Severe Weather to Impact Our Area; Tornado Watch Until 9 p.m.
Posted 3:01 p.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch until 9 p.m. for Fairfax County and the entire National Capital Area. Thunderstorms, heavy rains, wind, large hail and potential flooding are also expected beginning this afternoon.
This is a dangerous storm. Let’s break down potential issues to consider:
A Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado and that tornadoes are possible. The National Weather Service is predicting that the greatest threat for tornadoes in Fairfax County will be between 7 and 10 p.m.
Think of where you would normally be during that time –at home, in a restaurant or movie theater, outdoors, at work or in the car. You may only have a few seconds to react. Decide now where you would go if a tornado warning is issued.
You may also be sleeping, too, so ensure you have some way to be notified of a potential tornado warning. Sign up for our Community Emergency Alert Network, listen to a weather radio, follow social media sites or watch local TV.
View more tornado preparedness and safety tips.
Heavy Rain, Winds and Flooding
This weather system could bring winds up to 50 mph and 1-2 inches of rain. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. Do not drive in flooded roads – “turn around, don’t drown.” Also, it’s very important to keep your children inside and away from streams and creeks.
If you live in a flood-prone area, identify where to go if ordered to evacuate and the safest route to get there. If there is a flood, you may only have minutes to get to safety. Choose several places – a friend’s home in another town, a motel or a shelter. View more flood safety tips.
Due to high winds, please secure all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
Due to high winds, you may lose power. Plan ahead for life without power. Have an emergency kit ready with food to eat and other supplies.
Avoid using lighted candles as they may cause a fire. Flashlights are safer when the power is out.
If you are driving and traffic lights are out, please abide by these rules.
In case you lose your power, here are the numbers to call to report the outage:
- Dominion Virginia Power outages and downed wires: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), TTY 711
- BGE outages: 877-778-2222; downed wires: 800-685-0123
- NOVEC (Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative) outages and downed wires: 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500, TTY 711
- Pepco outages: 1-877-737-2662
Emergency Phone Numbers
Only call 9-1-1 for emergencies.
Refer to this list of important phone numbers for other key contacts; bookmark it on your computer, smartphone or write down the numbers.