(Updated 5:50 p.m.) A short lived, yet strong, string of storms left patches of destruction and power outages after it whipped through the area this afternoon. Although all parts of the county sustained some damage, the worst reports seem to be coming from South Arlington.
According to Dominion Virginia Power spokesman Chuck Penn, as of 5:45 p.m. there were about 6,500 Arlington customers without electricity. Most of the 33,000 Dominion customers currently without power are in Alexandria. However, Penn noted that “this is a very dynamic, unfolding situation” so numbers are changing almost by the minute.
Crews are out right now determining what is causing outages in each neighborhood and fixing the problems as rapidly as possible. One area hit especially hard is in South Arlington at S. Columbus Street and Chesterfield Road. Penn says multiple power pole cross arms were broken and there are spans of wire down. Dominion crews re-routed the circuit and restored power to a number of customers in the surrounding neighborhoods, but others are still in the dark.
“It’s a rather labor intensive job that our workers are engaged in,” said Penn. “We are very much in the restoration mode right now.”
“If history is any indication, it’s going to be lightning and tree limbs,” said Penn. “Chances are this will be a short lived experience, but we have to wait for the field reports to come in to learn more.”
There are numerous reports of trees down and flooded streets. Motorists are reminded not to attempt driving through standing water, as it may be deeper than it appears. Drivers should also treat any dark traffic lights as a four way stop.
Arlington remains under a Flash Flood Warning until 6:00 p.m. and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9:00 p.m. The Capital Weather Gang predicts storms off and on throughout the evening.