Email Newsletter
A map shows areas across Virginia and the D.C. region under a tornado watch (via NWS Baltimore-Washington/Twitter)

(Updated at 12:55 p.m.) Tornado and storm warnings briefly usurped earlier weather alerts for Fairfax County as the National Weather Service noted potential dangers and hazards across the region.

“Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles,” NWS said in a Severe Thunderstorm Warning alert. “Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.”

An NWS Baltimore-Washington news feed noted just before noon that a Tornado Warning was in effect for parts of Reston and Great Falls until 12:15 p.m. today (Friday). A watch means tornadoes are possible, whereas warnings mean that they are spotted or indicated by radar.

Fairfax County and surrounding areas were also subject to a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 12:30 p.m. today.

Previously, the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch around 6:20 a.m. today that’s in effect until 2 p.m. for Fairfax County and the D.C. region.

Tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and large hail are possible, the NWS said in the earlier alert.

The NWS Baltimore-Washington said on Twitter that scattered gusts could possibly reach 70 mph.

The NWS also issued a Flood Watch at 4:33 a.m. for the county and surrounding areas from 11 a.m. through 11 p.m. today. A NWS meteorologist warned that flash flooding is possible due to excessive rainfall.

“Multiple rounds of thunderstorms producing heavy rainfall may lead to scattered instances of flash flooding,” the NWS said.

Due to the storm risks, the county is under a Hazardous Weather Outlook, per the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management:

Multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms are likely starting this morning and continuing through this evening. Localized rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected, though locations that experience multiple rounds of thunderstorms could exceed 3 inches.

If you’re driving, don’t pass through flooded roads. Turn around, don’t drown. Also, keep children away from creeks and streams that may rise rapidly.

0 Comments
Rain with hail in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Updated at 7:25 p.m. — A Flood Warning has now been issued for Fairfax County, with an additional half to 1.5 inches of rain possible until 1:15 a.m. Monday. The Severe Thunderstorm Warning has also been extended to 8 p.m.

Earlier: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for Fairfax County.

The National Weather Service issued the alert shortly after 5 p.m., warning of 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail:

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.

Moving eastward, the storm has already made its way through Herndon and just passed the Town of Vienna, bringing a couple minutes of intense rain, thunder, and hail that ended as quickly as it began.

This is the second thunderstorm with hail to hit the D.C. area within the past week, and it came a day after temperatures hit a high of 92 degrees, according to NWS data.

While the warning is set to end at 6 p.m., a Severe Thunderstorm Watch is currently in effect until 9 p.m.

0 Comments
Raindrops collect on tree buds in Fairview Park (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. area.

The alert is set to take effect at 5 p.m. today (Friday) and last until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday), though current forecasts indicate that rain is likely to continue throughout the weekend.

“Widespread rainfall totals of 1-3 inches are expected through tonight,” the NWS said. “This may lead to localized instances of flooding.”

Here is more from the alert:

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE TONIGHT…

* WHAT…Flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible.

* WHERE…DC and portions of Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: the District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and
Southeast Montgomery, Northwest Howard, Northwest Montgomery, Prince Georges and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Eastern Loudoun, Fairfax,
Northern Fauquier, Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park and Western Loudoun.

* WHEN…From this afternoon through late tonight.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.

The NWS advises continuing to monitor forecasts and staying alert for possible Flood Warnings.

0 Comments
A preliminary flood insurance map shows areas in Fairfax County of potential concern (via FEMA)

The parts of Fairfax County most at risk for flooding have shifted over the past 10-plus years, according to new flood insurance maps that are currently available for public review and appeals.

“Residents, business owners and other community partners are encouraged to review the updated maps to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a news release on Wednesday (April 27).

FEMA opened up a 90-day review process on April 22 for the preliminary maps. Last updated over a decade ago, the Flood Insurance Rate Maps provide information on flood elevations and what areas are designated particularly hazardous, potentially affecting who should buy flood insurance.

“Across the county, about 995 structures are expected to be mapped out of the regulatory floodplain and 510 mapped in,” FEMA spokesperson Charlie Elison told FFXnow in an email.

According to FEMA, structures that will now fall into the regulatory floodplain include “north and south of Huntley Meadows Park, along Tripps Run and Lake Barcroft, and along Lake Audubon” in Reston.

Clusters being mapped out of the regulatory floodplain are along Cub Run near Cub Run Stream Valley Park in Centreville, Accotink Creek near Davison Army Airfield, the upper reaches of Pohick Creek and its tributaries, and Wolftrap Creek.

“It is important for residents to know that many of our flood insurance claims during a disaster come from outside the Special Flood Hazard Area, so even if people are mapped out of the regulatory floodplain, they are still at risk of flooding,” Elison wrote. “We encourage everyone to call their insurance agent to get information on the best way to protect their properties from flooding.”

The data is a key piece of information that helps people determine flood risks. Virginia also has a Flood Risk Information System that helps property owners and buyers understand their flood insurance rate and consider flood-proofing options.

Per the news release:

Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. There are cost-saving options available for those newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone. Learn more about your flood insurance options by talking with your insurance agent and visiting https://www.floodsmart.gov.

Property owners who see incorrect information that doesn’t affect flood hazard information can submit a written comment. Submit appeals and comments by contacting floodplain administrator Dipmani Kumar at Dipmani.Kumar@fairfaxcounty.gov.

“They may submit an appeal if they perceive that modeling or data used to create the map is technically or scientifically incorrect,” FEMA said, noting an appeal must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim.

Changes from the current maps are available at https://arcg.is/09vTC4.

The county’s new Flood Insurance Rate Map is slated to become effective in May 2023.

0 Comments

The steady rain that has fallen over Fairfax County throughout the past two days could result in flooding, forecasts indicate.

Citing “excessive rain,” the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the county that’s expected to remain in place until 6:45 p.m. today (Friday).

“Flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations is imminent or occurring,” the alert says. “Low-water crossings may be inundated with water and may not be passable.”

Some flooding has already been reported, with Prosperity Avenue currently closed near Mantua, Fairfax County confirmed.

Here are more details from the warning, which went out at 2:52 p.m.:

– At 246 PM EST, radar indicated heavy rain had occurred in the warned area. Broadcast media reported that flooding is already occurring. Between 1 and 1.5 inches of rain have fallen.

– Prosperity Avenue is closed near Mantua due to flooding, and other typical flood prone areas may also flood shortly.

Additional rainfall amounts up to 0.25 inches are possible in the warned area.

– Some locations that will experience flooding include…
Reston… Annandale… Springfield… Vienna… Mantua… Burke… Oakton… Tysons Corner… Wolf Trap… Great Falls… Merrifield… West Springfield… Dunn Loring… North Springfield… Ravensworth… Belleview…

0 Comments

Waters from the Potomac River could spill over into Fairfax County, with the D.C. area expected to get almost nonstop rain tomorrow (Friday), the National Weather Service warns.

A Coastal Flood Warning will be in place for Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, starting at 6 p.m. today (Thursday) until 8 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 30).

According to the NWS, showers and thunderstorms from the Midwest are moving east and could bring 1 to 2 inches of rain, along with the risk of flash flooding along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

Here is more from the NWS alert:

…COASTAL FLOOD WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 8 AM EDT SATURDAY…

* WHAT…Two to four feet of inundation above ground level possible in low lying areas.

* WHERE…Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park, Fairfax and Stafford Counties.

* WHEN…From 6 PM this evening to 8 AM EDT Saturday, especially around the time of high tide.

* IMPACTS…Numerous roads may be closed. Low lying property including homes, businesses, and some critical infrastructure will be inundated. Some shoreline erosion will occur.

The NWS has also issued a Flood Watch that will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow, with rainfall potentially reaching 2 to 4 inches in some areas.

“Heavy amounts of rain will cause creeks and streams to slowly rise, possibly out of their banks as well as the potential for flooding in urban areas,” the NWS said.

The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management says the risk of rain will likely arrive in the county around midnight to 2 a.m. Friday, echoing the Fire and Rescue Department’s warning that flooding may lead to road closures.

“Low lying property, including homes, businesses and some critical infrastructure, may be inundated,” OEM said in a blog post. “Take the necessary actions to protect flood-prone property. If travel is required, do not drive around barricades or through water of unknown depth.”

The office also advised keeping children away from creeks or other bodies of water that may rise rapidly, and clearing leaves and other debris from downspouts and storm drains.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list