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County Declares Local Emergency in Response to July 8 Rainfall; Residents Encouraged to Submit Damage Reports

Posted at 4:10 p.m.

At its July 16 meeting, the county’s Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency for Fairfax County as a result of the July 8 torrential rainstorm that caused substantial damage to both public and private property.

The heavy rains caused several county closures, numerous road closures, damage to homes, businesses, roads and dams as well as multiple rescues from our fire and rescue personnel of motorists stranded in flooded roadways.

As a result, the Board declared a local emergency, retroactive to July 8, that officially activates the county’s emergency operations plan and authorizes the furnishing of aid and assistance under the plan to mitigate the results of the severe weather.

This local aid includes the waiving of fees associated with residential and commercial building permits, including trades, needed for the repair of storm damage for a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of the declaration. This waiver and declaration, however, does not remove the requirement for adherence to all federal, state and local building codes.

The declaration of a local emergency is necessary for the county to seek funds for recovery, clean-up and evaluation should such funds become available.

The declaration notes that this severe weather event “created an emergency of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant coordinated local government action to prevent or alleviate the damage, loss, hardship or suffering threated” pursuant to Virginia Code.

Submit Your Damage Reports

The county’s Office of Emergency Management is currently collecting information from Fairfax County residents and businesses on damage and losses suffered during the rain event.

It is critically important that you submit any storm-related damage to Fairfax County.

The information you provide will be part of the county’s preliminary damage assessment, which is used to help determine if the county is eligible for federal disaster assistance.

Individuals and businesses are asked to report any storm damage to the county’s Disaster Damage Database.

“By submitting information you are helping the county focus on what areas of the county had the most damage to provide to the federal assessors.”

Seamus Mooney
Fairfax County Emergency Management Coordinator

While the database is completely voluntary, the damage reports received may impact what kind of federal disaster assistance — if any — that can be made available to county residents who suffered losses.

Your submission of damage information may benefit you and other county residents by supporting a disaster declaration, which is a prerequisite to eligibility for federal disaster assistance. However, submission of a Disaster Damage Report is not a requirement to apply for federal disaster assistance, nor is it a promise that federal disaster assistance will be provided.

Learn more about the Disaster Damage Database and submit your damage form online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/disasterreport/dr_submit.aspx.

Measles Case Confirmed; Risk of Exposures in Fairfax County

Posted at 12:20 p.m.

The Fairfax County Health Department is investigating a laboratory-confirmed case of measles. The individual is a child who was treated at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus but is no longer contagious.

While the child was age-appropriately vaccinated with one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, it takes two doses of MMR vaccine to provide full protection against measles. At this time there are no other documented cases of measles in the area.

The individual was at several locations in Fairfax County in the past week and could have exposed others to the measles virus. The Health Department is attempting to notify anyone who may have been exposed while the patient was infectious to prevent further spread of measles.

Persons who were at the locations below during the times listed may have been exposed to the measles virus and should call the Health Department at 703-267-3511, (TTY 711) to determine their risk for measles. Preventative treatment may be recommended for those who were exposed and are unvaccinated and who may be at high risk, such as pregnant women, infants younger than 12 months and people with severely compromised immune systems.

Measles Exposure Public Sites

Location Date and Time
JoAnn Blanks Child Development Center (CDC)5901 Taylor Road, Bldg. 1207
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060
Wednesday, Sept. 30
7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
 
Pediatric Associates of Alexandria Springfield HealthPlex
6355 Walker Ln #401
Alexandria, VA 22310
Thursday, Oct. 1
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Springfield HealthPlex
6355 Walker Ln #401
Alexandria, VA 22310
Thursday, Oct. 1
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Costco Wholesale Club
7940 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, VA 22306
Thursday, Oct. 1
2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
Pediatric Emergency Department
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Sunday, Oct. 4
10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
Emergency Department
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Sunday, Oct. 4
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus Women’s and Children’s Atrium (Lobby) & 5th floor
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Sunday, Oct. 4
5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus Original Building, 1st-5th floor
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Sunday, Oct. 4,  5 p.m. to Midnight
Monday, Oct. 5,
All hours

 

Measles is a highly contagious, serious respiratory disease. Symptoms can include fever greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and cough, followed by a blotchy rash that appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles is particularly dangerous for infants who cannot be immunized until they are at least six months old.

Persons who were present at any of the locations listed above during the exposure times should call their health care provider if they experience any symptoms of measles. Contact your doctor’s office or the emergency room and tell them that you may have been exposed to measles.

The last date when a person would develop symptoms from this exposure is Oct. 26.

The Health Department is experienced in conducting measles outbreak investigations and is implementing its response plan to prevent further spread of the disease. The last confirmed case of measles involving Fairfax County was in May 2015. There were no secondary cases.

More Information

A call center has been established to address concerns and answer questions about measles. Anyone concerned about exposure to measles is encouraged to call the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-267-3511The call center hours are:

  • Oct. 8, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 9, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 11, Noon to 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 12, Noon to 6 p.m.

Visit the Fairfax County Health Department at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd or the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.state.va.us.

More about Measles

Symptoms:

  • Typically appear 7-12 days after exposure to measles but may take up to 21 days
  • Begin with fever (101 F or higher), red, watery eyes, cough and runny nose
  • Followed by a rash that is red, raised and blotchy. The rash begins on the face at the hairline and moves down the body.

How it is spread:

  • Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing and is highly contagious. The virus can live on surfaces or in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed for up to two hours.
  • People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.

Preventing measles:

  • People are protected against measles if they have been adequately vaccinated or if they have had measles in the past.
  • Two doses of MMR vaccine provide full protection against measles. Children routinely get their first dose of the vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose at four to six years of age.
  • Use this opportunity to review your vaccination status and talk to your healthcare provider or local pharmacy about the availability of MMR vaccine. The Health Department also has MMR vaccine available for both children and adults.

Treatment:

  • There is no specific treatment for measles. People with measles need bed rest, fluids and control of fever. Patients with complications may need treatment specific to their condition.

What to do if you were at one of the above locations at the time specified:

  • If you have received at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the past, your risk of being infected with measles from any of these exposures is very low. Certain groups of adults may be at increased risk for exposure to measles and should receive two doses of MMR, including college students, healthcare workers and international travelers.
  • If you or a family member has not received the MMR vaccination and you were present at one of the locations listed above during the exposure time, please call the Health Department at 703-267-3511 to be assessed for your risk of exposure.

What to do if you think you have measles:

  • Contact your health care provider by phone and let them know that you may have been exposed to measles.

Centreville Incident Update

Posted at 6:20 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline is working with the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the pipeline accident that occurred on Monday, September 21, in Centreville. Colonial is also continuing to collaborate with local, state and federal agencies, which includes the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Fairfax Water and the Virginia Department of Transportation, in connection to the response in Centreville.

  • Colonial is continuing to excavate and inspect the area to ensure public safety.
  • Air quality safety and waste removal plans have been approved and implemented by the Unified Command.
  • Air quality continues to read at safe levels at the excavation site.
  • Contaminated soil is being removed and transported via truck to a facility in Richmond for disposal.
  • Fairfax Water is at the scene and is closely monitoring the situation. There is no direct threat to the quality of drinking water at this time.
  • Incident responders will continue taking proper precautions to protect water quality.
  • There have been no injuries or known illnesses due to the incident.
  • Two dead fish were discovered in one of the ponds where gasoline was recovered. That is the only known impact to wildlife.
  • Fairfax County is working closely with Colonial Pipeline to ensure the safety of everyone in the affected area, including first responders, as well as working with area businesses affected by the leak so that they can reopen as soon as possible.

For more information, call the Community Assistance Hotline at 1-866-601-5880 or visit www.colpipe.com and click to be redirected to the Centreville, Va. Incident Site on the right column.

Petroleum Product Leak; Residential Areas are Safe

Posted at 5:40 p.m.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is operating in the area of New Braddock Rd. and Rt. 28 for a petroleum product leak.  

All residential areas are safe.  Three business in the immediate area of the leak have been closed as a precaution.  

The fire department and Colonial Pipeline have determined the general location of the leak.  Crews will isolate and ultimately fix the problem.  

Colonial Pipeline has a set up a community assistance hotline for residents who have any questions;  1-866-601-5880.

Text to 9-1-1 Launches in Fairfax County

9:25 a.m.

This morning, Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center began accepting text to 9-1-1 calls for service. Fairfax County is the first jurisdiction in Northern Virginia – and one of the largest 9-1-1 Centers in the country – to implement this service.

Text to 9-1-1 is available within Fairfax County and the Towns of Herndon, Vienna, Clifton and the City of Fairfax.  The service is set up to operate similar to the way 9-1-1 voice calls are handled.  A text to 9-1-1 call will generally route the same way a voice call to 9-1-1 is routed.

Text to 9-1-1 is intended primarily for use in three emergency scenarios:

  • For an individual who is deaf, hard-of-hearing or has a speech disability.
  • For someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 9-1-1.
  • A medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech.

In this video, Steve Souder, director of our 9-1-1 Center, explains what text to 9-1-1 is and how it benefits the residents of the county.

Voice calls are the best and preferred method for contacting 9-1-1. However, remember this important phrase: Call if you can. Text if you can’t.

text to 9-1-1 logo

If text to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, users should receive a message indicating that text to 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by phone.

  • As with all text messages, 9-1-1 text messages can take longer to receive, may be delivered out of order, or may not be received at all.
  • Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are in a “roaming” situation.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
  • Text to 9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not copy your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1. Wait until you are safe to notify others of your situation.
  • Do not text and drive.

Learn more online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/911/text-to-911.htm.