An electrical malfunction has prompted the required evacuation of a 17-story apartment building in the West End.

The power went out at Key Towers at 6060 Tower Court shortly before 5 a.m., and the city’s DASH bus service is helping transport evacuated residents to a cooling center at Patrick Henry Recreation Center, which is just over two miles away. There are 140 units in the 1960s-era building and Monday’s temperature is expected to reach the mid-90s.

“Evacuation is required and is being ordered by the Fire Marshal’s Office,” AFD Senior Public Information Officer Raytevia Evans told ALXnow. “Dominion Energy is on-scene now, and they have been for a while along with us. The building has been evacuated because the power had to be cut in order to make those repairs on what they’ve discovered.”

Dominion determined that a privately owned underground transmission line went down, Evans said.

“The property managers have their private contractors on scene as well,” Evans said, adding that that the city’s Office of Emergency Management is working with the property manager to inform residents that the building will be without power for “a while”.

Courtesy Google Maps

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For thousands of customers in Alexandria’s West End, power is still out after last night’s storms.

According to Dominion Energy’s power outage map, 3,703 customers in the West End — from the border with Shirlington down to the Van Dorn Metro station — are currently without power.

The outages are broken into two sections, with an unfortunate handful of homes near Hammond Middle School caught in the overlap. The northern half of the outage has been identified as being caused by a blown circuit and work crews are currently dispatched to fix the problem. For the southern half, the cause is still under investigation.

Map via Dominion Energy

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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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What a week in Alexandria. Here are some of the highlights.

The Alexandria City Council on Wednesday approved its Fiscal Year 2022 $770.7 million budget on Wednesday, and it includes a 2 cent real estate tax reduction. It’s the first time that’s happened in 15 years, and the budget also fully funds Alexandria City Public Schools’ request and includes a 1% raise for city and state employees.

But perhaps the biggest news of the week came with City Councilman Mo Seifeldein’s proposal to eliminate School Resource Officer funding from the budget. The effort was supported along by Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, Councilman Canek Aguirre and Councilman John Taylor Chapman, who voted along with the group after failing to save the program in a last-minute effort.

Crime stories dominated many headlines, and Police Chief Michael Brown spoke with us this week about his department’s efforts to reduce destructive elements throughout the city. More from that interview will be published next week.

In this week’s poll, we asked about the importance of political endorsements for local candidates. Out of 222 responses, 48% (107 votes) don’t consider endorsements while voting; 39% (86 votes) said endorsements influence their decision; and 14% (29 votes) feel that endorsements hold a lot of sway.

Election stories

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Parking issues plague Potomac Yard, city looks to create residential parking district
  2. Knife pulled on woman who chases would-be thieves in Old Town
  3. D.C. man arrested after 130 mph chase leads to crash on Interstate 495
  4. Police: Armed robberies occur minutes apart in Del Ray and Arlandria
  5. Two injured in hit-and-run in Old Town, driver leaves car and flees on foot
  6. Too noisy? City Council is considering revising Alexandria’s noise ordinance
  7. Alexandria City Council to end School Resource Officer program at Alexandria City Public Schools
  8. Alexandria man arrested for firing gun at 7-Eleven door near Braddock Road Metro station
  9. Here’s the order that City Council candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary
  10. JUST IN: Power outages across Alexandria as strong winds hit the city
  11. What’s next for GenOn and the rest of Old Town North?

Have a safe weekend!

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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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Strong winds have resulted in a power outage in the West End affecting traffic lights and more than 2,300 Alexandria residents.

Alexandria Police are currently placing stop signs at intersections in the West End, including along Duke Street, near N. Van Dorn Street and Sanger Avenue.

“Please treat those intersections as 4-way stops,” police tweeted. “APD will place stop signs in those intersections until the lights are fixed.”

The City’s department of Transportation and Environmental Services is working on the temporary fix with police.

There are currently 2,330 residents without power spread around the West End, according to Dominion Energy.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the area through tonight. Wind gusts could range from 40 to 60 miles per hour.

Map 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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It was a cold week in Alexandria.

With bits of snow and temperatures hovering at around freezing, our top story this week was on Allison Priebe, the local business owner who was robbed while pumping gas in Old Town. Police later released suspect photos and advise anyone pumping gas to keep their keys with them and lock their vehicles.

On the coronavirus front, Alexandria is now at 9,903 cases and no new deaths, which is an increase of about 150 cases since Monday’s report. Meanwhile, as the city contends with a growing vaccine waiting list, the Health Department is warning residents of COVID-19 vaccine scams.

More than 260 people participated in our weekly poll. This week we asked about voting in the upcoming City Council and mayoral elections, and 87% plan on voting in the primary and general election; 6% only plan on voting in the primary; 5% aren’t voting and 1% will only vote in the primary.

In case you missed them, here are some other important stories this week:

Here are our top stories of the week in Alexandria:

  1. Local Business Owner Robbed of Car While Pumping Gas at Old Town Gas Station
  2. BREAKING: Large Power Outage Reported in Old Town
  3. ACPS Releases Semifinalist Names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School Renaming
  4. Just In: ‘QAnon Shaman’ from Capitol Siege Transferred to Alexandria Jail
  5. Poll: What Do You Think of the Proposed Heritage Development in Old Town
  6. Mayor: Brace Yourselves, It Could be End of Summer Before City Moves into Next Vaccine Phase
  7. BREAKING: Councilman Mo Seifeldein Running for Alexandria Mayor, Hatch Act Conflict in Question
  8. Alexandria Sheriff: Jailed ‘QAnon Shaman’s’ Organic Food Request is Normal
  9. Just In: James Lewis Files Paperwork to Enter City Council Race
  10. Photos: The Regal Potomac Yard Movie Theater is Being Torn Down
  11. City Councilman’s Virtual Super Bowl Party Ambushed by Racists and Nazi Trolls

Photo via Alexandria Police

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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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Morning Notes

Beyer Rails Against Congressional Republicans — “I’m really sick of whining about ‘canceling’ from rich and powerful Republicans who tried to cancel our democracy.” [Twitter]

Deadline Extended for Landlords to Apply for Relief Program — The deadline for landlords to apply for the Rent and Mortgage Relief Program, to cover overdue rent or mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended to March 1. Applications that have not yet been submitted can now include requests to cover rent payments through February 2021. Previously submitted applications are also eligible to include rent due in February through a contract amendment process.” [City of Alexandria]

City Council Affirms Commitment to Racial and Social Equity — “On Jan. 23, the¬†Alexandria City Council¬†unanimously adopted a¬†resolution to acknowledge racial inequity in the past and present, and commit to adopting practices and policies that promote racial and social equity.” [Zebra]

City Councilwoman Amy Jackson Announces Run for Reelection — “I AM running for Re-election! With your support, I look forward to serving my hometown in this capacity for another term. Any contribution at any level helps! Thank you! #AlexandriaVA” [Twitter]

Alexandria Police Are Hiring — “Interested in becoming an Alexandria Police Officer? The first step is to take a written test. We have a few spots open for the next test on January 30th. Click the link below to start the process to become one of Alexandria’s finest.” [Twitter]

Power Outage Affects Some ACPS Teachers Tuesday — “Alert 1/26/2021 12:56 p.m.: There is currently an internet outage on the east coast that is impacting some of our staff. Please be aware as some teachers may not be able to connect to classes this afternoon.” [Twitter]

‘Groundswell’ Art Installation Coming to Waterfront Park — “A new art installation called¬†Groundswell,¬†featuring about 130 wood pilings in various heights, will adorn Waterfront Park in Old Town this spring.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s Weather — “Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 43F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Overcast (in the evening). Low near 30F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Teacher – Head Start — “The Teacher creates, maintains, and manages an attractive, warm, and challenging learning environment for young children, incorporating developmentally appropriate learning activities that meet the needs of the group as well as those of individual children. The Teacher collaborates with all staff to facilitate the utilization of needed services to the children and their families. The Teacher is responsible for keeping accurate reports and records for each child and ensuring that all of the necessary forms are completed and properly maintained.” [Indeed]

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