Fairfax County Public Schools won’t hold classes for a third consecutive day this week, citing inclement weather in an announcement released just before 5 p.m.

The region could see freezing rain between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday), according to the National Weather Service, following Monday’s snowstorm that pummeled the region with over half a foot of snow in areas.

The NWS has issued a “Potential Winter Commuting Hazard” for Fairfax County, warning that there is a 30-50% chance of light freezing rain after 4 a.m. “that could turn into a glaze of ice on area roads.”

“Plan ahead by staying off the roads if possible,” the county said in a blog post. “If you do need to travel, allow for additional time and be extra cautious and alert while driving.”

FCPS said in a Facebook post that meal distribution will return at regular locations on Thursday (Jan. 6), and school offices will open later in the day tomorrow (Wednesday).

The school system tentatively expects to open its COVID-19 testing sites to staff and students who are experiencing symptoms, though a final decision won’t be made until tomorrow morning. Pre-registration is required, and only PCR tests will be available.

Testing is not required for students to be able to return to schools, whenever they reopen.

FCPS’ announcement comes after Monday’s snowstorm caused tens of thousands of Fairfax County homes to lose power and hundreds of crashes. As of this evening (Tuesday), Dominion’s power outage map showed over 7,000 customers in the county with electric issues.

The storm disrupted travel, but Fairfax Connector buses were slated to resume tomorrow (Wednesday). County officials asked commuters to use its BusTracker system in case any detours were still in effect.

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Flooding, power outages, and other impacts from storms are among the top climate change-related concerns for Fairfax County residents, the recently released results of a county survey suggest.

606 community members participated in the survey that the Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (OEEC) conducted between June 8 and July 2 as part of its Resilient Fairfax initiative, which will produce a plan for how the county can withstand and adapt to the threats introduced by a warming planet.

81% of respondents cited severe storms as a concern, followed by changing temperatures (79%) and flooding (60%), according to the survey results report published on Nov. 8.

55% of respondents said they’re concerned about drought, 40% about fire risks, and 19% listed other climate hazards, including air quality and pollution, health effects, and the impact on plants and animals.

While the survey drew responses from just a fraction of the 1.1 million people who live in Fairfax County, the results still offer insight into the community’s awareness of the risks posed by climate change — and how they are already affecting people’s lives, county staff say.

“It helps us gather information that’s not available through quantitative data that we have,” OEEC Senior Planner Allison Homer said. “People’s opinions or people’s concerns, that’s not something we have access to without asking.”

Flooding

24.6% of the Fairfax County residents who answered the survey said their neighborhood has flooded within the past five years, with 9.8% of residents saying it has affected their home.

Of the respondents who work in the county, 24.8% said they have experienced flooding at their place of employment. 67.1% of respondents said they have witnessed flooding in the county outside their home or work, such as on roads.

The survey identifies Hunter Mill Road, Richmond Highway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Prosperity Avenue, Huntington Avenue, and Little River Turnpike among the areas most vulnerable to flooding, though Homer says the evenly distributed flood map in the report doesn’t fully align with the county’s data.

“I think it’s sort of biased towards the areas where people lived that are taking the survey,” she said. “Our most flood-prone roads in reality are mostly concentrated towards the eastern part of the county.” Read More

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Fairfax County is under a Flash Flood Watch area for Oct. 25, 2021 (via Fairfax Alerts)

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for much of the D.C. area, including Fairfax County.

In effect until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday), the alert says showers and thunderstorms could bring up to 4 inches of rain in some areas, potentially leading to rapidly rising stream and creek waters.

The full alert is below:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM EDT TUESDAY…

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for portions of DC, Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: in DC, District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Prince Georges and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria and Fairfax.

* Until 2 AM EDT Tuesday.

* Showers and thunderstorms are expected to produce 1 to 2 inches of rain through this evening, with localized amounts of up to 4 inches possible. Heavy rain in a short amount of time may result in rapid rises of water on small creeks and streams and in urban areas.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is also in effect for Reston and Herndon until 6:30 p.m., with the NWS warning of 60 mile-per-hour wind gusts that could produce power outages and downed trees.

“At 544 PM EDT, severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from South Riding to Herndon to Wolf Trap, moving northeast at 50 mph,” the agency said.

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Updated at 3:30 p.m. — The National Weather Service has now issued an Areal Flood Warning until 9:30 p.m. for central Fairfax County, with Reston, Vienna, Falls Church, Annandale, and Springfield among the locations that could experience flooding. Between 1 and 1.5 inches of rain have already fallen with an additional 1 to 2 inches possible.

Earlier: After a couple of relatively dry weeks, the weather in Fairfax County is about to take a turn for the rainy today (Thursday).

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for the D.C. area at 2:44 p.m. Set to remain in effect until 9 p.m., the alert warns that showers and thunderstorms could produce up to two inches of rain per hour, potentially leading to floods in some areas.

Here is the full alert:

…FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EDT THIS EVENING…

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for portions of DC, Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: in DC, District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Frederick MD, Northern Baltimore, Northwest Harford, Northwest Howard, Northwest Montgomery, Prince Georges, Southeast Harford and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Eastern Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park and Western Loudoun.

* Until 9 PM EDT this evening.

* Slow moving showers and thunderstorms will produce very heavy rainfall, potentially leading to areas of flash flooding. Rainfall rates may reach two inches per hour.

The NWS advises residents to monitor weather forecasts later in the day and prepare to take action if the watch escalates into a Flash Flood Warning.

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