Posted at 7:45 p.m.
High winds continue across our region, with gusts commonly between 40 and 60 mph over land, and 40 to 60 knots over water. A High Wind Warning remains in effect for most of our area until 6 a.m. Saturday.
National Weather Service Update
The National Weather Service says this “is a prolonged, high-impact windstorm” for the region. The duration of the winds will add to the hazardous nature of this event. While gusts will slowly diminish in intensity this weekend, they will remain around 40 mph Saturday. This will hamper the repair of power lines and tree removal.
Travel is dangerous on the roads, especially for high profile vehicles. Be aware of rapidly changing road conditions due to the potential of downed trees and power lines.
Pedestrians will also face very hazardous conditions, and need to be aware of wind-borne projectiles. People should avoid being outside. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your homes during the windstorm and avoid windows.
Posted at 6:15 p.m.
The National Weather Service has reported wind gusts over 50 mph for over 12 hours straight at Dulles and the wind storm continues to impact our county.
We have up to 100 traffic lights out and more than 100,000 customers are without power.
We encourage everyone to take precautions tonight to stay safe:
If You Have Lost Power
- Do not call 9-1-1 if you lose power. If you have a power outage, contact Dominion Power, 1-866-366-4357; www.dom.com/outage-center or NOVEC, 1-888-335-0500; www.novec.com/stormcenter. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies only; call 703-691-2131 for non-emergencies.
- Please use battery powered lighting and not candles!
- Take safety precautions if using a generator. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use – never use a generator indoors.
- An electrical power outage will affect the safe storage of refrigerated and frozen foods. Perishable foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk and eggs that are not properly refrigerated or stored, and frozen food that thaws, may cause illness if consumed. Read more about precautions you should take.
- If your neighborhood has lost power, please check on elderly and neighbors with disabilities.
On the Roads
- Please avoid going out on the roads if you can tonight. There are many traffic lights that are out and downed trees and power lines in our neighborhoods. Driving will become more difficult in the dark.
- If a traffic light is out, it must be treated as a 4-way stop, unless a police officer is directing traffic.
- If you must venture out, be prepared for road closures. You can find the latest list of road issues here from our police department: https://fcpdnews.wordpress.com/2018/03/02/wind-storm-impacts-multiple-roadways-around-fairfax-county, as well as an online map of county road hazards and closures at http://fairfaxcountygis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=e5ec7a2d584b46a9be4a18a5440d1938.
- You can also sign up for Fairfax Alerts and get the latest road closures sent to you by text or email: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.
Posted at 3:45 p.m.
There has been a significant amount of home and car damage related to the wind storm. If you have a safety concern, only call 9-1-1 for emergencies; otherwise call 703-691-2131.
If your power is out, contact your provider:
- Dominion Power, call 1-866-366-4357; online at www.dom.com/outage-center
- NOVEC, call 1-888-335-0500; online at www.novec.com/stormcenter
Here are some tips and resources to help you with storm damage:
- Contact your insurance company or agent to report any claim that you may have.
- If you do not know your insurance company’s telephone number or otherwise need assistance, contact the Bureau of Insurance at 804-71-9741 or toll-free 1-800-552-7945, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you experience problems contacting your insurance company, you need to be persistent. Some insurance companies may have problems with their phone lines due to a high volume of calls, etc.
- Take pictures of your damaged property so that these can be given to your insurance company. You should also save any receipts for repair costs and do anything that is appropriate to prevent any further damage to your property.
- If you experience problems in getting your claims paid or have general insurance questions, the bureau has specially trained representatives that can provide you assistance.
The aftermath of severe storm damage often results in an increase in consumer complaints resulting from contractor fraud or shoddy repairs by unlicensed contractors. If you have a question contact Consumer Affairs at 703-222-8435, TTY 711, to speak to a consumer specialist. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Always ask to see a copy of a contractor’s license from the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). You can visit DPOR’s website to check for a valid contractor’s license or call 804-367-8511, TTY 711. Any contractor seeking work through home solicitation must carry a solicitor license issued by the Fairfax County Department of Cable and Consumer Services.
- Call the Fairfax County Department of Land Development Services Permits Branch, at 703-222-0801, TTY 711, to determine whether a permit is necessary for the intended work. Ask for information on each contractor’s licensing and disciplinary status.
- Obtain bids from three contractors, ask for three references from each and find out if the contractor provided a monetary discount or payment in exchange for using a consumer as a reference.
- Information on filing a complaint: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumercomplaint/.
Posted at 9:20 a.m.
As this wind storm continues in our community today, here are few updates to share as of 9 a.m.:
Please see our blog post from earlier today for updates about closures or cancellations of county government programs and services.
As of this time, there are more than 60,000 reported power outages in the county. If you lose power, please report it. For Dominion Power, call 1-866-366-4357; online at www.dom.com/outage-center. For NOVEC, call 1-888-335-0500; online at www.novec.com/stormcenter.
Downed Trees and Wires
There are plenty of reports of downed trees and wires. Here’s a comprehensive list of who to contact: http://bit.ly/2oBz3pA.
You can find the latest list of road issues here from our police department: https://fcpdnews.wordpress.com/2018/03/02/wind-storm-impacts-multiple-roadways-around-fairfax-county, as well as an online map of county road hazards and closures at http://fairfaxcountygis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=e5ec7a2d584b46a9be4a18a5440d1938.
You can also sign up for Fairfax Alerts and get the latest road closures sent to you by text or email: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts
And if you’re out today driving and come to an intersection without power or an officer directing traffic, treat it as a four-way stop.
Check on Neighbors
Take a moment today to check on any elderly or homebound neighbors who may need assistance.
Posted at 4:25 p.m.
The National Weather Service (NWS) isn’t taking the high winds expected lightly — and doesn’t want you too, either.
According to a new update from NWS, the winds will be “dangerously strong and long-lasting.” The NWS forecast calls for winds starting at, or soon after, midnight in “one of the most powerful windstorms in recent years.”
Take action now to be prepared. See our article this afternoon for more tips on what actions to take now.