BREAKING: Tornado Touches Down in Reston

(Updated at 10:45 p.m.) There are numerous reports of trees down and emergency activity around Reston following a tornado touchdown Friday night.

Around 10:20 p.m. the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado had touched down, after reporting extensive tree damage in the area.

“911 call center reports… multiple trees down in the Reston area with ones reported on Center Harbor Road and Baron Cameron Road,” said a storm damage report from the weather service. Emergency activity has also been reported along the Reston Parkway and Wiehle Avenue.

“Tree damage near intersection of Quietree Drive and Crosswind Drive,” NWS further reported. “One house condemned with tree falling through roof.”

The weather service will determine the tornado’s intensity via a storm survey during daylight hours on Saturday.

One large fallen tree crushed a pickup truck on Center Harbor Road. NBC 4’s Darcy Spencer reported that the truck’s owner was taking shelter inside his home as the storm roared past.

On Reston Now’s Facebook page residents shared their harrowing experiences and damage reports.

“I’m just off Bennett Road and I am pretty sure we had a tornado go through our backyard (or very close to it) around 8:45/8:50,” said one reader. “It was, literally, as the warning was going out. Spoke with several neighbors who heard it as well and took shelter in the basement. Tons of debris on our street and quite a bit on Bennett.”

“We heard a huge amount of wind and then several large big bangs… several large branches fell onto our house and were swept into the backyard,” said another resident. “The force of the large branches was so strong the drywall inside is busted in two places on the other side of this scar… So thankful our family is safe.”

The original Tornado Warning from NWS:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR… SOUTHEASTERN LOUDOUN COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… NORTHWESTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…

* UNTIL 915 PM EDT.

* AT 853 PM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO WAS LOCATED OVER RESTON, MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

HAZARD…TORNADO.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED ROTATION.

IMPACT…FOR THOSE IN THE DIRECT PATH OF A TORNADO TOUCHDOWN,  FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DANGEROUS TO THOSE CAUGHT WITHOUT  SHELTER. DAMAGE TO ROOFS, SIDING, AND WINDOWS MAY OCCUR.  MOBILE HOMES MAY BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. TREE DAMAGE IS  LIKELY.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… RESTON, HERNDON, LOWES ISLAND, ASHBURN, STERLING, CHANTILLY, GREAT FALLS, COUNTRYSIDE AND STERLING PARK.

Storm reports and photos via social media:

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Top Stories This Week

Before we head off into Easter weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now this week.

  1. BREAKING: Police Find Weapons, Drug Stash in Reston Brothers’ Home
  2. Office Redevelopment Proposed on Old Reston Avenue Properties
  3. Pupatella Pizzeria is Coming to Reston Next Year
  4. Help Name Reston Town Center’s Peregrine Falcons
  5. Town of Herndon ‘Crescent’ Eyes Remaking by 2035

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. Don’t forget to pitch name suggestions for Reston Town Center’s family of falcons.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via Fairfax County Government/handout

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Easter Egg Hunt in Herndon and More This Weekend

With Easter Sunday on the horizon, there are plenty of local options for egg hunts and celebrations. The Town of Herndon is hosting its annual egg hunt on Saturday at 777 Lynn Street.

Preregistration is $9 until 5 p.m. today (Friday) and $10 the day of the event. Three egg hunts are planned, with the first beginning at 9:45 a.m. Other activities include quilt crafts, decorating a mural, a petting zoo, photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny, and more.

Parking is free and the event will be held rain or shine. More information is available online.

Tomorrow (April 20)

  • Reston Farmers Market (8 a.m.) — The market, which is located at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza), kicks off with an offering of fruit, veggies, breads and snacks to satisfy your taste buds.
  • Growing Healthy plants with Smart Pots (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — In this free educational workshop, attendees will learn about to grow healthy plants with smart pots. It’ll be held at Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Avenue).
  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Young readers are invited to take part in this free book club where a new theme will be explored each week at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). Readers can join at any time
  • Fix-it Clinic (2-4 p.m.) — Bring bikes, small appliances jewelry, and fabric items for minor repairs at the library’s first fix-it clinic. The event is taking place as several libraries, including Herndon Regional Library and Reston Regional Library.

Sunday (April 21)

  • One-on-one Computer Help (all day) — Need some help with your device? You can make a one-hour appointment with a tech volunteer. Just make sure the device is fully charged (and don’t forget your password).
  • Restoration Church Egg Hunt  (10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — The church (1501 Becontree Lane) will offer an egg hunt, face painting, food, games and more.  Two services will take place in the morning before the big event.

Photo by Annie Spratt 

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Herndon HS Students Showcase ‘Mind, Heart and Vision’ in Upcoming Exhibit

Art students at Herndon High School have been busy preparing their senior theses. Some of their work will be on display in an upcoming ArtSpace Herndon exhibit next week.

The 9th annual exhibit, “Mind, Heart, Vision,” will include media like fine art photography, graphics and studio art. The school and ArtSpace Herndon partnered to make the exhibit, which displays juried artwork in a professional gallery, possible.

A reception is set for April 24 (Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. Art will remain on display from April 23 (Tuesday) through May 11 (Saturday). The exhibit is located at 750 Center Street.

Artwork will be available for purchase.

Image via ArtSpace Herndon

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Weather Alert: Tornado Watch In Effect Until Midnight

Adding to expected rain and a flood watch, a tornado watch has been issued from now until midnight.

The National Weather Service issued the alert at 12:49 p.m. today. The watch covers Maryland, the District, ad 34 counties in Virginia, including Fairfax County and Arlington.

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Flash Flood Watch In Effect Through Saturday Morning

After pleasant weather earlier this week, expect conditions to get wet and windy today.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch starting from noon today (Friday) until 5 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) for Fairfax County.

Isolated thunderstorms are expected to begin in the late morning today, with rain accumulations of up to a half-inch. The main storm front is expected after 4 p.m., with as much as two inches of rain possible across the county.

High winds of 11 to 15 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 30 miles per hour are also expected. Keep an eye out for hail too.

Here’s from Fairfax County Government:

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor weather forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

If you encounter water on roadways, please remember — Turn Around, Don’t Drown! It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Golf Course Plaza Redevelopment Plan Resurfaces After Deferral

Plans to redevelop Golf Course Plaza, a three-acre parcel on the west edge of Isaac Newtown Square, are back on the books after they were put on hold in 2017.

The latest proposal, which was submitted to the county on April 3, scales back the number of residential units from 413 to 300. The property (11480 Sunset Hills Road) is currently home to a two-story office building built in 1971, surface parking, and resource protection areas on the northeastern edge.

A “modern and sustainable” multifamily building with up to 300 residential units would take up most of the site, according to the development proposal. The building will face Hidden Creek Country Club and open space will act as a buffer between the building and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.  A commercial component — which was not discussed in detail in the application — will connect the trail and a public plaza to the building. Part of the trail crosses the property’s access drive. The developer said it is working with the Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority to address the issue.

A three-level parking garage is also planned and could “assist with the possible future connection” to Hidden Creek Country Club, according to the plan. To date, the owners of Hidden Creek Country Club have not officially filed a redevelopment proposal, although preliminary plans have been discussed in the community.

Just under 0.8 acres of the parcel is planned as public park space. Part of the property is reserved for a future public street — often referred to as the “road to nowhere” — to connect American Dream Way to the west with Wiehle Avenue to the east.

Ben Wales, the applicant’s legal representative, said the proposed development helps the area transition from office and light industrial uses to a “pedestrian-friendly, mixed-used, urban development pattern built around rail transit as envisioned by the comprehensive plan.”

Previous plans submitted in 2016 were deferred by the applicant in September 2017.

Photos via Fairfax County Government/handout

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Friday Morning Notes

Some of the Area’s Largest Veteran-owned Companies are in Reston — With 82 employees and $502.8 million in total revenue last year, ThunderCat Technology (1925 Isaac Newton Square) is the second largest veteran-owned company in the District area. Other Reston companies also topped the list. [Washington Business Journal]

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Candidates’ Forum Set for Tuesday — Reston Citizens Association is hosting a candidate forum from 7-9 p.m. at Lake Anne Community Center (1609-A Washington Plaza N). Dennis Hays, RCA’s president, said the organization is “very excited to resume our long tradition” of hosting a candidate forum. [Reston Citizens Association]

Fox and Kits Get Some Attention — A red fox and her kittens have built a tiny home in Autumnwood area. A video of the mom calling to her babies has generated some attention online. [Walker Nature Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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