Updated at 12 a.m. Thousands of Alexandria residents are currently without power, as a thunderstorm continues to affect the city, according to Dominion Energy’s outage map.

There are more than 3,400 people without power in Old Town. There are also more than 150 residents without power in North Ridge due to a downed power pole, and more than 300 without power in Del Ray. Crews have been dispatched to impacted areas.

Alexandria and the surrounding area were hit by a thunderstorm at around 4:30 p.m.. A Hazardous Weather Outlook remains in effect until 10 p.m.

Map via Dominion Energy

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Update at 6:20 p.m. — Outages remain in Taylor Run, but the Arlandria outage has been fixed.

Several thousand Alexandrians are currently without power as a result of a “wall of wind.”

According to Dominion Energy, 2,915 customers are without power in Arlandria.

There are other scattered islands of power outage throughout the city, including 1,349 customers in Taylor Run without power. In the West End, 857 customers are without power near John Adams Elementary School.

There’s no indication yet when power could be restored.

From the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
439 PM EDT Fri Apr 30 2021

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning…

* Until 515 PM EDT.

* At 438 PM EDT, severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from Montgomery Village to near Chantilly to Warrenton, moving east at 65 mph.

HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. 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.

* Locations impacted include… Arlington, Alexandria, Germantown, Centreville, Waldorf, Dale City, Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Reston, Bowie, Severn, Annandale, Clinton, Olney, Springfield, College Park, Crofton, South Riding and Fort Washington.

People attending the FEMA Greenbelt Metro mass vaccination site should seek safe shelter immediately!

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

Image via Dominion Energy

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Alexandrians are starting to get suspicious that the repeated power outages aren’t just the fluke that Dominion officials claim.

Old Town was hit with another power outage last week that left over 2,000 customers in the city’s southeast corner in the dark for hours. It was the latest in a series of outages over the last year.

Dominion officials told the City Council that the incidents were unique and unrelated to broader structural problems, but officials disagreed and Mayor Justin Wilson wrote a letter to Dominion formally requesting greater investment in reliable infrastructure.

Photo via Dominion Energy/Facebook

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Update at 2:10 p.m. — Power has been restored for many customers in the area, with only around 80 now without power. An equipment problem was found to be the source of the outage.

Over 2,000 Dominion Energy customers in Old Town are currently without power.

An outage is currently impacting approximately 2,186 people in Old Town’s eastern and southernmost portions, Dominion said on its outage map.

The cause is still under investigation, but Dominion said that power could be out for the next few hours, with estimated restoration sometime between 1-4 p.m.

The outage comes less than a month after Mayor Justin Wilson officially asked Dominion to invest in more reliability — makes Dominion’s claims that last year’s frequent outages were just flukes more unlikely.

Image via Dominion Energy

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It was a cold and news-filled week in Alexandria.

It all started with the report of two public safety incidents over the weekend — a serious car crash in Old Town and another shooting in the West End.

On the coronavirus front, Alexandria is now at 104 fatalities and 9,342 cases. Mayor Justin Wilson said that there is a vaccine shortage in the city, as the waitlist to get inoculated is at more than 25,000. The Alexandria Health Department reported to the Alexandria Times that about 2,000 doses are being distributed weekly.

Our top story this week was on the body that was found last Friday in the water at Holmes Run Trail by Cameron Run Regional Park. In an update, police told us that the death was not suspicious in nature.

Additionally, 630 people responded to our weekly poll. This week, we asked about the proposed Heritage development in Old Town. About 67% of respondents don’t think it’s appropriate for the neighborhood and 33% don’t have a problem with it.

In case you missed it, here are some important stories:

  1. New Flood Warning Signs Installed in Del Ray
  2. Initial and Continued Unemployment Claims Go Down in Alexandria
  3. Despite COVID-19 Contractor Impacts, Potomac Yard Metro Station on Track for Spring 2022 Opening
  4. City Council Accepts Plan to Double Stormwater Utility Fees
  5. Victory Center’s Condominium Redevelopment Headed to Planning Commission

Here are our top stories of the week:

  1. BREAKING: Body Found in the Water Near Cameron Station
  2. Photos: The Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater is Being Torn Down
  3. Citizens Group Vilifies Heritage High Rise Project in Old Town
  4. Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant Closing on Jan. 24
  5. Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
  6. Police: Shots Fired in West End, Car Crash in Old Town Over Weekend
  7. Snow in Alexandria: Winter Weather Advisory in Effect Until 9 A.M. Tuesday
  8. BREAKING: Woman Gets Arm Amputated, Police Investigate if She Was Thrown From Car in West End
  9. Local Business in Hot Water with City Architects After Unauthorized Paint Job
  10. Alexandria Mayor Formally Requests Dominion Energy Step Their Game Up
  11. JUST IN: ACPS Announces No In-Person Schooling For Week of Feb. 1

Have a safe weekend!

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(Updated 2:05 p.m.) Alexandrians have had to deal with a frustrating uptick in power outages this year, and Mayor Justin Wilson said locals are getting tired of it.

The city has faced several large-scale power outages in 2020 — including a particularly large one in October that hit 12,750 residents in Del Ray, North Ridge, Rosemont, Seminary Hill and Potomac Yard. Dominion representatives said the outage was a fluke, but city representatives pointed to the recent spate of outages as evidence to the contrary. In a letter sent yesterday, Wilson outlined local concerns and what Dominion can do to improve the situation.

“Unfortunately, I write in frustration on behalf of the 160,000 residents of the City of Alexandria, of which 66,039 are direct customers of Dominion Energy,” Wilson wrote. “The residents of our community are frustrated with the recent reliability of the electricity service that they have received, Dominion’s response to these reliability challenges and the lack of meaningful infrastructure investments planned to prevent these challenges in the future.”

In the letter, Wilson listed 16 large-scale outages between April and December.

“As you know, the City has worked with Dominion to make the large-scale infrastructure investments required to improve reliability,” Wilson said. “Over six years ago, when Dominion approached the City seeking to construct a 230KV transmission line across out community using municipal right-of-way, we convened a multi-year community process, at taxpayer expense, to work with dominion to determine the proper route. After years of work, Dominion chose to abandon the project.”

Wilson also said that for the last 15 years, the city has been sharing funding with Dominion to perform utility under-grounding and has been requiring new private and public sector development to be undergrounded — only to find that very few undergrounding projects have been undertaken by Dominion.

“In fact, it has been the City’s efforts, either through development proffers or taxpayer-funded projects that have led to most of the undergrounding efforts in recent years,” Wilson said.

In response to the concerns, Wilson asked Dominion for:

  1. A multi-year infrastructure investment plan to improve reliability of electricity service for the City of Alexandria, including appropriate exercise of all available authority under the Grid Transformation and Security Act to accelerate implementation
  2. Improved transparency for customers relating to reliability data and recovery performance
  3. An enhanced Service Level commitment for customer requests (street light repairs, property constructoin/renovation, municipal projects, etc)

The letter was sent and signed by the City Council, along with City Manager Mark Jinks and five members of the Alexandria General Assembly delegation.

“We understand how critical reliable energy is for our customers,” said Dominion spokesperson Peggy Fox. “We take these concerns seriously and work to continually improve our service.”

Photo via Dominion Energy/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Dominion Says Sunday Power Outage Caused by Broken Pole/Cross Arm — “Update: A broken pole/cross arm caused the failure. We have been able to isolate the problem and are hoping to everyone back on line very soon.” [Twitter]

Retro Candy Shop Opening in Fairlington — “If you’re into nostalgic candy that will take you back to your childhood days, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the opening of Rocket Fizz, Soda Pop & Candy Shop at Fairlington Centre in Alexandria, according to signs posted in the windows.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Film Festival Unveils 2020 Program — “The Alexandria Film Festival, which will debut virtually this year Nov. 12-15, announced on Tuesday its 2020 programming of 45 short and feature length fiction and nonfiction films.” [Gazette]

The Following Bills Are Due This Month — “Bills for the 2020 second half real estate tax, refuse fees and stormwater utility fees are due Nov. 16. Make payments online, by phone or mail, or in person. Those unable to pay due to COVID-19 may be eligible for payment arrangements.” [Twitter]

Check Out These Cool Pumpkin Carvings in Alexandria — “For some 20 years, Rick and Lynne White have carved the humble pumpkin into a work of art. Their festive Halloween display on Emerald Drive in Alexandria’s Waynewood neighborhood draws a crowd every year.” [Zebra]

Today’s Weather — “Abundant sunshine (during the day). High 49F. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph. Clear skies (in the evening). Low 38F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Move-In Coordinator at Goodwin House — “The move-in coordinator is responsible for the move-in process; provides support to marketing director and marketing associate. Establishes a professional, supportive and caring relationship with the independent living residents. Coordinates necessary paperwork and support services to ensure that the move-process is as pleasant an experience as possible for the resident. Serves as a resource person during the move-in process.” [Indeed]

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Dominion Energy representatives say that the massive power outages that affected thousands of homes in Alexandria and Arlington last Friday (October 23) were “unique,” and caused by a piece of equipment that failed at its Glebe Road substation.

“This was a unique. Typically, you might experience an outage on one single circuit,” Tim Sargeant, Dominion Energy’s external affairs manager in Northern Virginia, told City Council on Tuesday night. “Needless to say the outage occurred on multiple circuits.”

Sargeant reported that at around 7 p.m., a piece of equipment at the station failed, which caused an outage to 16,504 customers.

“Electric service was restored to 11,247 customers within one minute with the remaining customers restored in increments ranging from 53 minutes to 80 minutes,” Sargeant said. “After the first restoration, approximately 8,000 customers experienced multiple moments of brief service interruptions during the next two hours.”

Then at around 9:15 p.m., another outage affected 8,017 customers after Dominion rerouted electric service to other circuits.

“The additional load on the circuit triggered protective devices that interrupted service as a precaution, as service was restored one of those customers in increments of 18 minutes, 14 minutes, and seven minutes,” Sargeant said, adding that Dominion will send the city a report on recent outages.

City Councilman John Taylor Chapman said that power outages in Alexandria have been too frequent.

Mayor Justin Wilson, for instance, listed outages on social media on May 10June 17, July 7, July 22, August 2, August 8, October 12 and October 17.

“That does seem like a lot of outages for a pretty short amount of time,” Chapman said. “We definitely want our residents to believe that they have reliable power.”

Wilson said that he getting carryout at a restaurant on Mount Vernon Avenue when the lights went out.

“I did watch two restaurants right in front of me close down, because they just gave up because of power going on and off and customer after customer walking up and being told to go away,” Wilson said. “To have a Friday night off, it’s heartbreaking for them. That’s a lot of lost revenue.”

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Thousands of Alexandria residents are in the dark Friday night due to a massive power outage.

At 8 p.m., the utility company was reporting over 12,750 customers without power. As of 8:20 p.m., that number had gone down to 6,846.

More than 3,500 customers are also without power in parts of Arlington, across the Alexandria border.

The neighborhoods affected include Del Ray, Potomac Yard, and Fairlington. Some have reported the power flickering.

Power restoration is currently estimated between 10 p.m.-1 a.m., according to Dominion’s website. The cause of the outage is a malfunctioning circuit at a substation, according to a company spokeswoman.

Update at 9:35 p.m. — Alexandria police are reminding residents to treat dark traffic signals as a four-way stop.

“Dominion Power has reported a major power outage throughout the City of Alexandria,” APD said. “This outage has resulted in many intersections without power. Treat all intersections that are without power as a four way stop. Please stay alert and drive safely.”

Update at 9:15 p.m. — Power was briefly restored but is back off, according to a Dominion spokeswoman. A number of residents https://twitter.com/PeggyDomEnergy/status/1319808138497896448from around the city said on Twitter that they are still without power.

More via social media:

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Going to the dentist can be expensive, and a grant from Dominion Energy will help Alexandria kids keep those pearly whites glistening.

Dominion’s charitable foundation announced this week that it awarded $1.6 million to more than 200 organizations in 13 states, including $15,000 to the Alexandria City Public Schools Wellness on Wheels (WOW) bus, a mobile dental unit that provides primary dental care to students in schools across the city.

“Preventive oral care is not just about your teeth. It’s critical to overall physical, emotional and mental health,” said former ACPS Health Services Coordinator, Dr. Barbara Nowak. “A cavity left untreated is a dangerous thing. It’s an infection in your tooth and if you don’t treat it, it can cause additional damage — especially because of the proximity to the brain. It can lead to an abscess caused by a bacterial infection and this, left untreated, could be life threatening.”

The WOW Bus, which has been operating since 2014, is managed by Alexandria nonprofit Neighborhood Health. Over the course of 70 days during the 2018-2019 school year, licensed dental professionals treated 568 ACPS students, according to the school system. There were also 956 procedures, which include extractions, fillings, cleanings and root canals.

“We are pleased to support our nonprofit partners as they work to make positive impacts in our communities,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, in a statement. “These grants are intended to support the most basic needs — food, shelter and medical care for our neighbors in need.”

Earlier this month, students at the T.C. Williams High School International Academy were treated by the mobile clinic for the first time. Among them was Gabriel, a Guatemalan student who had not received dental care in two years.

“The last time I went to the dentist, I had to miss my last block and I missed some school work that I had to make up,” Gabriel told ACPS Express. “I don’t like to miss my classes. In Guatemala it’s expensive to pay for school, but here it is free.”

ACPS currently provides WOW Bus services to John Adams Elementary School, William Ramsay Elementary School, Patrick Henry Elementary School, James K. Polk Elementary School, Cora Kelly School, Mount Vernon Community School, Samuel Tucker Elementary School, Jefferson Houston School, Ferdinand T. Day School and both T.C. Williams High School campuses.

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