(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Hundreds of people in Fairfax County are still without power after a thunderstorm swept through the D.C. area late yesterday afternoon (Monday).
Outages have been significantly reduced overnight, with the number of people affected dropping from more than 8,000 to about 500, as of 9:30 a.m., according to PowerOutage.US.
In terms of power losses, the storm primarily affected the south part of the county. Dominion Energy’s outage map indicates that 329 customers in West Springfield and over 50 customers in Hybla Valley, Mount Vernon, and Mason Neck are still waiting for their electricity to return.
Likely the result of fallen trees and branches on power lines, the individual outages appear to be limited in scope, each affecting only a few properties. The estimated time of restoration ranges from 1 to 7 p.m. today (Tuesday).
Monday’s storm left trees & branches on powerlines.
Right now: 962 Northern Va customers are out.@DominionEnergy crews are out working to repair damage.
Customers will see service return as repairs are made.
Estimated restoration time for all is 7 PM
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) May 17, 2022
Yesterday’s storm brought 0.42 inches of precipitation to the Dulles Airport area and 0.27 inches to the National side of the region, according to preliminary climate reports from the National Weather Service.
However, the storm also had an unusual twist in the form of hail. Stones about the size of a quarter were spotted throughout the southeastern part of the county, including Franconia, Rose Hill, Fort Hunt, and Mount Vernon.
At 4:31 PM EDT, Franconia [Fairfax Co, VA] TRAINED SPOTTER reports HAIL of quarter size (M1.00 INCH) https://t.co/iUZuiyVxLN
— IEMBot LWX (@iembot_lwx) May 16, 2022
— Ethan (@e_david03) May 16, 2022
— ACMELeaderWithUkraine🇺🇦 (@ACMELeader) May 16, 2022
At 4:35 PM EDT, 2 SSE Rose Hill [Fairfax Co, VA] AMATEUR RADIO reports HAIL of quarter size (M1.00 INCH) https://t.co/12LDaeUkOZ
— IEMBot LWX (@iembot_lwx) May 16, 2022
Maryland residents reported even larger hailstones.
According to the National Weather Service in Sterling, some hail is not especially unusual for this time of the year, but hail of the size seen yesterday is more rare.
“This is the time of year when we start to really warm up consistently. The caveat is that the atmosphere many thousand feet up is still cold as it takes more time to warm up further up at this point,” NWS meterologist Austin Mansfield said by email. “With lower freezing levels (0°C of the air temperature) in the atmosphere during this time of year but warmer and more unstable air masses looming, we can certainly see hail during this time of year.”
The NWS only tracks hail that’s 0.75 inches or larger in its archives. The last time the agency reported large hail in Fairfax County in May was on May 14, 2018, when it recorded hail with a 1.75-inch diameter, or roughly the size of a golf ball.
“Take that with a grain of salt because we are almost certain that hail has fallen in Fairfax County in the middle of May since then but it was more than likely smaller size (dime/nickel/pea),” Mansfield said.
— Tony Castrilli (@TonyCastrilli) May 16, 2022
— Jay Korff (@Jay7News) May 16, 2022
— wiredog (@KitCase3) May 16, 2022
(Updated at 6:30 p.m.) The thunderstorm has passed, but it has left some destruction in its wake, taking out electricity for more than 8,000 people in Fairfax County.
According to PowerOutage.US, there are currently 8,707 customers without power in the county.
The worst damage is in the Groveton and Hybla Valley area along Route 1, where around 5,835 Dominion Energy customers are currently without power, according to the utility company’s outage map.
Outages have also affected over 500 customers in Springfield.
The outages come after a thunderstorm hit the D.C. area earlier this afternoon (Monday), prompting reports of quarter-sized hail.
The National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Fairfax County until 4:45 p.m.:
HAZARD…70 mph wind gusts and half dollar size 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.
* Locations impacted include… Arlington, Alexandria, Centreville, Waldorf, Dale City, Annandale, Clinton, Springfield, Fort Washington, Fairfax, Fort Hunt, Vienna, Groveton, Falls Church, Huntington, Coral Hills, Mantua, Fort Belvoir, Woodbridge and National Harbor.
NWS urges residents to move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was also issued for the county. It was expected to last until 9 p.m., but got canceled shortly before 5:30 p.m. after the storm moved on.
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) May 16, 2022
Angela Woolsey contributed to this report.
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Updated at 8:10 p.m. — The power outage in Tysons has been isolated to Tysons Corner Center, with Dominion Energy identifying a failed piece of equipment as the cause.
“Repairs are underway,” Dominion spokesperson Peggy Fox said at 7:44 p.m. “We’re hoping to have power back on within the hour.”
Tysons Galleria was able to restore electricity sooner.
Earlier: Both of Tysons’ primary malls have lost power.
Dominion Energy’s outage map indicates that the outages in Tysons are only affecting 17 customers, but two of those customers are Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria, the utility company confirmed to FFXnow.
“Our crews are arriving to locate the problem and isolate the issue so we can switch back on as many people as possible,” Dominion Energy spokesperson Peggy Fox said.
According to a tipster, Tysons Corner Center lost power starting around 5:30 p.m.
As of 6:50 p.m., Dominion estimates that power will be restored between 8 and 11 p.m. for Tysons Galleria and between 9 p.m. and midnight for Tysons Corner Center.
Tysons Corner area— we believe outage is affecting both malls.
Our crews are on the scene locating the problem to isolate.
I will update ASAP.
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) April 27, 2022
Updated at 9:40 a.m. on 4/18/2022 — Power was restored in Tysons overnight. Dominion Energy says yesterday’s outage was caused by a piece of failed equipment.
Earlier: About 2,000 people are currently without power in Tysons.
The cause of the outage is under investigation, as a crew assesses the extent of the damage, according to Dominion Energy.
Per its outage map, the utility company estimates that power will be restored between 8 and 11 p.m. today (Sunday), though spokesperson Peggy Fox says some customers have already gotten power back, thanks to switching and isolation of the issue.
Outage Alert in Tysons.
2006 customers out in Vienna-Tysons area.
We do not know cause yet. @DominionEnergy supervisor & crew on the way to investigate.
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) April 17, 2022