Flood Warning Issued Until 6 p.m. as Waters Continue to Rise

Flood Warning

Posted at 1:20 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning until 6 p.m. for Fairfax County, as well as Arlington County and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. A Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. All interested parties should take necessary precautions immediately.

At 12:52 p.m., reporting gauges indicate larger streams are still rising from the earlier torrential rain, and many road closures are still being reported. Although the threat of rapid rise life threatening flooding is diminishing, some flooding is likely to continue for the rest of the afternoon. This Flood Warning replaces the Flash Flood Warning.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Arlington, Alexandria, Reston, Annandale, Springfield, Herndon, Fairfax, Fort Hunt, Vienna, Groveton, Falls Church, Huntington, Lowes Island, Mantua, Fort Belvoir, Pimmit Hills, Mclean, American Legion Bridge, Reagan National Airport and Rosslyn.

Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood
deaths occur in vehicles.

See our earlier blog post about affected county facilities and programs.

UPDATED: Flash Flood Warning for Fairfax County

Posted at 9 a.m.
UPDATED: 10:40 a.m.
UPDATED: 11:25 a.m.

The National Weather Service Flash Flood Warning for Fairfax County remains in effect until 1:45 p.m.

At 10:24 a.m., numerous reports of significant flooding and flash flooding have been received throughout the D.C. metro area. Several streams, particularly in the Cameron Run area, are currently experiencing flooding. Flooding is imminent on Rock Creek and Accotink Creek with significant walls of water expected to be moving downstream on rapid rises. With heavy rain just moving out of the area, the Flash Flood Warning has been extended through early afternoon.

A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property. Please stay away from creeks and stormwater retention ponds as water may rise rapidly.

County Closures

As of 8:45 a.m. this morning, torrential rainfall was crossing the area. Numerous flash flood warnings are in effect. Flooding will likely impact normal commuting patterns. If water covers a roadway, find another route. Unfortunately, some people will attempt to drive their cars through flooded roadways only to stall and become trapped. Remember: turn around, don’t drown.

Be sure you’re signed up for Fairfax Alerts for the latest road closures, weather updates and more.

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

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Health and Safety Podcast (July 3, 2019)

Posted at 3:15 p.m.

On the latest edition of the “Health and Safety” podcast, learn about the importance of emergency supplies for your pet, hurricane season, mosquitoes and the Capital Fortitude emergency exercise and the need for volunteers.

Listen to the Podcast

Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

To listen to other Fairfax County podcasts, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/podcasts.

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Enjoy Fireworks Safely this Week

Posted at 11:15 a.m.

According to the National Safety Council, every year fireworks cause on average 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries. They advise everyone to stay away from all consumer fireworks and to only enjoy fireworks at a public display conducted by professionals.

Here in Fairfax County, any firework, which explodes, emits a flame or sparks higher than 12 feet, or performs as a projectile is prohibited by the Fairfax County Fire Prevention Code.

Many fireworks are not available in Northern Virginia because they are illegal. Firecrackers, cherry bombs and skyrockets are just a few examples of fireworks that may be purchased in other areas, but are illegal here.

Since even the possession of unapproved fireworks is prohibited in Fairfax County, such fireworks will be confiscated and the person possessing them can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. This carries a maximum penalty of a $2,500 fine and/or one-year in jail.

And according to the county’s Fire and Rescue Department, a permit is required for the sale of all fireworks, and these permits are only valid from June 1 to July 15 of each year.

How to Safely Enjoy Fireworks

Where to Watch Fireworks

Every year in Fairfax County there are several venues where you can safely watch fireworks that are handled by professionals. A couple of these events were held this past weekend, but upcoming on July 4, you can check out the fireworks at Langley High School, 6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean, produced by the McLean Community Center.

When Using Fireworks

Please adhere to the following safety tips:

  • When displaying legally purchased, approved fireworks, place them on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings.
  • Keep all bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
  • Read the directions.
  • Do not permit young children to handle or light fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never throw fireworks.
  • Sparklers can be very dangerous and account for the majority of injuries. Pieces can break off and burn bystanders.
  • Young children should not use sparklers as these can attain a temperature as high as 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.

Please have a safe Fourth of July and stay away from dangerous and illegal fireworks. Remember that there are many public displays available that offer a safe way to view fireworks.

For more information, call 703-246-3801, TTY 711.

Business Community Creates the Fairfax County Business Emergency Operations Council

Posted at 9:45 a.m.

The Board of Supervisors will welcome emergency management officials and members of the newly created Fairfax County Business Emergency Operations Council (BEOC) at the Board’s June 25 meeting. The Board will recognize the BEOC for its efforts in making Fairfax County a more resilient community.

The BEOC was created to enable better coordination and collaboration between businesses, with a presence in Fairfax County, and local government officials when preparing for, responding to, and recovering from, disasters or other events with the potential to impact normal operations.

The organization is a consortium of businesses working with Fairfax County Government officials, including the Office of Emergency Management, to enable focused and timely communications and to foster a greater understanding of what it means to be a resilient business in Fairfax County.

Participation in the BEOC is completely voluntary and open to members of the private sector, including large and small businesses, trade associations, universities, think-tanks and nonprofits. During response activities, BEOC members are linked into Fairfax County’s Emergency Operations Center.

Purpose of the BEOC

  • Preparation — The BEOC works with Fairfax County on short-term and long-term goals for county preparedness.
  • Alert and Notification — The county will alert the BEOC if there is a disruption that requires a response from or action by the BEOC membership.
  • Response — Each member of the organization will utilize information from the county in order to activate their own response plan.
  • Recovery — The county will coordinate with the council for assistance in post-incident activities. The goal of every business is to prepare for long-term economic recovery.

Emergency management staff and BEOC members will host a signing ceremony in the Government Center Forum at 8:30 a.m. preceding Tuesday’s board recognition.

To get more information or to apply to join the BEOC, visit www.ffxbeoc.org and complete the questionnaire at the bottom of the page.