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Wind Storm Aftermath: Six Things to Know Monday, March 5

Posted at 11:55 a.m.

It was a rough weekend across Fairfax County due to the dangerous, sustained winds that we had to deal with. We realize that the event isn’t over yet for the several thousand county residents without power this morning, or for those who have had their power restored but are dealing with downed trees, debris and other issues caused by the storm.

As we try to get our lives back to normal, here’s a quick look at six things you might need to be aware of today as you deal with the aftermath of the weekend’s wind storm.

 1. Debris Pick up

  •  Debris clean-up is a shared responsibility between private property owners, waste haulers and Fairfax County. Information on disposing of yard debris is available here.
  • Please use caution when driving near the trucks picking up debris and Slow Down to Get Around. Slow down to 10 mph below limit and provide two-foot berth around stopped collection vehicles. Watch this video.
  • A reminder that you cannot burn debris and yard waste in our county – this is to prevent the spread of fire and to protect air quality.

2. Power Outages Continue

  •  There are still several thousand customers in the county without power today. If you have questions about your power outage, here is the contact information:
  • The following county facilities continue to be without power and are closed:
    • Parks and Rec – Due to power outages and trees down, Riverbend Park’s Visitor Center is closed but the park is open. Hidden Pond Nature Center is closed. Ellanor C. Lawrence Park and Visitor Center is closed due to the closure of Walney Road and lack of power. Burke Lake Park is open but the gates are closed to vehicles and there is no power.  To report a downed tree in the parks, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/tree-removal
    • Martha Washington Library remains closed today due to lack of power, but all other library branches have opened on time.

3. Trees

4. Making Repairs

  • If you have damage to your house, be sure to hire a licensed contractor. Tips on what to look for and working with your insurance company.

5. Food Safety

  • If your power was out for an extended period you’ll want to assess whether the food in your refrigerator or freezer is still safe to consume.

6. Be Prepared for the Next Storm

  • We don’t know when the next emergency or storm will impact us – it could be next week or years away. Make sure you are informed and get the latest emergency information, subscribe to Fairfax Alerts.

Wind Storm Update for Sunday, March 4

Posted at 9:35 a.m.

R
ecovery operations continue today from the damaging wind storm across the county and the region. As of 9 a.m. this morning, there were still over 33,000 power outages in Fairfax County, affecting some traffic signals, as well as county and school facilities.

County Facility Status

  • Schools – Activities scheduled in Fairfax County public schools or on school grounds are canceled today, Sunday, March 4.
  • Parks and Recreation – All Park Authority programs at Fairfax County Public School locations are canceled for Sunday, March 4.
    • South Run RECEnter will open today at noon.
    • Spring Hill RECenter remains closed due to power outages.
    • The gates at Lake Accotink Park and Burke Lake Park are closed to vehicular traffic but the parks are open.
    • Riverbend Park and Ellanor C Lawrence are both without power.
    • Clemyjontri Park is open but bathrooms are closed.
    • The Park Authority continues to evaluate other sites and we encourage you to call the facility before going. To report a downed tree in the parks, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/tree-removal.
  • Libraries (Updated at 10:25 a.m) – The Chantilly Regional Library remains closed today due to a lack of power. All other regional library branches will open as scheduled at 1 p.m.

Power Outages

If you are without power, please report it.

Stay away from downed wires as they may be live with electricity.

Weather Forecast

Today it will be sunny with a high near 48. North winds 16 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Tonight, clear, with a low around 27. North winds around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Then on Monday, it will be sunny with a high near 45. North winds 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. More on the forecast.


Fairfax Alerts

Storm Update from the National Weather Service

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.

What You Need to Know Tonight

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

What To Do If You Have Storm Damage

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:

Here are some tips and resources to help you with storm damage:

Insurance

  • 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 bureauofinsurance@scc.virginia.gov.
  • 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.

Get more information on insurance from the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Contractors

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/.

Get more information on hiring contractors from Fairfax County Consumer Affairs.