile
homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight
objects become dangerous projectiles.
– Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater
numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several
fences and roadway signs blown over.
– Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban
or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access
routes impassable.
– Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent
in areas with above ground lines.

* SURGE:
Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible moderate impacts
along the tidal Potomac River. Potential impacts in this area
include:
– Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along
immediate shorelines and in low-lying spots, or in areas
farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore.
– Sections of near-shore roads and parking lots become overspread
with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where
surge water covers the road.
– Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly
in usually vulnerable locations. Strong rip currents.
– Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks,
and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings.

James Cullum and Vernon Miles contributed to this report

Staff photo by James Cullum

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The number of new unemployment claims in Alexandria has reached levels not seen since early May, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

The latest numbers show that the number of new unemployment claims — those making their initial unemployment filings — has gone up to 932 for the week of July 25. Between July 18 and July 25, claims increased by 201.

The number of new initial filings has been steadily increasing since June 20, when it hit a low of 386 new claims.

While initial claims have gone up, the number of continued claims have held steady or gone down. For the week of July 25, there were 5,904 new claims, the lowest claims have been since May 2.

The third phase of reopening at the beginning of July appears to have done little to impact unemployment in the area. Alexandria’s numbers are also part of a statewide surge in new unemployment claims.

“The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced that the total number of initial claims filed from the beginning of the pandemic in Mid-March of 2020 through the July 25, 2020 filing week was more than double the average number filed during the last three economic recessions,” VEC said. “For the filing week ending July 25, the figure for seasonally unadjusted initial claims in Virginia was 42,966. The latest claims figure was an increase of 5,020 claimants from the previous week and rose to its highest level since May.”

Graphs by Vernon Miles

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The Alexandria man arrested after a July 11 shooting in the Braddock area has been identified as 34-year-old Lewis Dajuan Rose, according to court records.

Rose was arrested after police responded to a call for shots fired at around 12:45 a.m. on July 11. Rose, who suffered a broken bone above his left eye in an altercation in the 800 block of N. Henry Street, was arrested with seven cigarettes that tested positive for being dipped in PCP.

Rose was charged with possession of a firearm while in possession of a Schedule I/Schedule II substance, failure to stop/eluding police and possession of a firearm by a person subject to a protective order.

Rose was found by police allegedly holding a compact Kel-Tec 9mm pistol in his right hand. The gun had six rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber. Police recovered one shell casing from the scene, but it was not determined to belong to the gun allegedly taken from Rose, according to police.

Rose’s story on what happened changed multiple times, according to police.

“Before we entered the hospital, Mr. Rose stated the laceration by his eye was caused by an officer,” noted the affidavit. “It should be noted that later on, (police) overheard Mr. Rose’s conversation with a hospital nurse and he advised her that he was struck in the face by a firearm because someone attempted to rob him before police arrival.”

Rose told police that he didn’t remember how he was injured, and said that he did not shoot a gun and did not own a gun. He also asked to use the restroom multiple times and attempted to escape the hospital and was taken to the ground by officers, noted the affidavit.

“I should have ran out 20 minutes ago,” Rose laughingly said, according to police.

There were three reports of shots fired and a stabbing in the Braddock area last month, and police are investigating whether any of the cases are connected.

The area is also near to where a 17-year-old resident was shot on a basketball court earlier this year. It is near the Charles Houston Recreation CenterMason Social and Lost Dog Cafe.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Two Alexandria women have died from COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the total death count from the virus in the city to 59, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

There are now or have been 2,844 cases of the virus in Alexandria, which is an increase of 109 cases since last Monday, July 27. There are 2,218 COVID-related fatalities throughout Virginia, and there are or have been 93,106 cases.

It is not clear how many city residents have recovered from the virus.

“(I)ndividuals are not required to report when they feel better, especially since the vast majority of people who get COVID-19 recover at home with no medical treatment or testing,” city spokesman Craig Fifer said. “There’s no practical way to track ‘active’ cases. Even just among hospitalizations, an Alexandria resident could be hospitalized anywhere in the country (or technically beyond). Public health staff would have to track those hospitals and call them every day to see if those patients are still there. There’s no particular utility in doing this, so public health staff focus on more urgent activities.”

The city is now working on a distribution plan once a vaccine against the virus is available.

“While there is not yet a vaccine for COVID-19, more than 150 attempts are under development and 27 are currently in human trials to test their safety and efficacy,” notes a city news release. “AHD’s vaccine distribution framework summarizes objectives and tactics to support the missions of AHD and the City, to save lives and improve the quality of life as Alexandrians pull through the pandemic together.”

Age and Sex Breakdown

There are or have been 1,408 women (with 32 deaths) and 1,319 men (with 27 deaths) in Alexandria with the virus.

  • 80+     — 26 deaths, 97 cases
  • 70-79 — 18 deaths, 108 cases
  • 60-69 — Three deaths, 229 cases
  • 50-59 — 11 deaths, 355 cases
  • 40-49 — Zero deaths, 523 cases
  • 30-39 — Zero deaths, 655 cases
  • 20-29 — One death, 494 cases
  • 10-19  — Zero deaths, 210 cases
  • 0-9     — Zero deaths, 162 cases
  • Missing — Eight cases not listed by age

There have been 22,829 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests administered in Alexandria so far, and the city’s seven-day positivity rate shows a 6% infection rate of those tested. There have also been 3,536 antibody tests in Alexandria.

Cases By ZIP Code

The areas of the city with the leading number of cases are the 22304, 22305 and 22312 ZIP codes, which include the West End and Arlandria, Potomac Yard and Potomac West neighborhoods.

Some of the areas share jurisdictions between Alexandria and Arlington and Fairfax Counties:

  • 22301 — 98 cases, 1,703 people tested (Estimated population 15,171)
  • 22302 — 283 cases, 3,538 people tested (Estimated population 20,238)
  • 22304 — 848 cases, 6,958 people tested (Estimated population 54,003)
  • 22305 — 657 cases, 3,185 people tested (Estimated population 16,095)
  • 22311 — 541 cases, 3,412 people tested (Estimated population 16,898)
  • 22312 — 724 cases, 4,161 people tested (Estimated population 6,901)
  • 22314 — 259 cases, 4,030 people tested (Estimated population 47,826)

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

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(Updated at 2:30 a.m.) A Tropical Storm watch is in effect in Alexandria. The city is giving away sandbags as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches, but announced the location is temporarily closed.

“The sandbag pickup location at 133 S. Quaker Lane is temporarily closed while supplies are being replenished, and should reopen by approximately 4:30 p.m.” the city said in a news release. “Please do not wait at or near this location while it is closed.”

The National Weather Service says that thunderstorms will likely begin after noon, as well as gusty winds up to nearly 60 miles per hour and heavy rain. A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect from 11 p.m. tonight until 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

“Plan for hazardous wind of equivalent tropical storm force,” warned NWS. “Remaining efforts to protect property should be completed as soon as possible. Prepare for limited wind damage.”

⚠️Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to bring potentially dangerous weather when it makes landfall tonight, including heavy rainfall and strong winds. Turn around, don't drown!⚠️

Posted by DASHBus on Monday, August 3, 2020

Sandbags had been available at 133 S. Quaker Lane from 10 am. to 7 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents are limited to five sandbags per person and proof of residency is required.

There was flooding on July 23 after a heavy rainstorm swept through the city, perhaps providing a warning of hazardous weather to come.

The Tropical Storm Watch warns of strong winds between 39 to 57 miles per hour. Additionally, there is a Coastal Flood Watch in Alexandria in effect from Tuesday morning until Tuesday evening.

‪Sandbag distribution today!‬

Posted by Justin Wilson on Monday, August 3, 2020

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Morning Notes

Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar Opens in Old Town — “Opening now daily (except Tuesdays) at 109 S. Alfred Street. Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar! Adopt a cat or two, telework, or just have a sandwich, salad or cup of coffee.” [Facebook]

City Advises Preparedness Before Tropical Storm Isaias Hits — “Our staff is working around the clock to ensure our community is ready for whatever Isaias might throw at us.‬ ‪Please stay alert and prepare for this dangerous storm.‬” [Facebook]

Mayor Marks City’s COVID Numbers in Monthly Newsletter — “Four months ago, when I wrote you, 44 of our neighbors had tested positive for COVID-19. Three months ago, 754 had tested positive. Two months ago, 1,974 Alexandrians had tested positive. A month ago, 2,325 Alexandrians had tested positive.” [Constant Contact]

Resident Creates Free Blockbuster Movie Boxes — “Now, the ‘Blockbuster boxes’ can be found in Old Town, Del Ray, and Carlyle. The idea behind them is simple: leave a movie, take a movie.” [WUSA9]

Entrepreneur Creates Charitable Cup Sleeve Business — “Local Alexandria resident Freedom Fonner is challenging people to rethink their relationship with trash, coffee and endangered species.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy in the morning. Thunderstorms developing later in the day. Storms may contain strong gusty winds. High 86F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Full-time Nanny — “The hours for this 5-day work week are great and the schedule is flexible, but Mom was thinking Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 5pm but Mom and Dad are flexible for the right nanny. They are offering a weekly rate between $900-$1,100 per week as well as paid vacation, paid holidays and paid sick days!” [Indeed]

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It was another busy week in Alexandria.

Our readers overwhelmingly responded to Sunday’s protest at the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, and the story has more than 380 comments. This week also saw its first homicide, which occurred in the West End, in addition to a number of crime events in the Braddock area.

Not included in our weekly list is late-breaking news on Friday that Alexandria City Public Schools want a virtual-only school year starting in September. Residents have been waiting throughout the summer for the school system to make up its mind, and ACPS has conducted numerous virtual chats with students, parents and staff over the last several weeks.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Activists Protest at Alexandria Home of Acting DHS Chief Chad Wolf
  2. BREAKING: Police Investigating Homicide in West End Residential Community
  3. Former APD Officer Peter Laboy Gets His Driver’s License Seven Years After Being Shot in the Head
  4. Just Listed in Alexandria
  5. Students and Residents Putting Daily Cover Over T.C. Williams High School Name
  6. BREAKING: Flooding Reported in Parts of City, AFD Responding to Multiple Emergency Calls
  7. Shots Fired Tuesday Night in Braddock Neighborhood
  8. Alexandria Delegate Wants City to Fire Officials or Police Who Espouse QAnon Theories
  9. Save the Tree Petition at T.C. Williams High School Garners Nearly 1,000 Signatures
  10. Man Injured in Violent Carjacking in Old Town
  11. COVID-19 Update: Deaths at 57, Case Count at 2,735 in Alexandria

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Alexandria City Public Schools announced earlier today that staff is recommending schools reopen for online-only classes in September.

The school system outlined some of the immense challenges it faced with maintaining social distancing with in-person classes in the falls, like a requirement that school buses operate at 1/4 capacity. Students expressed concerns that online classes could face similar problems as they did in the spring, but ACPS promised online classes would be more smoothly handled in the fall.

The move follows similar decisions from both Arlington County and Fairfax County, though there has been some pushback by figures like Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

The Alexandria City School Board will conduct virtual public hearings on the matter on August 6 and 7. The board will vote on the measure on August 7 before it goes to the Virginia Department of Education on August 14. The school year is scheduled to start Sept. 8.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Developer Monday Properties announced last week that tech company Johnson Controls will be moving into the company’s Cameron Run office park.

Johnson Controls is an Ireland-based company that produces fire, HVAC and security equipment. The building is currently home to Tyco Integrated Security — which Johnson Controls merged with in 2018 — Michael Baker and Savi Technology.

The Cameron Run office is a 145,244 square foot building nestled in the Eisenhower Corridor at 3601 Eisenhower Avenue. Monday Properties said on Instagram that Johnson Controls will occupy 28,000 square feet of the building.

It could prove a prudent move, with extensive future redevelopment planned for the area along Eisenhower Avenue around Cameron Run.

Photo via Google Maps
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Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates Realtors®. 

Welcome Back!

Jen Walker here with The Jen Walker Team! We are a real estate group based out of Alexandria, Virginia. I, along with my two rock-star team members, Sue Kovalsky and Micki MacNaughton, have more than 35 years of experience in real estate and sold over $103 million in 2019.

3507 Halcyon Drive, Alexandria, VA 22305 — The Jen Walker Team

Enter into the foyer that leads to a spacious office with French doors — perfect from working/school at home! From there, head into the large living room and kitchen. The wood burning fireplace features ceramic tiling and a beautiful mantle and anchors this space to the kitchen and bar area. Featuring an oversized island, quartz countertops, Viking appliances — including a chef’s 6 burner stove/range — white apron-front farmhouse sink, crisp shaker style cabinetry and gorgeous bask splash, you will never want to leave this gourmet kitchen! The bar area has additional cabinetry and glass upper cabinets, making entertaining a breeze.

Off the kitchen is a large built-in banquette with piano-hinge storage and additional cabinetry and a door to the deck — great access for a grill area. Take a step down to the family room, and you will find a great playroom tv area or even a 5th bedroom — this room has a full bathroom and closet and sliding door access to the rear deck. The upper level has 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths and a stacked washer/dryer.

The master is very spacious with oversized windows, two walk-in closets and an en-suite bath. The three additional bedrooms have great closet space and share a hall bathroom. On the lower level you will find a recreation room, full bath, utility space and additional laundry. This room would be great for movie night and could easily double as a guest area/au pair suite. This home has a gorgeous rear yard and patio. Off the deck, step to the left for access to the patio.

Completely redone, this is perfect area for a socially-distant get together around a fire-pit or to relax in the shade. To the right is a sodded lawn — great for a game of catch, a garden or just relaxing. Beautiful landscaping adorns the front and rear of the home making the yard magical and private. Just a few minutes to “the Pit” park and located close to Del Ray, Old Town, I395 and Washington, D.C., you will love living in Beverly Hills! Welcome home!

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