Updated at 3:35 p.m. — A Flood Warning has been issued until 11:30 p.m., for Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, where “flooding caused by excessive rainfall is expected.”
“Given the strength of the storm predicted to hit our area later this afternoon/evening, all activities scheduled in Fairfax County Public Schools or on school grounds for this afternoon and evening are canceled,” the school system said.
The cancellations apply to all extracurricular activities, team practices, after-school programs, field trips, adult classes and outside recreational programs by groups not affiliated with FCPS.
The announcement came as the National Weather Service warns that conditions will “deteriorate as a strong frontal system” passes through the D.C. region between 5 and 10 p.m. The rain that has been falling all day is projected to increase in intensity through the afternoon, becoming heaviest starting at 6 p.m.
“This will result high winds capable of downing trees and powerlines, tidal flooding, and the potential for flooding of small streams and creeks,” the NWS said in a special weather statement. “This will create hazardous travel conditions late this afternoon through late evening across the region.”
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) January 9, 2024
As previously forecast, a Flood Watch took effect at 1 p.m. and is set to remain in place until 7 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).
Southeast winds could reach 25 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph, while low-lying areas may get 1 to 2 feet of water above ground level as a result of tidal flooding, according to the NWS.
“Tides up to 3 feet above normal,” the agency said in the flood warning. “Moderate tidal flooding is possible along the Prince Georges and Fairfax counties coastlines during tonight’s high tide cycle.”
Because of the strong winds, power outages are expected, and travel will be difficult, the Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management says, sharing tips for how to prepare and who to call in the event of an outage:
- Secure outdoor objects, including trash cans, holiday decorations and other items.
- Be careful when you’re outside, especially around areas with lots of trees.
- Charge phones in case of a power outage.
- If you lose power, report your outage, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns.
Who to Contact
- Emergencies and Outages: 1-866-366-4357, TTY: 1-800-291-7745
- Outage restoration & FAQs and report outages
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative
- Emergencies and Outages: 703-335-0500
- View outage map