Alexandria, VA

Alexandria is participating in an annual statewide tornado drill on Tuesday morning.

The city and state’s Office of Emergency Management are asking everyone to help promote severe weather safety by participating in the drill at 9:45 a.m.

“The drill will start at approximately 9:45 a.m. with a test tornado warning sent in the form of a required monthly test by the National Weather Service to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios and local broadcasters,” according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “Local radio stations, TV stations and cable outlets will also broadcast the test message via the Emergency Alert System (EAS).”

The drill is part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, which runs from March 15-19. The city says it is an opportunity for residents and businesses to stock up on supplies, such as face masks and hand sanitizing wipes, in the event of a storm.

Image via NWS

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The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Alexandria until 10 p.m.

“Flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly in the warned area,” according to NWS, which also issued a Flash Flood Warning for the area. “Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.”

According to NWS:

Between 1.5 and 2.5 inches of rain have fallen. To repeat, 
flash flooding is already occurring, with renewed flash flooding 
expected.

HAZARD...Life threatening flash flooding. Thunderstorms producing
         flash flooding.

SOURCE...Emergency management and stream gauges.

IMPACT...Life threatening flash flooding of creeks and streams,
         urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses.
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A Tornado Watch has been issued for Alexandria and the D.C. region, with severe storms expected near the tail end of tonight’s trick-or-treating.

Alexandria has no official trick-or-treating time, but traditionally little ghouls and goblins prowl the streets in search of free candy between about 6-8 p.m. Forecasters warn that a line of storms packing rain and gusty winds will reach Alexandria around 9 p.m.

People should should seek shelter well ahead of the storms, forecasters say. The storms are expected to arrive quickly, bringing heavy rain and dangerous winds that may topple trees and send loose debris flying. Additional isolated storms are possible ahead of the main squall line.

The National Weather Service issued a special statement about the threat:

…DAMAGING LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY TO MOVE EAST ACROSS THE AREA BETWEEN MID AFTERNOON AND MIDNIGHT…

A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS IS EXPECTED TO MOVE EAST ACROSS THE REGION. THESE STORMS WILL BRING THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGING WIND  GUSTS AND ISOLATED TORNADOES. PLEASE BE SHELTERED WHEN THESE  THUNDERSTORMS PASS THROUGH YOUR AREA.

THE MOST LIKELY TIMING OF THE LINE RANGES FROM MID TO LATE AFTERNOON FOR THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS, TO THE EVENING FOR THE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON METROS, TO BETWEEN 9PM AND MIDNIGHT FOR AREAS EAST OF I-95 TO THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. THE STORMS WILL LIKELY LAST AN HOUR OR LESS IN MOST AREAS.

STAY INFORMED. FOR MORE EXACT TIMING FOR YOUR LOCATION, CONSULT THE FORECAST FOR YOUR COMMUNITY AT OUR WEBSITE WEATHER.GOV OR OUR FACEBOOK OR TWITTER FEEDS FOR NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON.

The Tornado Watch is in effect until midnight.

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