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Things to Know for the Weekend

Posted at 4:14 p.m.

As we continue to dig out of the recent winter storm, more snow is possible. The forecast from the National Weather Service calls for snow tonight and Saturday morning, with cold temperatures dropping Saturday night to around 19 degrees.

Here are some things to keep in mind this holiday weekend:

1.) VDOT Snow Removal: The Virginia Department of Transportation is responsible for snow removal on most county roads.

2.) Help Neighbors: Please check in with your neighbors to make sure they have supplies and to help them shovel out driveways, cars and sidewalks.

3.) Exercise Caution: Shoveling snow can be physically demanding and can lead to injuries such as sprains and strains and heart attacks.

4.) Beware of Ice: With the cold temperatures, snow that has melted will refreeze and create hazardous icy conditions, including black ice. Drive cautiously and be careful walking outside.

5.) Hypothermia Prevention: If you see an unsheltered person who may be at risk of hypothermia, call the police non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.

6.) Pets: Don’t forget your pets. As the temperatures drop, bring pets/companion animals inside; move other animals to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

7.) Fire Hydrants: As streets continue to be plowed and snow is displaced onto sidewalks and roadsides, there may be a need to dig out fire hydrants.

8.) Fill Your Car: Keep the gas tank filled. Here’s more information on winterizing your vehicle.

9.) For additional updates throughout the winter season, follow us on Twitter at @fairfaxcounty. For more resources, visit our winter weather page.

Today’s Storm Impacts: What You Need to Know

Posted 5:15 p.m.

Strong storms passed through our area this afternoon impacting some of you in different ways. More storms are predicted tonight:

Power Outages

As of this time, 11,000 customers are without power. If your power is out, call your provider and report it.

  • Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-366-4357, TTY 711;
  • NOVEC: 1-888-335-0500, TTY 711

If you’re driving and come across a traffic light that is out, be patient and treat it as a four-way stop.

Downed Trees

We’re seeing some reports of downed trees in our community. Visit this page to learn who to call about a downed tree.

Potential Flooding

At this time (5:15 p.m.), rain and discharge gauges indicate that we will experience significant street flooding at Huntington as a result of today’s thunderstorms. Residents should move their vehicles from the low areas along Fenwick Drive and Arlington Terrace to higher ground.

Forecast

The National Weather Service forecast calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight, then a slight chance of showers between midnight and 2 a.m. Some of the storms could be severe. The chance of precipitation is 30 percent with new rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

All Watches and Warnings Cancelled

Posted 4:55 p.m.

All watches and warnings have been cancelled for our area as the strong line of storms has passed. Wind gusts may still reach 30-40 mph tonight. The McLean area appears to have experienced the worst of the storm, so you may see more debris and outages in that area.

There are a few thousand people without power. If you’ve lost power or see downed wires, call your power company. Do not touch any downed wires.

  • Dominion Virginia Power 1-866-366-4357, TTY 711
  • NOVEC 1-888-335-0500, TTY 711

Here’s who to call if you see any downed trees.

 

8 Ways You Can Help With Snow Removal

Posted 2:15 p.m.

snow shovelingRoad snow removal is led by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

But what about sidewalks and other areas around your home or business?

The state and the county do not clear snow and ice from public walkways (sidewalks and trails). While not legally obligated, residents and businesses are asked to help keep sidewalks safe (homeowner associations may require members of their communities to clear walkways near their property). You should, as soon as possible, clear snow off the sidewalks in front of your property so that all pedestrians, especially school children, people with disabilities and the elderly, may walk securely as conditions improve.

Eight ways you can help:

1. Start a neighborhood team to help shovel snow for elderly and those unable to shovel. And please be aware of the risks for people with heart conditions.

2. Residents and businesses should ensure all accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities are cleared of snow and ice.

3. Don’t put trash cans and recycling bins out until after the plows have come.

4. If possible, remove parked cars from the road. Navigating around objects severely hampers a plow or heavy equipment driver’s ability to clear the roads and costs valuable time.

5. Clear snow away from fire hydrants in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors to adopt a fire hydrant and clear snow and ice away from all hydrants so that they are easily visible in the event of a fire.

6. Shovel snow into the yard instead of into the street to minimize the problem of the snowplow covering your driveway with snow after you’ve just shoveled it.

7. Keep the openings of storm drains clear of snow and debris to help alleviate potential flooding and to protect the environment. (At no time, however, should a resident attempt to enter a storm drain to remove debris.)

8. Volunteer to use or lend equipment such as small snow blowers for a community removal effort.

Document Damage from Hurricane Sandy for Potential Disaster Assistance

Posted 2:10 p.m.

damage-databaseDid your property suffer damage from Hurricane Sandy?

Then please visit our Disaster Damage Database and complete the form to officially document damage. We may share the disaster damage reports with the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and/or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to evaluate what kind of federal disaster assistance could be made available to county residents who have suffered losses.

NOTE: Submission of disaster damages is not a requirement to apply for federal disaster assistance nor is it a promise that federal disaster assistance will be provided to cover damages from the hurricane, or any other disaster event when the online tool is used.

For more information about the Disaster Damage Database, emergency management or how you and your family can better prepare for emergencies, email the Office of Emergency Management or call 571-350-1000, TTY 711.

County Trash Collection Update

Posted 1:54 p.m.

trash collectionResidents in sanitary districts receiving trash and recycling collection service on Tuesdays from Fairfax County will be served on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Residents on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday routes will receive trash and recycling collection service as normally scheduled. Please have trash and recycling containers to the curb by 6 a.m. on your collection day to ensure collection.

We anticipate there may be some delays in yard waste collection due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. We will have crews working through the week and into the weekend (if necessary) to ensure that the material is collected. These delays will not affect the collection of trash and recycling.

Questions related to the county’s trash and recycling collection service within established sanitary districts may be directed to the Solid Waste Management Program at 703-802-3322, TTY 711. Residents receiving trash and recycling collection service from private service providers should contact them directly for information related to any collection schedule changes.

Debris Removal and Cleanup Options for Hurricane Sandy

Posted 12:02 p.m.

Cleanup from Hurricane Sandy is underway in our neighborhoods and communities. There are several options available for managing debris generated from this storm:

  1. All refuse collection companies operating in Fairfax County must collect brush placed at their customers’ curbsides as long as the brush is in bundles ofless than 4 feet in length, weighing less than 50 pounds and no piece is larger than 6 inches in diameter.
  2. For larger amounts of brush or bulk debris, you should contact your trash collection service provider for information about special collections and set-out instructions.
  3. You may also self-haul large amounts of brush or bulk debris to the county’s recycling and disposal centers at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex where it can be disposed of for a fee. The fee structure for brush and tree debris from Hurricane Sandy is as follows:
    • Pick-up trucks (residents only): $5
    • Single axle stake body and dump trucks (residents only): $15
    • Pick-up trucks, single axle stake body and dump trucks (permitted haulers): $15
    • Tandem axle trucks including crane/knuckle boom trucks: $32 per ton (to be weighed at scale)

These fees will remain in place until Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Complete details on tree and debris removal are available online. Additional questions may be referred to the Solid Waste Management Program at 703-324-5230, TTY 711.

Who to Call About Downed Trees

Posted 11:53 a.m.

downed treeHurricane Sandy has left debris in many of our yards. In all cases, stay away from downed wires near downed trees. Electricity can travel through tree limbs. Never remove tree limbs or other items that are touching or near a downed wire.

Here’s who to call about downed trees:

Adjacent to Public Roads

  • Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.

On County Parkland

  • Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988. More information about tree removal on Park Authority land can be found here.

Posing Hazard to Public Areas

  • Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.

Private Property

  • Removal is the property owner’s responsibility. Be aware of the risk of chain saw injury during tree removal. Use a chain saw safely

Take the Emergency Information Survey

Have you taken our emergency information survey yet? We want your input! 

As part of our review of the June 29 derecho storm, we’re asking for your help in completing a short survey. The survey focuses on a few key areas: 

  • Tools (such as CEAN) that you use to access emergency information. 
  • Non-government resources (such as media) you access for emergency information. 
  • County response to the June 29 derecho storm. 
  • Ways to improve information delivery, especially during power outages. 
  • Personal preparedness. 
  • And if you own a business, we have a set of questions for you. 

Here’s the survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/fairfaxemergencyinfo 

Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to complete this important survey so we can learn from you and adapt our response for future incidents.

Aug. 14 Deadline to Apply for Tropical Storm Lee Disaster Loans

Posted 11:15 a.m.

 

Road flooding damage from September 2011

Damage caused by the Sept. 8, 2011, heavy rains and flooding. Picture from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding businesses in Virginia that working capital loans are still available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private non-profit organizations affected by Tropical Storm Lee that occurred on Sept. 8 – 9, 2011.

You must apply by Aug. 14.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) up to $2 million are available at 3 percent for private non-profit organizations of all sizes and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The loans are intended to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. 

These EIDLs are available to small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following Virginia locations: Fairfax and Prince William counties; the neighboring counties of Arlington, Fauquier, Loudoun and Stafford; the independent cities of  Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park in Virginia.

You may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

You also can obtain disaster loan information and application forms by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Loan application forms can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov.

Debris Disposal Update: $5 Disposal Fee to Expire on Sunday, July 22

A reduced residential disposal fee was instituted as part of the recovery effort from the June 29 storm. Residents who elected to self-haul loads of brush or bulk debris to the county’s recycling and disposal centers at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex have been charged $5 per load. This special recovery disposal fee will expire on Sunday, July 22.

Beginning on Monday, July 23, disposal fees for brush and debris will return to their normal levels. A complete listing of disposal fees for waste brought to the Recycling and Disposal Centers at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex are available online. Additional questions may be referred to the Solid Waste Management Program at 703-324-5230, TTY 711.

Local Food Pantries In Need of Donations

Image of food in a grocery bagLocal nonprofits and shelters have been busy supplying residents in need with food, water and and other supplies that may have been lost during the June 29 derecho storm (and the resulting extended power loss) and recent heat wave. Loss of power at the shelters and increased demand for assistance has depleted many of the shelters’ reserves, and these food pantries are now turning to the community for help.

Fairfax County partner food pantries and nonprofits are accepting food and cash donations to help restock and supply our most vulnerable families with healthy meals. Those interested in donating should contact a local food pantry directly for more information on how to contribute.

Debris Removal Information and Options

Storm damage with tree across road

Photo courtesy VDOT

Cleanup from the June 29 storm continues in our neighborhoods and communities.

All private refuse collection companies operating in Fairfax County must collect brush placed at their customers’ curbsides as long as the brush is in bundles of less than 4 feet in length, weighing less than 50 pounds and no piece is larger than 6 inches in diameter.

For larger amounts of brush or bulk debris, you should contact your trash collection service provider for information about special collections and set-out instructions.

For a charge, the county does offer a MegaBulk collection service to collect larger amounts of brush or bulk debris. You may also self-haul large amounts of brush or bulk debris to the county’s recycling and disposal centers at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex where it can be disposed of for a fee. During the storm recovery the brush disposal fee has been set at $5 per load for residents only.

Complete details on tree and debris removal are available online. Additional questions may be referred to the Solid Waste Management Program at 703-324-5230, TTY 711.

June 29 Storm Report

Damage in Dranesville/Great Falls areaWhat a storm.

What we experienced on June 29 was not a common occurrence in Fairfax County, according to an analysis from the National Weather Service.

This storm tested all of us. You as individuals in your homes, many without power. Businesses. Utility companies. Nonprofits. Faith communities. And yes, us, the government.

At today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, County Executive Ed Long presented a report about the storm, county government’s response, issues with 9-1-1 and many more details about what we do behind the scenes that does not often get highlighted on our blog posts during storm response.

We invite you to review the report. Are there gaps and issues that need to be addressed? Yes, there are always ways to improve emergency response and our Office of Emergency Management will lead a formal after action report for the whole government.

So what can you do? What kind of family or business “report” should you consider? What steps can you take for the next time?

Prepare.

As many of you experienced the unfortunate combination of no power and a major heat wave, we as one community need to take steps to ensure we’re ready for the next storm, flood, terrorism act or whatever may come next.

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Are you going to the grocery store this week? Pick up some extra water for your family. Stock up on batteries. Get some other basic supplies so you are ready.
  2. Learn some key digital preparedness tips. Many of us learned how dependent we are on communications during this storm when it was difficult to access the Internet and other tools. Get prepared digitally.
  3. Please make plans for the most vulnerable in your family or neighborhood. If there are special medical or social needs, register with us so we can contact you directly after an incident.
  4. Please make plans for your pets. Try to think of places they can go, supplies they need and more. Pets are such an important part of many of our lives, but they need plans, too.

There are many other ways to prepare and be ready for the next incident. We need you to be ready because we the government at any level (local, state or federal) may not be able to respond and help right away. The general idea is to be self sufficient for 72 hours. Check out these resources to help plan:

Instructions for Trash Pickup in Fairfax County

Last Friday’s storm has left many people with yard debris, like broken tree branches, and rotten food that needs to be thrown out. Follow these instructions on how to dispose of your garbage and yard waste.

Disposing Yard Waste

If your trash is collected by a private company, call them directly to schedule a special pickup for yard waste from the storm. Private companies are required to pick up your regular garbage and yard debris at least once a week.

For homeowners who get their trash collected by Fairfax County, put your yard waste on the curb, and leave it there. County crews will eventually pick it up as they make their rounds. However, county authorities ask that you schedule a brush pick up because this will help trash crews to prioritize their routes, and it will help to ensure that your house doesn’t get missed.

Special pickups may be scheduled online or call 703-802-3322, TTY 711, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. This special collection will not count against the five allowed per year.

Please note that your brush likely won’t be collected on the date assigned because of the enormous volume of debris to be cleaned up. We ask for your patience, please.

Getting Rid of Rotten Food

You should put your spoiled food in a garbage bag before dumping it in your trash can; this will help reduce odors and discourage rats, mice and other animals from getting into your garbage. If you put your trash in bags without a container, don’t put the bags on the curb until the evening before pick up.

Additionally, you should wash your hands after handling rotten food to protect yourself from potential food-borne illnesses.

Taking Your Trash and Yard Waste to the Landfills

Whether your trash is picked up by a private company or the county, any resident can dispose of regular garbage or yard waste at the county’s two landfills—the I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill—for a fee. Both facilities are open seven days a week during their normally scheduled hours.

There is a flat $5 fee per load for residents to dispose of yard waste and brush at either of the two landfills during storm recovery efforts, and the minimum fee for regular trash is $6. Payment may be made by cash, Visa or Mastercard.

The I-66 landfill is located at 4618 West Ox Road, and the I-95 landfill is at 9850 Furnace Road.

Most county residents get their garbage collected by a private company, but the county government provides trash collection for some residents. Check this map (PDF) to see if the county collects your trash or call 703-802-3322, TTY 711, Monday through Friday.

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