UPDATED: Power Outages Span Great Falls, Affecting Thousands

Updated at 11:45 a.m. — Most of the power was restored at 7 p.m. with some customers getting their power back around 4 p.m., Charles Penn, Sr., a spokesman for Dominion Energy, told Reston Now. 

Penn said that one outage is “particularly labor-intensive involving five broken poles” and is affecting 12 customers — power is expected to be back by 5 p.m. today (Feb. 26). 

Earlier: Nearly 2,000 customers are affected by three power outages covering a majority of Great Falls, according to a Dominion Energy power outage map.

The power outages span from east of Utterback Store Road to the Potomac River, stretching down to the Georgetown Pike in the northwest and nearly reaching Difficult Run in the southeast.

The two outages by Shady Oak, which are affecting roughly 1,500 customers, are estimated to have power restored sometime between 7 p.m. and midnight. Meanwhile, crews just got dispatched to the power outage by Leigh Mill Road, which is impacting 492 customers, according to the map.

The causes for all three outages are “pending investigation.”

Earlier today, the National Weather Service issued a High Wind Warning and then replaced it with a Wind Advisory for Fairfax County. The strong winds are expected to continue for the rest of the afternoon with sustained winds whipping across the county at 25 to 35 miles per hour. Gusts may reach up to 55 mph, according to NWS.

Great Falls also has a closure caused by a fallen tree at 715 Walker Road.

Image via Dominion Energy 

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Del. Ken Plum: Staying on Track

This is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Despite all the distraction associated with events in Richmond these days, the General Assembly is staying on task dealing with legislative and budgetary issues it faces.

Each house of the legislature has started to work on legislation passed by the other with conflicts resolved in conference committees made up of members from both houses. The really big conference committee is working to resolve differences on the budget. The big differences on the budget are between the Democrats and Republicans and not the two houses — how to deal with additional revenues coming to the state from the federal tax changes. Stay tuned for the differences on the budget because they will not be resolved until the last few days of the session that is scheduled to adjourn on Feb. 23.

Some good news is emerging from the session. Requiring hands-free phones in cars has been required in most other states many years ago and may finally be coming to Virginia. Research shows that the greatest cause of auto accidents is distracted driving with calls and texting being the chief reason.

I remember the many sessions that it took to pass requirements for smoke-free areas. Richmond as the cigarette manufacturing capital was finally over-ridden by popular sentiments, and smoke-free areas were legislated. Amazingly but happily the age to buy cigarettes and the latest craze of buying electronic vaping devices is being raised from age 18 to 21.

Efforts to legalize gambling establishments in areas of the state as diverse as Portsmouth, Bedford and Danville failed this year in favor of a year-long study to determine state policy. I predict we will see casinos established in the state in a few years as some regions see them as economic development and a source of new revenue offsetting anemic state funding. I voted to let a study go forward but would not support public financing of a stadium or gambling establishment.

Bills that would have decriminalized marijuana did not make it out of committee in either house. My bill introduced at the suggestion of the Chris Atwood Foundation to make Naloxone more available to reduce deaths from drug overdoses passed.

Different bills passed that purport to create a fairer way to draw legislative district boundaries, but neither comes close to the independent processes that the public has been seeking to end gerrymandering.

On the environment, bills to require Dominion to clean up their coal-ash ponds passed both houses with endorsement by major environmental groups. A bill I voted for that would have established an ambitious agenda for cleaning up the environment in Virginia failed in the House.

The Senate passed a bill to require public schools to teach a class on the Bible! I will not be voting for it if it makes its way through committee.

All the gun safety bills were defeated in both houses. A bill to make it easier to get a concealed weapon if you are from another state passed with a likely veto by the governor.

Yes, there are other big challenges in the capital these days. I will be addressing them in future columns as the facts involved become better known.

File photo

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Car Accident Causes Power Outage in Lake Anne on Saturday

The Lake Anne community lost power for more than seven hours on Saturday night.

The power outage started around 7 p.m. on Jan. 12 after a vehicle ran into a pad-mounted transformer, Charles Penn, Sr., a spokesman for Dominion Energy, told Reston Now.

The accident happened right around when roads throughout Reston became snow-covered during the weekend’s winter storm.

Power was restored at 2:15 a.m. on Sunday (Jan. 13). The outage affected 76 customers, he said.

Readers first alerted Reston Now to the power outage earlier this week.

Photo via Google Maps

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Herndon’s Ice House Cafe set to close soon — The cafe and bar, which has been in Herndon for more than 40 years, will close its doors at 760 Elden Street. Celebrations are planned for Dec. 30 and New Year’s Eve before its Jan. 1 closing date. [Fairfax County Times]

Brookfield Properties eyes neighbors for Wegmans — The Toronto-based developer is considering different retailers for the $1.4 billion mixed-use project, which will include an 80,000-square-foot Wegmans. A bowling alley concept, movie theater, fitness center and restaurants are under consideration. [Washington Business Journal]

Man convicted for sexually assaulting four Reston roommates in 1995 — A jury found Jude Lovchik guilty on all 17 counts, including charges of sodomy, abduction and burglary. The case had gone cold until Lovchik’s ex-wife told Arlington County police that Lovchik had confessed the actions to her and had her recreate the scenes. [The Washington Post]

Clean Virginia says Dominion Energy customers pay too much — The new political action group claims that Virginians pay $254 in excess a year because of poor state oversight. [The Washington Post]

Herndon development is slated to attract larger employers — Fairfax County approved an increase to the density for part of the Center for Innovative Technology site that falls within the county for 3.8 million square feet of office space along with a hotel and retail. The campus, which is just off of the Dulles Toll Road, was once part of the county’s larger bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. [Washington Business Journal]

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Silver Line pleads guilty to falsifying concrete tests —  A contractor admitted to falsifying concrete quality tests for stations on the Silver Line extension to Dulles International Airport last week. The contractor, Andrew Nolan, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and faces up to five years in prison. [The Washington Post]

LED lights the way — Fairfax County has entered into a new regional agreement with Dominion Energy that would convert existing streetlights into more energy-efficient LEDs. The company installs, owns and maintains most of the nearly 58,000 streetlights in the county. [Fairfax County Government]

Commuter alert: Lane and ramp closures — A number of lane and ramp closures are effect in Reston and surrounding areas, including Herndon Parkway, Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road through Aug. 11. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Photo by Mike James

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More than 500 Without Power Near Bennington Road

A power outage has been reported in the Bennington Woods Road area.

According to Dominion Energy, 536 customers are impacted by the outage, the cause of which is pending investigation.

As of 9:10 a.m., crews have not yet been assigned to address the issue, but the company expects to restore power by 3 p.m. today.

This story will be updated.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Chamber’s Legislative Scorecard Released — The Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership annually grades local members of the Virginia General Assembly on their support of legislation that positively affects business, economic development, workforce development and related issues. Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) and Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), who represent Reston, both scored in the middle of the pack. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Extreme Drunkenness Caused Crash That Killed Herndon Man — The driver in a July wrong-way head-on crash on U.S. 50 in Annapolis, which killed herself and a 34-year-old Herndon man, had a blood-alcohol content of .34. That’s more than four times the legal limit in Maryland. [WTOP]

Dominion Sending Workers to Help After Irma — Dominion Energy has mobilized more than 700 employees and contractors to respond to electric restoration efforts in after Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and left millions without power. [Dominion Energy]

N.C. Real Estate Company Opening Reston Office — Commercial realtors The Morgan Cos. will move into 11955 Freedom Drive, Suite 11000 at Reston Town Center. It will be their third office, following ones in Charlotte and Fort Lauderdale. [Virginia Business]

SLHS Seahawks 3-0 on Season — The South Lakes High School Seahawks football team stayed undefeated last week with a 49-7 win over Oakton. Statistical leaders included QB Devin Miles (6-6, 154 yards, 2 TDs), RB Spencer Alston (109 yards rushing, 121 yards receiving, 4 TDs), RB Albert Mensah (60 yards rushing, 1 TD) and DL Spencer Coppage (sack, interception, forced fumble). Reserve QB Will Shapiro also threw a touchdown pass, connecting with WR Kazim Khan. SLHS will play its first home game of the season Friday night against Dominion. [South Lakes Athletics]

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Friday Morning Notes

Dominion Rates Going Down as of Today –The net impact of the changes for the monthly bill for the typical Dominion Energy residential customer is a decrease of 1.1 percent, lowering the typical bill from $117.20 to $115.65, which is 30 cents lower than in February 2015. [Dominion Energy]

Bechtel Selected to Complete Georgia Nuclear Plant Expansion — Bechtel has been chosen by Georgia Power to complete construction of a two-reactor expansion of a nuclear power plant near Augusta, Georgia. These will be the first new units built in the U.S. in the last three decades. [Markets Insider]

King, Browns Finish Preseason Undefeated — Deon King, a South Lakes High School graduate, recorded one tackle Thursday night as the Cleveland Browns shut out the Chicago Bears, 25-0. The Browns finish the preseason with a 4-0 record. In the four games, King recorded nine tackles (including seven solo) and a fumble recovery. ESPN’s roster projection has him making the cut and being part of the 53-man regular-season squad. [ESPN]

Fairfax Crew Making Rescues in Flooded Texas — Fairfax Fire and Rescue provided an update Thursday of its efforts to help with rescue operations in flood-ravaged southeast Texas. They have helped save six people and two pets from flooded areas, and they have also assisted an owner with accessing and retrieving three more pets. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Last Day to Get Comments In on BikeShare Locations — Comments on plans for 10 new Captial BikeShare stations in Reston, including nine south of the Dulles Toll Road, must be in by close of business today. [Fairfax County Department of Transportation]

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Thousands Without Power in Area After Storm Rolls Through

Several thousand area residents are reported to be without power after a strong storm tore through, Dominion Energy reports.

Countywide, more than 26,000 customers were without power as of about 4:05 p.m. Monday. Crews are assessing damage and working to restore electricity.

Outages can be reported to Dominion Energy online or by calling 1-866-366-4357.

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