Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

(Updated 8/7) Upcoming Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend Canceled — “The coronavirus has canceled one of Alexandria’s most beloved traditions this winter.” [Alexandria Living]

Beyer Blames Trump for Coronavirus Response Failures — “The White House is simultaneously blaming state governments for Trump’s failed pandemic response and blocking federal assistance to support state and local governments.” [Twitter]

Fire Department: Use Flashlight, Not Candle if Power Goes Out — “Tropical Storm #Isaias is expected to bring heavy rain and wind gusts that may cause power outages. If you experience an outage, use a flashlight for emergency lighting instead of candles to prevent a possible fire. Be prepared. Be informed. Be ready.” [Twitter]

City Suspends Trash and Recycling Today — “Due to expected impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias, the City of Alexandria has suspended its curbside trash and recycling collection for Tuesday, August 4.” [Zebra]

Ebbin Pledges to Fight for Marijuana Legalization in 2021 — “In 2020, six years of hard work paid off in major reform to our criminal justice system by decriminalizing possession of marijuana. In 2021, I’m ready to do the hard work to legalize cannabis in Virginia the right way.” [Facebook]

Silver Diner to Open August 12 — “The 6,500-square foot restaurant is part of West Alex, a new $185 million mixed-use community at the corner of King and North Beauregard streets, anchored by an in-the-works Harris Teeter grocery store and Array, a 278-unit apartment building.” [Alexandria Living]

New Farmers Market in Carlyle Starts Friday — “The Carlyle Vitality Initiative is hosting a new Farmer’s Market at John Carlyle Square Park, starting on August 7th! We can’t wait to see you this weekend!” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Thunderstorms. Potential for heavy rainfall. Low 71F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Activities and Volunteer Coordinator — “At Sunrise, our Activities & Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for leading the day to day activities and programs for a Sunrise Senior Living community.” [Indeed]

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(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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(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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Alexandria is advising residents to file a claim for flood damage after the Alexandria’s sewer system was backed up by a rush of water 30 times greater than what the city can accommodate in an intense storm last Thursday (July 23).

The most impacted areas were Del Ray, Old Town and Park Fairfax, the latter of which had water reaching to the level of car windows, according to the Alexandria Times.

“While last night’s storm was nearly 30 times more intense than the City’s storm sewer system is designed to handle, the City is currently planning and prioritizing infrastructure improvement projects in the 10-year Capital Improvement Program that will address flooding and drainage issues in less extreme cases,” the city said in a news release.

At one point the Alexandria Fire Department responded to nearly a dozen calls for service to help with flooding throughout the city.

Mayor Justin Wilson said on social media that the city needs to prioritize further investments in climate-resilient infrastructure, since the storm was “between 50 and 100-year but with greater intensity.” ‬

‪Last year it was a “100-year” storm. ‬‪Last night’s storm was between 50 and 100-year but with greater intensity….

Posted by Justin Wilson on Friday, July 24, 2020

The full release from the city is below the jump.

Read More

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(Updated at 10 p.m.) The Alexandria Fire Department is responding to nearly a dozen calls throughout the city as it remains under a Flash Flood warning until 2:30 a.m.

“Right now we are on 11 different calls for public service for water-related emergencies,” Alexandria Deputy Fire Chief Brian Hricik told ALXnow.”It does not appear that any of them are people trapped in vehicles.”

Hricik said that there is light flooding in Old Town, which should become more severe as the tide rolls in tomorrow after 11 a.m. One of the calls was to assist a vehicle stuck in the roadway at Commonwealth and Monroe Avenues in Del Ray, he said.

“We’re extremely busy with calls right now. Everybody’s out on incidents right now,” Hricik said. “There are multiple reports of basements flooding in the northeast area of Alexandria and some in the southwest.”

Alexandria is under a Flood Warning as well as a Flash Flood Watch and an earlier Severe Thunderstorm Warning tonight.

Heavy rain from a line of strong storms is currently causing flooding in the city, according to the National Weather Service.

A trained spotter has reported knee high water and and an impassable street at the intersection of Mt. Vernon Avenue and E. Maple Street, a few blocks from the Braddock Road Metro station.

Flooding has also been reported around the King Street Metro station, and water rescues are being conducted “in many locations,” according to Mayor Justin Wilson.

More on the warnings from NWS:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING…

* UNTIL 230 AM EDT FRIDAY.

* AT 826 PM EDT, DOPPLER RADAR AND INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAIN OVER THE AREA AND CONTINUE TO DEVELOP. THE RAIN WILL CAUSE FLOODING. UP TO AN INCH AND A HALF OF RAIN HAS ALREADY FALLEN. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL OF ONE TO TWO INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, CENTREVILLE, DALE CITY, RESTON, ANNANDALE, SPRINGFIELD, FAIRFAX, FORT HUNT, VIENNA, GROVETON, FALLS CHURCH, HUNTINGTON, MANTUA, FORT BELVOIR, PIMMIT HILLS, WOODBRIDGE, QUANTICO, LAKE RIDGE AND BURKE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGERS OF FLOODING.

A FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. ALL INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS IMMEDIATELY.

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Updated 4:25 p.m. — Alexandria is also experiencing widespread power outages, with an estimated 4,928 residents in the area currently without power.

Alexandria is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 7 p.m., as a strong storm is bearing down on the area.

The National Weather Service is advising that residents stay indoors.

From the National Weather Service:

At 342 PM EDT, severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from North Kensington to near Dale City, moving east at 25 mph.

These are very dangerous storms.

HAZARD…75 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Expect considerable damage to trees and power lines. Your life is at significant risk if outdoors.

In addition to some trees falling into homes, wind damage is possible to roofs, sheds, open garages, and mobile homes.

Locations impacted include… Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, Bowie, Annandale, Clinton, Springfield, College Park, Fort Washington, Greenbelt, Fairfax, Langley Park, Beltsville, Fort Hunt, Vienna, Groveton, Forestville, Falls Church, Huntington and Coral Hills.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

This is an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION. Mobile homes and high profile vehicles are especially susceptible to winds of this magnitude and may be overturned. For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building. These storms have the potential to cause serious injury and significant property damage.

Continuous cloud to ground lightning is occurring with these storms. Move indoors immediately. Lightning is one of nature`s leading killers. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Alexandria is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, as a strong storm bears down on the area.

From the National Weather Service:

PRINCE GEORGES MD-CHARLES MD-FAIRFAX VA-CITY OF ALEXANDRIA VA-
811 PM EDT MON JUL 20 2020

…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 845 PM EDT FOR SOUTHWESTERN PRINCE GEORGES…NORTH CENTRAL CHARLES…AND SOUTHEASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTIES AND THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA…

AT 811 PM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED OVER LINCOLNIA, OR OVER SPRINGFIELD, MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 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…
ALEXANDRIA, WALDORF, ANNANDALE, CLINTON, SPRINGFIELD, FORT WASHINGTON, FORT HUNT, GROVETON, FORESTVILLE, HUNTINGTON, LA PLATA, MANTUA, FORT BELVOIR, NATIONAL HARBOR, ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, BURKE, LINCOLNIA, CAMP SPRINGS, FRANCONIA AND OXON HILL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY. LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURE’S LEADING KILLERS. REMEMBER, IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER, YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

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Updated 1:30 p.m. — A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Alexandria.

The National Weather Service issued the warning for Alexandria and an alert from the city advising those in the area to seek indoor shelter immediately.

The alert is in effect until 1:30 p.m. ontop of the existing Tornado Watch issued at 11:30 a.m.

A portion of southern Old Town is also experiencing a power outage affecting 1,132 Dominion customers.

Photo via National Weather Service/Twitter

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More than 3,750 Dominion customers in Alexandria are in the dark after a stormy Halloween night.

Windy weather may have contributed to the outages, which are concentrated in the West End and along Duke Street.

As of 10:30 p.m. there was no estimate of when power would be restored on Dominion’s website. Alexandria was under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 10:45 p.m.

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