What a week in Alexandria.
Public uproar over Sunday’s flooding spilled out throughout this week, which continued to be threatened by near-daily flash flood advisories from the National Weather Service.
Our top story was on Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, who criticized City Manager Mark Jinks on the city’s stormwater infrastructure. Mayor Justin Wilson says that multiple projects are underway and take time, and that the city is now looking into whether spot improvements and any other projects can be accelerated.
The group DrainALX has also gained popularity, as it continues to catalog stormwater issues and complaints. One Del Ray resident even told us that she’s turned to therapy after repeatedly spending thousands on a continually ruined basement.
Our weekly poll also found 55% of respondents (193 people) have experienced flood damage to their homes, 14% (74 people) have experienced other sorts of property damage and 31% (159 votes) have never had any property damaged by a storm in the city.
This weekend’s forecast is partly cloudy with a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon, followed by a 40% chance of thunderstorms Sunday night.
The week before school starts, the School Board unanimously approved Thursday night the requirement that ACPS staffers get the coronavirus vaccine.
“We do have authority to require testing and require vaccinations,” Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. said at the board meeting. “However, there have been no cases where someone has contested that requirement. That has not occurred as of yet, and I’m sure it’s going to begin soon…”
In the meantime, Alexandria is also prepping COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city employees.
- Alexandria Fire Department rescued several people Sunday, weekly forecast looks stormy
- New census shows Alexandria not majority-white
- Olympic boxer Troy Isley welcomed back to Alexandria
- Mayor Wilson talks flooding, vaccine requirements, and Arlington gondola with WAMU
- Man arrested for domestic violence, pointing gun at wife’s head in Del Ray
- Alexandria kicks off Restaurant Week
- Evolving COVID-19 decisions loom as Alexandria City Public Schools fully reopen next Tuesday
- With high transmission levels, Alexandria says third COVID vaccine dose is available for severely immunocompromised residents
- Alexandria Tutoring Consortium launches $25K fundraiser to expand virtual reading program for young kids
- Barricade situation in Landmark area ends in arrest
- As Alexandria looks to accelerate stormwater projects, Sheriff gives city manager a D-
- The Four Mile Run Bridge in Arlandria will not fully reopen until fall 2025
- Institute for Defense Analyses announces Potomac Yard move-in later this year
- Woman behind DrainALX campaign shares frustrations and hopes from locals after Sunday flood
- HUD Secretary Fudge visits Alexandria, says affordable housing is a Biden Administration priority
- New census shows Alexandria not majority-white
- Alexandria School Board to discuss mandatory vaccinations for staffers this week
- After rampant flooding over weekend, another Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Alexandria
- Poll: Have you gotten the infamous mite bite in Alexandria?
- Alexandria Fire Department struggling with staffing shortage and forced overtime
- Stuck in quandary, Del Ray flooding victim seeks therapy
Have a safe weekend!
Two women in kayaks were rescued from the Potomac River on Saturday by the Alexandria Fire Department’s Fire Boat 201, in addition to responders from U.S. Park Police and the Washington D.C. Harbor Patrol.
The incident occurred a little after 2 p.m. on Saturday. It was about 60 degrees that day with 20 mile-per-hour winds, and the young women were having trouble getting their kayaks upright, according to AFD.
“They were both wearing life jackets and first responders were able to rescue them before they experienced serious distress in the water,” AFD spokeswoman Raytevia Evans told ALXnow. “Paramedics evaluated both patients to ensure they weren’t showing symptoms of hypothermia or other medical issues caused by the incidents. They were cleared by the paramedics and opted not to be transported to the hospital.”
Two weeks ago, the body of a District man was found floating in the Potomac downriver near Founders Park.
#DCsBravest Fireboat 3 is currently assisting @AlexandriaVAFD with 2 people in the water at the Washington Sailing Marina. Both have been removed & will be evaluated by Alexandria EMS. @DCPoliceDept Harbor units & @MWAA FD airboat also on scene. Partners in public safety.
— DC Fire and EMS #StayHomeDC (@dcfireems) April 18, 2020
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Alexandria firefighters and the city’s fire boat, along with vessels from the D.C. fire department and the U.S. Coast Guard, conducted searches below the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Tuesday afternoon after reports of a person in the water.
Initial reports suggested that a woman had jumped off the bridge, on the southern end of the Beltway, into the water below. Rescuers, however, did not find anyone in the river.
Later, a woman matching description given to rescuers was found alive and well on Maryland side of bridge, but it was determined that no further assistance was necessary, according to Petty Officer Andy Kendrick, a Coast Guard spokesman.
Police in Prince George’s County also conducted a welfare check on the woman, we’re told.
An Alexandria Fire Department spokeswoman said it was the department’s understanding that the woman had been in the water. It’s unclear whether she jumped.
Though incredibly dangerous, it wouldn’t be the first time someone has jumped from the Wilson bridge and survived. Famously, in 1998, an Alexandria man stood on the bridge for five hours, blocking traffic on the Beltway, before leaping off; he survived with “no obvious injuries.” In 2017, a man and a woman jumped off the bridge in separate incidents, and both survived.
Fire Boat 201 operating on a report of a person in the water near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. pic.twitter.com/J0Oci4QzqR
— IAFF Local 2141 (@IAFFLocal2141) January 14, 2020
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm, call 911. If you’re having thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text CONNECT to 85511.