Reston, VA

The D.C. area is hunkered down for another winter storm today (Thursday) that could last into Friday morning.

At 1:05 p.m., the National Weather Service downgraded its earlier winter storm warning to a Winter Weather Advisory. As of 8:30 this morning, the NWS had projected one to three inches of snow, a drop down from previous forecasts of three to six inches of accumulation.

However, with the addition of freezing rain and ice, the roads are still going to be slippery, making travel a challenge.

In previous years, icy road conditions would have made for treacherous commutes to work and school, but the novel coronavirus pandemic has forced many to work and learn from home. Still, the frequency of winter weather events over the past few weeks can feel disruptive, even if not much snow has actually materialized so far this year.

How do you feel about all this winter weather? Do you wish there was more snow, or are you comfortable with the amount that Fairfax County has gotten? Are you ready for warmer weather yet?

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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More snow is expected later this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of the region from late Wednesday night through late Thursday night.

Snow accumulations of five or more inches and total ice accumulations of more are possible.

More from the alert is below.

IMPACTS…Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the region this weekend.

The National Weather Service says that heavy ice is possible from Saturday morning through Sunday morning.

More from the alert is below.

* WHAT…Heavy icing possible. Total snow accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of one quarter of an inch possible.

* WHERE…The District of Columbia, portions of central and southern Maryland and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From Saturday morning through Sunday morning.

* IMPACTS…Power outages and tree damage are possible due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Monday, Jan 25

  • The Nields Livestream Concert (8 p.m.) – Local folk band the Nields recently released their 20th album and they are celebrating by performing a livestream concert from Jammin Java in Vienna. Known for their songs being inspired by headlines, tickets are free but donations are welcomed.

Tuesday, Jan 26

  • Treasure Hunting at Home (11 a.m. to 12 p.m) – The Reston Association is hosting a virtual appraisal roadshow, where residents can show off their family heirlooms to see if they truly have a price. Each family can present one item – like jewelry, coins, timepiece, porcelain, or artwork – and experts will explain their origins and their monetary worth.

Wednesday, Jan 27

  • Summer Camp in a Bag (12 p.m. to 2 p.m.) – Due to COVID-19, the Reston Summer Camp Expo isn’t being held this year. But that doesn’t mean families can’t dream of sunshine and kids getting out of the house. Pick up a swag bag full of summer camp information and fun surprises at the Reston Community Center at Hunter Woods from January 25 to 30.

Thursday, Jan 28 

  • Queen’s Gambit (4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.) – Inspired by the popular Netflix show, local Ashley Xing joins the Fairfax County Public Library for a history of women in chess. Xing was a U.S. representative to the World Youth Chess Championships and founder of the Tyson-Pimmit library’s chess team.

Friday, Jan 29

  • Winter Wanderland (6 p.m.) – Take a socially distant wander through ice sculptures in the Village at Leesburg. There’s a new ice theme every week, but visitors have to guess what it is. Correctly doing so gets you entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card at a local store. If there’s poor weather, check social media for updates to the schedule.

Saturday, Jan 30 

  • Dear COVID Poetry Slam (6-8 p.m.) – Recovery Program Solutions of Virginia is partnering with Busboys and Poets for a poetry slam and open mic. Here’s a chance to get thoughts and feelings about COVID off your chest. Tickets are free, but donations are welcome. NBC4’s Drew Wilder is the guest emcee.

Photo via Helena1962/Pixabay

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Friday Morning Notes

Be Wary of Icy Conditions The county is advising residents to be wary of icy patches and slippery spots on roads and sidewalks this morning until temperatures rise later today. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

New Process for Requesting Park Programs Now Available — ”The Park Authority has a new program request form that makes it easy to register for personalized programs for birthdays, scout gatherings, school enrichment and family fun in parks throughout Fairfax County.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Reston HR Services Contractor In the Spotlight — ”Golden Key Group LLC (GKG) scored a major feather in its cap Wednesday with a contract to provide the Department of Commerce’s human resources information technology services — but that’s just the start for the company, executives said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo by Doug Errett

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Locals can expect warmer temperatures later today, yet they should still be careful about ice and slick roads around Reston and Herndon today.

The D.C.-area could feel a high up to 52 degrees today, according to the National Weather Service. Yesterday’s rain and sleet after the snowstorm hit might create hazardous road conditions this morning.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is warning locals about icy spots and to be careful of any debris in the roadways. If you plan on walking outside, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue suggests a side-to-side “penguin” walk on any potentially icy ground.

Speaking of getting around, the Fairfax Connector is back to its regular service schedule today.

https://twitter.com/VaDOTNOVA/status/1098543811851153409

Photo via @greatfallsva/Instagram

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Updated at 4:35 — FCPS tweeted that its schools will be closed tomorrow. 

Earlier: This time tomorrow, locals in Reston and Herndon can expect snow, sleet and ice from a winter storm slated to hit late tonight.

Forecasts predict that snowfall will start between 3-5 a.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 20) before transitioning into freezing rain with sleet during the late afternoon. Snowfall is then expected to return before rain hits Wednesday night, according to Fairfax County Emergency Information.

The storm will likely leave between 4-6 inches of total snow accumulation and ice, posing risks for road safety.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning today ahead of the harsh, wintry weather.

More from the NWS:

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 7 PM EST WEDNESDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy mixed precipitation expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch expected.

* WHERE…The District of Columbia and portions of central Maryland and central and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 1 AM to 7 PM EST Wednesday. Snow will overspread the area early Wednesday morning and mix with and change to sleet and freezing rain during the late morning and early afternoon hours Wednesday. Precipitation will change to plain rain Wednesday evening. The heaviest snow is likely Wednesday morning.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

The Capital Weather Gang is uring workers to telecommute tomorrow morning. But if commuters do decide to hit the roads, they should “expect very difficult conditions,” the D.C.-area weather group tweeted.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said in a snow update this afternoon that crews have pretreated interstates and major routes throughout northern Virginia and that trucks get set up along roadways tonight so they will be ready to plow and treat roads tomorrow as needed.

Still, VDOT wants locals to “plan now to avoid driving through the day Wednesday and after the storm until conditions have improved.”

https://twitter.com/ReadyFairfax/status/1097824383958163456

Some places have already started announcing closures on Wednesday.

The Reston Animal Hospital and HealthWorks in Herndon will be closed, and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce canceled its events for tomorrow.

If you live in Herndon, don’t put out your recycling tonight. Mayor Lisa Markel posted on Facebook that recycling will be collected on Thursday instead.

Whether you stay bundled inside or venture outdoors, stay safe and send Reston Now any pictures that you snap of the snow to [email protected] or tag us (@restonnow) on social media.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Fairfax County public schools are planning to open on a two hour delay Monday due to possible snow and freezing rain overnight.

A Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect, as forecasters caution of a potentially difficult morning commute.

More from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST MONDAY… * WHAT…SNOW, SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE INCH AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF LESS THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH EXPECTED. * WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALONG WITH PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND, CENTRAL, NORTHERN AND WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST MONDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS WILL IMPACT THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW, SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. EXPECT SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&

The Virginia Dept. of Transportation is urging Northern Virginia residents to expect icy conditions and, if possible, telework Monday morning.

“VDOT asks that drivers be alert to a potential mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain to impact roads,” the transportation department said Sunday afternoon. “Crews have brined roads which will assist at the onset of the storm, but drivers are asked to prepare now for impacts to the morning rush hour.”

“If you must drive” in the morning, VDOT said, “add in extra time to drive slower.”

More via social media:

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Updated at 3:55 p.m. — NWS issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Fairfax, saying snow accumulation less than 1 inch is likely between 7 a.m. and noon on Friday. From 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow, locals can expect surface temperatures “well below freezing.”

Earlier: The National Weather Service is warning drivers about possible icy roads Friday morning if snow hits Reston and surrounding areas.

NWS issued a Special Weather Statement Thursday afternoon to alert locals of possible snow tomorrow (Feb. 1).

More from the National Weather Service:

POTENTIAL WINTER COMMUTING HAZARD FOR THE BALTIMORE / WASHINGTON METRO AREAS FRIDAY MORNING…

There is a potential for hazardous commuting conditions for the Friday morning commute. A period of snow is POSSIBLE (a 30 percent chance south of Washington D.C. up to a 70 percent chance
in and north of Baltimore) Friday morning across the Baltimore / Washington metro areas. Snow may accumulate up to an inch for metro Washington D.C.. Snow may accumulate around an inch for
Baltimore with 1 to 2 inches possible north of Baltimore.

If this threat does materialize during the Friday morning rush-hour, many untreated roads could quickly turn icy. This could lead to dangerous traveling conditions, multiple accidents, and extensive delays.

If commuting Friday morning, be aware of the POSSIBILITY of significant travel disruptions. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time, and consider using public transportation and telework options.

Snow tomorrow would be an early kick-off to the Capital Weather Gang’s predictions that February will have above average snowfall.

Drivers are encouraged to monitor forecasts and plan extra travel time during the morning rush hour.

The Virginia Department of Transportation tweeted that it is watching the weather as well.

https://twitter.com/VaDOTNOVA/status/1090971925952823296

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Updated at 4:55 p.m. — NWS canceled the Wind Advisory that was set to last until 6 p.m.

Earlier: Locals should stay bundled up and cautious of icy roads as fast, freezing winds hit Reston and surrounding areas.

The National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement about a potential “flash freeze” and “intense snow” for this afternoon.

Untreated, wet roads and surfaces may become icy and create hazardous conditions for driving and walking.

More from the NWS:

FLASH FREEZE POTENTIAL THIS AFTERNOON FOR UNTREATED ROADS…

At 100 PM EST, an arctic front was crossing the region. The front will cross the Baltimore and Washington metro areas during the early and middle afternoon hours.

Temperatures behind the front will quickly drop about 10 degrees in less than 30 minutes and potentially cause a flash freeze of any untreated wet roads and surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and
parking lots, causing treacherous travel or walking conditions.

Along the front a quick burst of intense snow is also likely. A quick snow accumulation of less than one inch is possible, mainly on grassy surfaces as road temperatures ahead of the front are
above freezing. Winds will gust up to 50 mph.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Sharply colder temperatures following the snow may cause any water or slush to freeze on untreated roads and sidewalks. Reduced speeds and distance between vehicles is advised.

Be prepared for areas of blowing snow. This could lead to temporary very low visibilities and the potential for dangerous driving conditions. If you are traveling and encounter adverse
winter driving conditions, reduce speed and make sure headlights are on. Also be alert for icy areas after the front passes and temperatures fall.

Wind Advisory is also in effect until 6 p.m. tonight, along with a Wind Chill Advisory, which will last until 10 a.m. tomorrow (Jan. 31).

It’s important to stay warm as the temperature plummet.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has tips for how to dress for the cold, including how to layer clothing appropriately. “Not dressing appropriately and staying outside too long in cold temperatures could lead to serious cold-related illness and injury such as hypothermia or frostbite,” the post says.

Animals also need to stay warm. Fairfax County tweeted a reminder to pet owners to bring their furry friends inside and provide adequate shelter to keep them warm.

File photo

This story has been updated

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Mental Health Screenings Available — The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board now offers same day, in-person screening for mental health/and or substance use concerns to both adults and youth at its Merrifield Center (8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Fairfax). [Fairfax County]

Escaped Detainee Had Been Deported Five Previous Times — Marlo Danilo “Carlos” Rivas-Mendez, who temporarily escaped from ICE custody Monday while being transported, had previously been removed from the United States in 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. [United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia]

Wastewater Treatment Plant Gets Top Score — For the 19th consecutive year, the Noman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant in Lorton has earned the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. [Inside Nova]

Former Herndon Man to Run for President — In July 2013, Adam Kokesh’s Herndon home was raided by the U.S. Park Police after he called for a “Final American Revolution” and posted a YouTube video of himself loading a shotgun on DC’s Freedom Plaza. Now living in Arizona, Kokesh says he’s seeking the 2020 Libertarian presidential nomination. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

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(This article was updated at 3:25 p.m. after Rivas-Mendez was brought back into custody, and again at 5:20 p.m. after more information was released by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.)

Area police worked with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Monday as they tracked down an ICE detainee who escaped custody.

ICE said Marlon C. Rivas-Mendez escaped in the area of Route 28 and the Dulles Toll Road, near Dulles International Airport. Spokesperson Carissa Cutrell told Reston Now that Rivas-Mendez “is in the country illegally and was being transported when he escaped from custody.”

According to a report from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office:

At 12:20 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office received a call to assist ICE with a search of an escaped subject in the area of the Dulles Toll Road between the exits of Loudoun County Parkway and Old Ox Road. The subject was identified as Marlon C. Rivas-Mendez, 27, of Sterling.

Rivas-Mendez was arrested by LCSO deputies earlier this morning. He was transferred into ICE custody at 11:08 a.m. without incident.

During federal transport, Rivas-Mendez assaulted the transport personnel and escaped custody on the Dulles Toll Road.

Members of the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office alongside the Virginia State Police, Fairfax County Police Department, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority and ICE canvassed the area. LCSO deputies located Rivas-Mendez at 2:20 p.m. in the area of Mercure Circle and Old Ox Road and took him into custody without incident.

Rivas-Mendez was arrested on local charges of Assault & Battery by the LCSO and was released into ICE custody.

Mugshot courtesy ICE

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The suspect in Sunday’s killing of a South Lakes High School sophomore is under an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.

Carissa Cutrell, a spokesperson for ICE, confirmed that the detainer was lodged Monday against 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling. Torres is facing a murder charge in the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who was attacked on Dranesville Road in Herndon early Sunday morning. Her body was found later that day in a Sterling pond.

Torres is a citizen of El Salvador living in the United States. An ICE detainer is filed to “identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens who are currently in federal, state or local custody,” according to the ICE website.

“ICE lodges detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges when the agency has probable cause to believe an alien is removable from the United States,” Cutrell said, adding that Torres had no encounters with ICE prior to this case.

The Fairfax County Police Department believes Torres killed Hassanen after becoming enraged by the group of teens walking from McDonald’s toward the All Dulles Area Muslim Society following a Ramadan service. He chased after the teens, police said, and caught Hassanen. He allegedly struck her with a baseball bat before putting her in his car and taking her to Loudoun County, where police say he killed her.

Torres remains in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. He has a court date set for July 19.

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Morning Notes - Winter

Fairfax Police Respond to Stabbing at Dunn Loring Metro Stop — Someone stabbed a person and then hopped aboard an eastbound Orange Line train at the Dunn Loring Metro stop in Vienna earlier this morning, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. [Washington Post]

Ice to Meet You — The Reston area saw some ice over the weekend. Did the wintry weather affect your Saturday at all? [Twitter]

Local Home Sales Boosted  Home sales in Reston and the surrounding areas were up 22 percent over the same month last year, according to a recent report from a realty company. The median home price dropped by about 1 percent, but with inventory down, homes were snatched up quickly. [Reston Patch]

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Fiefighters from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station 25 in Reston saved Angel, a Chow, when Angel fell through the ice on Lake Thoreau in Thursday morning.

Witnesses said the dog was about 10-15 feet from the shore off of Turtle Pond Drive when the ice cracked and the dog fell in the lake.

Firefighters rushed to scene and dove into the icy water, where they brought Angel back to safety at about 8:45 a.m.

Video courtesy of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

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