(Updated at 6:30 p.m.) More than 6,000 people in the Reston and Great Falls area are currently without power, as strong winds wreak havoc on Fairfax County’s electrical grid and traffic.
According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, there are more than 50 separate power outages in Reston, Herndon, and Great Falls, including one in Great Falls that has affected 2,524 customers.
Crews have been dispatched to all of those locations. Dominion Energy estimates that power could be restored throughout the area any time between 7 p.m. and midnight.
The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory that took effect at noon and was later upgraded to a High Wind Warning, which will remain in effect until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday). Even though no rain or thunder was anticipated, the agency issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning at 4:38 p.m., saying that wind gusts could reach up to 60 miles per hour.
“Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall,” the NWS said. “This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.”
In addition to affecting power, the strong winds have caused at least 76 traffic incidents in Fairfax County, and the county government says that 9-1-1 and its non-emergency phone lines are experiencing “extremely high” call volumes.
The Severe Thunderstorm Warning expired at 5:15 p.m., but local residents could be dealing with the storm’s impact well into this evening.
Due to high winds several trees and power lines are down all over Fairfax County// Please be careful when driving and expect delays pic.twitter.com/p0yXUKFBF7
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) April 30, 2021
Due to the existing high winds, call volumes to 9-1-1 and the non-emergency public safety lines are extremely high. This is resulting in higher wait times. Please only call 9-1-1 for life threatening emergencies. pic.twitter.com/3oNhZIktzI
— Fairfax County Government 😷 🇺🇸 🌸 (@fairfaxcounty) April 30, 2021
Image via Dominion Energy