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Wednesday Morning Notes

Road closures in Reston — Browns Mill Road at Windstone Drive and Browns Mill Road at Rosewood Hill Drive are closed due to water in the roadway. One lane is open near Lee Mill Road at Kelso Road. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Town of Herndon job opening — Town officials are looking for a new director of public works. The position pays between $120,000 and $140,000. [Town of Herndon]

PRC exchanges continue — The Coalition for a Planned Reston penned a letter to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins about a recent parks and open space meeting with the county. [Reston 20/20]

Nearby: Tornado touches down on Tuesday — “The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday evening that an early morning tornado touched down for about a minute in the Lincolnia area.” [WTOP]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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Updated: Flash Flood Warning Issued for Reston, Penny-size Hail Reported

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Fairfax County until 10 p.m. today. Residents should avoid flooded roads.

tornado warning for the area was canceled at 6:45 p.m. today. Penny-size was reported as a rain, hail, thunder, and strong winds swept into the area. 

Earlier:

A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Leesburg. 

Residents should take cover by moving to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building, according to the alert.

Here’s more from NWS:

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.

* This dangerous storm will be near…
Lansdowne around 620 PM EDT.
Broadlands and Brambleton around 625 PM EDT.
Arcola around 630 PM EDT.
Ashburn and Countryside around 635 PM EDT.
Dulles International Airport around 640 PM EDT.
Reston, Herndon, Lowes Island, Oakton, Sterling, Chantilly and
Great Falls around 645 PM EDT.

Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include
Congressional Manor, Belmont, Belleview, Sterling Park, Bradley
Farms, Cabin John and Fairfax Station.

Photos by @Cynthia_Adler, @wdudley2009 and @NWS_BaltWash

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Thursday Morning Notes

More Info Released on Herndon Tornado — After detailed analysis, the National Weather Service says a tornado that touched down in Herndon on April 6 was one of seven in the area during that storm. It is now estimated the tornado first came to ground near the Dulles Greene and Capstone apartment complexes in Herndon and lasted about five minutes. It downed numerous trees, including one that was thrown into the window of an apartment building. [National Weather Service]

Reston Islamic School Spotlighted by NPR — Al Fatih Academy (12300 Pinecrest Road) was the subject of a segment on today’s Morning Edition on NPR. The academy’s goal is “to cultivate and nurture a thriving American Muslim identity that balances religious, academic and cultural knowledge and imparts the importance of civic involvement and charitable work.” [NPR]

Local College Student Fighting Pollution — Reston’s Elizabeth Merin, a junior biosystems engineering major at Virginia Tech, is part of a group of students working to scrutinize emissions at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Blacksburg, as well as pollution in the New River Valley. The students have started a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, calling their group Citizens for Arsenal Accountability. [Roanoke Times]

Herndon Farmers Market Now Open, Rain and All — The opening day of the Herndon Farmers Market, which goes through 12:30 p.m. today, is on despite this morning’s rainy weather. It will take place each Thursday into November, in front of the caboose on Lynn Street. [Reston Now/Twitter]

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Small Tornado Confirmed to Have Touched Down in Herndon During Thursday Storm

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a small tornado touched down in Herndon during Thursday afternoon’s storm.

According to the Storm Prediction Center’s report, the tornado occurred in the area of Crestview Drive at 1:36 p.m.:

SIX TO 10 TREES DOWN IN VICINITY OF BUILDERS ROAD AND CRESTVIEW DRIVE … ALL FALLING TOWARDS THE NORTH. WOOD FENCING ALONG CRESTVIEW DR BLOWN TO THE WEST.

The tornado was classified as an EF-0, the lowest level on the scale, with a top wind speed between 60 and 70 mph. Preliminary damage survey results show it was on the ground for about three-quarters of a mile, with a maximum width of 25 yards.

A second EF-0 tornado in the area touched down in southeast Washington, D.C., about five minutes after the Herndon tornado. No one was reported injured in either location.

The storm toppled numerous trees in Reston and the surrounding area Thursday. The National Weather Service says it is investigating other locations in the area today.

Image via David Welch/Facebook of tree fallen at Dranesville Elementary School in Herndon

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Statewide Tornado Drill Takes Place Tuesday Morning

Tornado Drill

Northern Virginia residents are urged to take part in a statewide tornado drill Tuesday at 9:45 a.m.

The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management says the drill is an important safety exercise in an effort to remain safe should tornado strike.

While not commonly considered “tornado country,” Virginia has had 70 since 2011, including one in Reston. In total, they have caused more than $3 million in damage.

The National Weather Service will be testing its alert system as part of the drill. When the drill begins,  immediately protect yourself by going to a designated shelter-in-place or to the center of an interior room on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls, Fairfax County emergency managers say.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has these tips on organizing a drill in your home or office as well as information on how to spot the signs of a tornado.

Find more information on the Statewide Tornado Drill or additional drill resources at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). Find more information on tornadoes from FEMA at http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has designated March 11 as Tornado Preparedness Day in Virginia.

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