Friday's storm tore the roof off the DMV in Shirlington. (Photo: ARLNow.com.)
The high winds that targeted the D.C. area last week claimed one notable Arlington victim: the Shirlington location of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The wind tore off a large section of the DMV's roof toward the back of the building, ARLNow reported, closing the location for several hours.
A temporary roof was installed and the location is open today, however, just in time for all those customers rushing in at the end of the month.
If you happened to recently visit the website of Last Exit, a new speakeasy coming to Mount Pleasant, you may have gotten your hopes up in vain — the site incorrectly stated opening day was Monday, Feb. 28.
Sorry folks, but manager Desiree Herschberger says the opening is slated for March 10 (and, given how bar and restaurant openings go, this may be pushed back even more).
But Herschberger did provide some details on the new watering hole being built out by the owners of Tonic. The space will be accessible through Tonic, with room for about 30 to 35 people.
"It’s going to be a very intimate space," Herschberger says, "and a little more focused on cocktails, higher end beer, craft brews."
Sure, those cocktails may be a little pricier than the typical drink at nearby Raven, but it's probably a lot more reasonable than the Gibson.
Update 10:52 p.m.: As of about 10 p.m., Pepco had restored power to more than 36,000 customers who lost power due to the wind storm. There are about 10,300 Pepco customers still without power.
At the height of the outage, about 47,000 customers were without power.
Update 7:23 p.m.: About 37,000 customers remained without power across the region Friday evening, with nearly two thirds of them in Montgomery County, Md. Dominion Virginia power reported about 11,00 customers without service. Pepco reported about 26,000 customers in the dark, including 21,399 in Montgomery County. The utility issued a news release included in its entirety below.
Update 5:51 p.m.: Nearly 60,000 customers are without power.
District of Columbia 3,476
Prince George's 4,982
Update 4:10 p.m.: More than 73,000 customers have now lost power across the region.
District of Columbia 5,385
Prince George's 2,848
Update 3:17 p.m.: Pepco now reports more than 19,000 outages across Montgomery County. Here are the latest numbers.
District of Columbia: 3,408
Prince George's: 422
Update 2:39 p.m: It seems that nearly all of the power is back up for Rockville's Pepco customers, but the weather has just knocked out power for thousands more in Montgomery County.
Power is now out for 10,912 Montgomery County residents, 1,065 D.C. residents, and 550 Prince George's County residents.
Original: Today's high winds haven't even kicked in yet and we already have reports of thousands of Pepco customers without power, mostly in Montgomery County.
A large chunk of those power outages are concentrated in Rockville, where early this morning large tree limbs fell onto transformer lines and caused a fire, knocking out power for more than 2,000 customers.
Pepco spokesman Clay Anderson says they still need to conduct an investigation to find out what exactly caused those limbs to come down, but he notes that it all happened before high winds were even a factor.
“The ground is saturated and becoming more saturated," he says, saying "soggy soil" may be to blame for the tree becoming lose and dropping major limbs.
But things may get worse later this afternoon, when winds are predicted to reach up to 60 mph. Anderson says Pepco began preparing last night for the possibility of wind-related outages today by keeping their call center staffed 24 hours.
If your power does go out, you will need to call Pepco at 1-877-PEPCO-62 to let them know (nope, they won't know otherwise. And yes, you still need to call if your neighbor does).
Still no movement on the boards covering the future Cava space in Clarendon. (Photo: TBD Staff)
Curious about when Cava in Clarendon is going to open? It's been more than six months since the Washington Business Journal first wrote about the local Greek chain opening a Clarendon location, so we decided to reach out to its owners to find out. Co-owner Ted Xenohristos says the plan was to be open by late February, but due to delays in permitting, construction has still been largely stalled at the 2900 Clarendon Boulevard site.
"We're waiting for one more permit, and then there should be full force construction," Xenohristos says. "But if you looked in there now, there's nothing major going on."
They're still hoping for an opening in late April or early May, he says. Overall, there's been about a three-month delay, he adds.
Library reopens Monday, Feb. 28. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
D.C. has been quite busy building new libraries and renovating old ones, and next one to check off of the list is the Petworth Library.
The old building at 4200 Kansas Ave. NW was closed down more than a year ago and, much like over in Shaw, library services were relocated to a much-smaller nearby temporary trailer. Now, the Petworth Library is set to reopen 10:30 a.m., Monday, with a bright, airy new entrance, shiny Dell and Mac computers, and lots and lots more space.
Although the square footage of the library building didn't increase, the interior was restructured in a way that increased the amount of usable space by 42 percent, says D.C.'s chief librarian Ginnie Cooper. So go ahead and enjoy a book by a (non-functional) old fireplace, or bring your toddler to the new picture book room, or heck, schedule your ANC meeting in a bright conference rooms, one of which used to be a garage.
Don't trust my words describing the library's design? Then check out TBD photographer Jay Westcott's photos instead.
Dispatcher Janice Frer at her post in Arlington's emergency communications center. (Photo: TBD Staff)
John Crawford, director of Arlington County’s Emergency Communications Center, found himself wishing he could send the center’s call takers and dispatchers home after they had been on duty for 16 hours or more during the snowstorm that whipped through the D.C. area in late January. But it just wasn’t possible.
The ECC was receiving a steady barrage of calls, and one shift stayed an additional six hours once the second shift of employees came on to relieve them, because there just wouldn’t have been enough people working.
“I was not only calling them back, but calling in other people not scheduled,” says Crawford, who calls the recent storm “an eye opener” for the center’s staffing issues.
The intersection of Washington Boulevard and Columbia Pike is near the top of the list of Arlington's most dangerous intersections. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
Few things are more nerve wracking to a driver than slowly nosing a car out into a road, cars whizzing by, as you try to see around parked cars. Is someone coming? Should you just gun it and hope for the best? Everyone has their own tactics, but at certain problem intersections, it can feel like a game of chicken.
So where are the worst spots for this kind of traffic nightmare in Arlington? Thanks to some digging on the part of the Arlington County Police Department and a grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation, now we know.
After the jump, the map of Arlington's most dangerous intersections, meaning the ones where the most accidents were reported during the past four years. The short version? Columbia Pike is a death trap. So is Washington Boulevard. The multiple iterations of Glebe Road? They're all pretty bad.
Carolina Garcia is hardly the first person to become obsessed with France's bread. Unlike some others that ended up baguette-less back in the U.S., however, she decided she couldn't live without it.
She turned that obsession into a business, and now she's turning out French baguettes, pain de Campagne, and other kinds of French breads and pastries from an Arlington kitchen, and delivering them to her neighbors' doorsteps. She's the brains behind LeoNora Bakery — "the bread lady," to her customers — and she took NewsChannel 8's Whitney Bright along on some of her deliveries last week.
If you're not the type to see delicious baked goods without wanting them, you're in luck. Boccato Gelato and Whole Foods in Clarendon are both now carrying of Garcia's baked goods. Boccato has some of LeoNora's breads and madeleines, and Whole Foods has just signed on to carry the madeleines as well. Or you could always place your own order, and have it delivered right to your door.
Cost: $6.99, plus tax.
Why you might want it: You’re annoyed by all of these squirrels running around in the buff as if they own these streets and can do as they please. The product’s packaging explains: “A portion of the profits from this product will be donated to the ‘Small Animal Decency Fund’ which seeks to rid our neighborhoods of any potentially offensive naturally occurring indecent exposures.”
A view of the house, which was built by Ernest Febrey in the 1890s. (Photo: TBD Staff)
For years, the century-old Febrey-Kincheloe house has loomed over swimmers and divers at the Overlee swim club. A quiet reminder of the past that blended into the background, it easily played second fiddle to the more, perhaps, exciting features of the property: pools to cool you off, shade to block the sun, games of volleyball to be played.
Now that the house is slated to be torn down, however, some people are wishing that the 1890s structure had taken a bit more of the limelight.
When news broke that a wintry mix bringing sleet and snow was coming the D.C.-area last night, many of us — including Pepco — braced for power outages.
Then we woke up. The power outages peaked around 600 and the numbers have been dropping since. What gives? Did all of that publicshaming work? Was Pepco's apology tour sincere? Or did they just luck out weather-wise?
High winds are the enemy of power restoration crews. (Photo: Heather Farrell)
Update 5:15 p.m., Saturday: A total of 6,403 Pepco customers are now without power, including 3,203 in D.C., 2,492 in Prince George's County, and 708 in Montgomery County.
BGE reports 3,086 customers without power, with 2,213 of those in Anne Arundel County, 91 in Prince George's County, 30 in Montgomery County, and 752 in Howard County.
Dominion reports 3,106 customers without power in Northern Virginia.
Update 2:05 p.m., Saturday: About 9,537 Pepco customers are without power right now. The majority are in MoCo, but the numbers are rising in P.G. In Northern Virginia, thousand are without power from Dominion, with a concentration in Fairfax.
Update 5:15 p.m. Pepco will be scheduling extra crews and contractors to be on-call during the weekend due to expected high winds, according to a statement from the utility company.
If your power does go out, you will need to call Pepco at 1-877-Pepco-62 to report it. That is the only way Pepco will know that you have no electricity.
Original Enjoy today's beautiful weather because things could get ugly over the weekend — the National Weather Service has just issued a high wind watch for Montgomery County, and the county is warning residents that isolated power outages may begin Saturday morning.
Arlington Public Library stuck to its estimates of 'less than a week' for installation of a brand new library catalog system, but there are still a few parts of it that aren't available, as some users have noticed today. Installation began Feb. 13 and the new system went live Feb. 17.
The email notifications for holds are still not available, although you can find out if your hold is ready by signing on to your account online, according to the library's Twitter feed. You also can't place holds through the mobile version of the catalog right now, the library reports.
The online payment for fines is also not working, so you'll just have to let those ride for a few more days. The catalog itself is working, however, and those logging on for the first time will be asked to create a pin number for the new system. Stay tuned to the library's Twitter feed and website for updates.
Is a dog the most qualified animal to run your neighborhood? (Photo: Associated Press)
A civic association over in Annandale inadvertently elected a dog as its president, The Washington Postreports today.
Former president Mark Crawford served three times and couldn't run again. No one would step up to run, and so he put up his terrier, Ms. Beatha Lee, for a vote while neglecting to mention her species. She was elected, and residents were understandably shocked. From the story:
Crawford and the nominating committee carefully scanned Article V of their bylaws on officer qualifications. Resident of the neighborhood. Check. Attained the age of majority. Check (in dog years). "Our charter language did not mention that a human had to serve," Crawford said. "The way it was phrased was very accommodating, to be frank."
All of this is obviously bizarre, but we also had to ask: really, if your neighborhood's civic leader had to be an animal, is a dog really the best choice? Take our ridiculous poll below:
Curtis Moten feels the burn on Rosslyn's streets. (Photo: Jay Westcott)
Like a lot of people, Curtis Moten has a regular workout regimen. Push-ups, lifting, maybe some work with the resistance band. Unlike the hordes that swarm Arlington's gyms, though, his exercise venue of choice is the great wide open; the great wide sidewalks of Rosslyn, that is.
If you work or live in the neighborhood, you've probably seen him. Twice a week, even in winter, he's out on the corner of Wilson Boulevard and North Lynn Street, getting his fit on. People wander by, casting a sideways glance or two in his direction — but he's not deterred.
"People get a lot of ailments. It's about keeping fit, and eating healthy," he tells me today, in between sets of chest presses.
Update 4 p.m. Verizon attributing the earlier outage to a faulty piece of equipment in the Fairfax switching center, according to the company's spokesman. It mainly affected customers in Arlington and Fairfax Counties.
Although landline and Internet-based calls were rerouted, the outage may have "intermittently affected wireless calls to 911 in Arlington and Fairfax counties," according to Mitchell. "This is still under investigation." The outage doesn't appear to have affected other parts of Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Manassas, or Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Update 1:03 p.m. Arlington county officials are attributing this morning's sporadic 911 problems to the county's Verizon service, according to ARLNow.
Verizon spokesperson Harry Mitchell tells TBD:
A Verizon service issue this morning has affected several northern Virginia jurisdictions, including the cities of Alexandria and Manassas, as well as Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.
This issue may have intermittently affected some wireless, landline and Internet-based calls to 911 in these jurisdictions.
Verizon is working to return service to normal and will investigate the cause of this service issue.
Readers that followed the Montgomery County 911 issues after a snowstorm last month may remember that Verizon connectivity also caused some cell phone users to receive busy signals when trying to call 911 during the storm.
Today's outage appears to be affecting more than just cell phones.
Some calls to 911 in Arlington aren't getting through to the county's emergency call center this morning, and the ECC is urging callers to try a different number if they are unable to get through to an operator when they dial 911. The alternate number is (703) 741-3035.
Some calls to 911 are still getting through, but not all of them, according to the call center. The non-emergency line for the police department, (703) 558-2222, is still working.
The small storefront at 3068 Mt. Pleasant St. NW, which will sell handmade crafts and wares by 30 artists, opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Events will continue throughout the 24 days that the temporium will be up, and after that, Nana owner Jackie Flanagan will convert the space to her clothing store that she is moving from U Street.
Daniel Velez will be closing his store, Greater Goods, Feb. 27. (Photo: TBD Staff)
When Daniel Velez of Adams Morgan opened Greater Goods four years ago, he did it because he wanted to own the kind of store he wanted also wanted shop in, one that offered green contracting services and home and personal items.
"I just felt like there was a need, and I still feel like it's a need," he says of eco-friendly products.
But the recession did a number on his business, and he just couldn't get the cash flow to keep the store's shelves stocked (Snowmageddon made matters worse). Now, his run has come to an end: Velez will be closing the store at 1626 U St. NW, previously the site of Companion Pets Shop, by Feb. 27.
Velez says there is a lot of interest in the storefront, but no leases signed yet (and really, interest doesn't necessarily mean anyone will be moving in anytime soon). But given its location on odd stretch of U Street, we wonder what could not just survive, but thrive, in that storefront.
Large chunks of Courthouse plaza will stay cordoned off for mainenance work until June. (Photo: TBD Staff)
A question from a reader prompted us to ask around about why there are fences up throughout the Courthouse plaza in Arlington and how long they'll be there.
The answer? The owner of plaza complex is doing its periodic maintenance on the plaza, which includes replacement of some of the stones, and sealing and waterproofing the entire area. Get ready to deal with the fences for a few more months, however. The project isn't expected to be complete until June.
The fences still allow access to all the businesses in the plaza, and judging from the crowds at Perfect Pita and Starbucks this afternoon, the blocked off areas aren't affecting businesses too badly. Some of the seating is currently unavailable, and the noise may make eating al fresco there slightly unpleasant, however, meaning plaza-goers might have to branch out slightly — to a seat with a bagpiper view, perhaps?
Why you might want it: You’re addicted to mocha ice cream but buying a whole box of the stuff isn’t convenient when you’re on-the-go. Plus, 60-degree temperatures call for nothing short of an ice cream splurge.