(Updated at 2:35 p.m.) Hundreds of people in Fairfax County have lost electricity today (Tuesday) as winds buffet the D.C. region, taking out power lines and contributing to at least one fire.
Georgetown Pike is currently closed in both directions at Miller Avenue in Great Falls due to a tree that fell on power lines and “a resulting fire,” the Virginia Department of Transportation said shortly after 1 p.m.
The closure extends between Stephanie Circle and Ellsworth Avenue, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
“Expect delays for several hours as emergency and utility crews clear the scene,” VDOT tweeted.
#GreatFalls: Georgetown Pike at Miller Rd closed in both directions for a fallen tree on power lines and a resulting fire. Expect delays for several hours as emergency and utility crews clear the scene. #VATraffic #NOVA #DMVTraffic pic.twitter.com/okCC4QQeQ5
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) March 14, 2023
TRAFFIC ALERT: Georgetown Pike is closed between Stephanie Circle and Ellsworth Avenue in Great Falls due to a tree on wires. The closure is expected to last several hours. Please use an alternate route. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/2n569vx8t1
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 14, 2023
That one outage has affected 277 Dominion Energy customers, according to the utility company’s outage map. Power isn’t expected to be restored there until 4-9 p.m.
Further south in the Vienna and Oakton area, Dominion crews are assessing the damage caused by the wind storm in the Lake Vale neighborhood. Power is now being restored to over 800 customers.
Vale Road has been closed between Hunter Mill Road and Stryker Avenue due to fallen power lines, according to Fairfax County police.
“The closure is expected to last several hours. Please use an alternate route,” the FCPD said.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Vale Rd is closed between Hunter Mill Rd and Stryker Ave in Vienna due to power lines in the roadway. The closure is expected to last several hours. Please use an alternate route. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/fbWvWKo1k7
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 14, 2023
While those are the largest outages reported so far, power losses and road closures due to fallen wires have been seen across the county today. As of 1:50 p.m., about 1,268 Dominion Energy customers in the county were without power.
The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory that took effect at 9 a.m. today and will remain in place until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).
Winds have been consistently exceeding 40 mph, with some gusts topping 50 mph, according to the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.
The Wind Advisory has been updated and is now in effect from 9 AM this morning (3/14/23) to 2 AM Wednesday (3/15/23).
Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects. pic.twitter.com/CGgjWXbXsW
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) March 14, 2023
A #windadvisory is in effect until 2 a.m. 🍃
Here's a list of who to contact if you see a downed tree or wires: https://t.co/PGVTIaoj2z
If there’s an immediate life-safety issue, call or text 9-1-1. pic.twitter.com/yIRKqS0u8Y
— Fairfax County Government 🇺🇸 (@fairfaxcounty) March 14, 2023
Not a fun day outside, DC. Temps barely above 40 and winds pretty consistently gusting over 40 mph. Here are peak gusts so far– a few spots topping 50 mph. pic.twitter.com/yiTYLHwSBs
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) March 14, 2023
Cerebral, a public art piece created by South Lakes High School’s STEAM club on the Lake Thoreau spillway, is officially no more.
There are no plans to install the sculpture after high winds loosed its joints and its pieces fell into the lake and beyond last weekend, according to SLHS art teacher Marco Rando.
The sculpture is the first to fail because of the elements and the seventh installation overall placed by the club on the spillway.
Rando said that, although the sculpture is designed and engineered for extreme elements using hurricane ties, the winds damaged some of the joints.
“The tie down cables worked to keep the elements secured to the concrete base even when half sculpture fell into the lake,” Rando said. “Fortunately the wood members of the sculpture allowed the work to float, this helped in towing the work to shore where it was disassembled in smaller pieces for transport back to the school.”
Because of the significant damage to the sculpture, the team decided not to focus on reassembling.
But it won’t be long before another sculpture will take its place. Students are currently working on a new concept — “Rise” — that will face “more engineering scrutiny” to buttress the sculpture to weather more natural elements.
“The team is very confident this year’s concept will be aesthetically beautiful with added structural details to withstand the erratic weather conditions that seem to be common of the current climate change. The students of STEAM Team take great pride in serving the community,” Rando said.
He says setbacks like the structural failure of an artwork are a learning experience for all.
“Such setbacks will only strengthen the students experience, this real world problem, which occurs on professional levels as well, affords the Team opportunity to examine and resolve issues before they are unsettled,” Rando said.
The high winds on Friday (Feb. 17) proved too much for public artwork installed by South Lakes High School’s STEAM club on Lake Thoreau’s spillway.
After high winds blew off several pieces of the artwork “Cerebral,” the exhibit was removed from the platform. Composed of aircraft cable, barrel swivels, wire, paint, solar panels and wood, the artwork was installed in June.
“RA’s CSF team safely recovered all the artwork pieces that ended up in the lake and removed the remaining pieces from the spillway on Saturday morning,” RA spokesperson Mike Leone said.
The pieces were returned to the school. As of now, it’s unclear if reinstallation is planned. Another artwork is planned for the same area this summer.
The county was under a wind advisory throughout Friday evening. Winds were reportedly traveling at 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Developed under the guidance of SLHS art teacher Marco Rando, the sculpture aims to conceptualize the complexity of the brain. The brain and body is depicted as a cohesive force, challenging the idea of humans being left brained or right brained, according to nonprofit organization Public Art Reston.
The artwork is the eighth installed by the STEAM club. Students present designs to Public Art Reston and Reston Association’s Design Review Board for approval. According to Public Art Reston, the design is tested for durability, constructed by students, disassembled and then reinstalled on the spillway.
The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Fairfax County and surrounding areas this afternoon (Thursday).
The Wind Advisory warns of winds between 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph and is in effect until 8 p.m., while the Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 10 p.m.
“Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects,” the advisory reads. “Isolated tree damage and a few power outages may result.”
[3/31 at 1:56 PM] A Wind Advisory is in effect until 8 PM this evening.
💨15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph expected
🗑️Secure outside objects/furniture/trash cans/recycling bins
🔌Keep electronic devices charged in case of any power outages #VaWx #WindSafety pic.twitter.com/vB1QFOp1qj
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) March 31, 2022
The warning advises to use extra caution when driving and to secure outdoor objects.
Read the full wind advisory below.
Event: Wind Advisory
Alert: …WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING…
* WHAT…South winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph
* WHERE…District of Columbia, and portions of central, northern
and southern Maryland, central and northern Virginia and
panhandle West Virginia.
* WHEN…Until 8 PM EDT this evening.
* IMPACTS…Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Isolated tree damage and a few power outages may result. Instructions: Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for the entire forecast area until 10 PM tonight. Stay weather aware, and be ready to act if a warning is issued for your area. #VAwx #WVwx #MDwx pic.twitter.com/WDupHXLZdO
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) March 31, 2022
(updated at 6:40 p.m.) The National Weather Service has issued winter weather and wind advisories for Fairfax County tomorrow (Saturday).
NWS warns that there may be snow accumulations of between 2 to 4 inches. The winter weather advisory is between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, coinciding with a wind advisory that will take effect between 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday.
Fairfax County Public Schools has canceled all activities that were set to take place on school grounds Saturday, including SAT testing, extracurriculars and recreation and community uses.
Winter Weather Advisories have been expanded eastward to include much of the I-95 corridor for Saturday morning. Wind Advisories are also in effect for much of the area. This paired with heavy, wet snowfall could lead to some power outages, especially where heaviest snow falls. pic.twitter.com/Ia9bez8Wt2
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) March 11, 2022
The county sent out a news release warning that they expect the incoming weather “will bring heavy winds, with gusts up to 55 mph.”
See the full NWS winter weather advisory is below.
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM TO 3 PM EST SATURDAY…
* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches. Northwest winds will gust around 45 to 55 mph.
* WHERE…Portions of central and northeastern Maryland, northern and central Virginia, and the District of Columbia, including most of the DC and Baltimore metros.
* WHEN…From 7 AM to 3 PM EST Saturday. Rain will change to snow between 7 and 9 AM early Saturday. The steadiest snow will be through Saturday morning.
* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Visibility may be reduced to below one- quarter mile at times. Brief near blizzard conditions are possible between 8 and 11 AM.
Slow down and use caution while traveling.
When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.
Fairfax County could be hit by wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour this weekend, courtesy of stormy weather that could pass through the D.C. region ahead of an expected cold front.
A Wind Advisory has been issued for the area, starting at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) and continuing until 1 a.m. Sunday (Dec. 12).
The National Weather Service says to prepare for west winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour, with gusts that could reach up to 55 miles per hour. The highest wind speeds are expected to come between 6 p.m. and midnight.
“Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects,” the NWS said in its alert. “Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.”
According to the Capital Weather Gang, the high winds will contribute to a rise in temperatures, which current forecasts indicate could hit an unseasonable high of 70 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday even with a 70% chance of precipitation during the day.
Temperatures are expected to drop back into the 40s on Sunday.