By FALLS CHURCH TIMES STAFF
July 1, 2012
Power crews began restoring electric service to some neighborhoods in Falls Church City Sunday, as delighted residents enjoyed lights and air conditioning for the first time since Friday night’s storm. The service was spotty, however, with some homes lit up brightly while next door neighbors remained disconnected from the grid.
Power company officials were still attempting Sunday to determine when electricity would be completely restored to Falls Church City following Friday’s storm. On Saturday, Dominion Virginia Power indicated it could take several days for their crews to restore power to the City. By Sunday morning, company spokespersons were hoping to conclude a regional evaluation to provide customers with a more specific time estimate.
The storm, classified as a “derecho” because of its broad front and high winds moving in a singular direction, felled numerous trees and large limbs, downing power lines and associated infrastructure. Commercial tree services from Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia were in Falls Church City cleaning up the damage.
Most businesses in the City were closed Saturday and Sunday, although some, like the Giant at West Falls Shopping Center, used back up generators to remain open. Restaurants in the area that were open did a brisk business. Some gas stations that were open ran out of gasoline.
Falls Church City Schools announced that summer activities would be canceled for Monday July 2.
City Hall announced that its crews would pick up tree debris through July 11, instructing residents to cut limbs to lengths of eight feet or less.
Falls Church Water issued an alert for customers in Tyson’s Corner, Dunn Loring, and Vienna to boil their water before drinking. Customers in those area should continue the precaution through July 2, the time required to conclude system testing following the storm.
Boil Water Advisory Update for Falls Church Water Utility Customers in Tysons, Vienna, and Dunn Loring
By CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION
Sunday, July 1, 2012 1. 10:30 p.m.
The City of Falls Church has issued the following adivisory update for Boil Water Advisory Update for Falls Church Water Utility Customers in Tysons, Vienna, and Dunn Loring http://www.fallschurchva.gov/content/newsmedia/2012releases/07-july/boilwaterupdate_2012july1.pdf
Out of an abundance of caution, the Falls Church Water Utility advises water customers in portions of Tysons Corner, Vienna, and Dunn Loring to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution. Customers are advised not to drink tap water without boiling it first. Failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness. Those in the Advisory Area should prepare to boil water at least through Monday night, July 2. This is the timing needed for proper testing. Families should be prepared. Instructions and maps of the Advisory Area are available on the City’s website, www.fallschurchva.gov/WaterBoil
Why This Is Necessary
This precaution is necessary due to a drop in water pressure in the Tysons and Vienna area of the City water system on Saturday afternoon. Low water pressure can potentially allow contaminants to enter into water pipes. The City’s pump stations were operating for a time on back-up power starting Friday evening, when a line of thunderstorms caused the broadest non-hurricane related power outage in Virginia history. All but one pumping station is now on full power and water pressure is back to acceptable levels.
Dominion Virginia Power’s Vice President of Electric Distribution Operations, Rodney Blevins said, “The storms last Friday and Saturday resulted in the most significant damage suffered by the company outside of hurricanes. This storm could not be forecasted well ahead of time by the National Weather Service. That is complicating restoration efforts because crews and supplies could not be positioned in advance.”
The City, in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), analyzed all courses of action, and opted to aggressively protect the interest of customers in issuing this boil advisory.
Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, beverage and food preparation, and making ice until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Boiling is the preferred method to assure that the tap water is safe to drink. Bring all tap water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.
An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity available is to use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently purchased, free of additives and scents, and should contain a hypochlorite solution of at least 5.25%. Public health officials recommend adding 8 drops of bleach (about ¼ teaspoon) to each gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use. Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
More Resources for Information
Additional information and resources regarding boiling water is available online through the Virginia Department of Health [http://1.usa.gov/KTMw3z] and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management [http://bit.ly/Mz109m.]
Share This Information
Water customers are asked to share this information with all other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example: people in apartments, nursing homes, and businesses). This can be done by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
Customers will be informed when it is no longer necessary to boil water. Notice will be sent or posted:
• local TV, radio, and print media
• City’s website, www.fallschurchva.gov
• City’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CityofFallsChurch
• City’s Twitter account twitter.com/fallschurchinfo
• Via the Alert Falls Church System alert.fallchurchva.gov
More Information: Details on boundaries of boil water advisory area –
• When in doubt if you are in the affected area, use the methods above to boil or use liquid bleach. (Follow all directions above.)
• Eastern boundary of area: Beginning on the intersection of Magarity Rd. and Olney Rd.; following Magarity Rd. to the intersection with Rte 7; continuing east along Rte 7 to the intersection of I-66.
• Southeast boundary of area: Follows I-66 to the intersection of I-495.
• Southern boundary of area: Beginning at the intersection of I-66 and I-495 and follows along Cottage St. to Gallows Rd., north along Gallows Rd to Cedar Ln. West along Stonewall Dr. to Villanova Dr., then south along Villanova Dr. to Winder St., then west along Winder St. to Drexel St.
• Western boundary of area: The western boundary is along the Town of Vienna line.
By CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
July 1, 2011
The City of Falls Church issued the following update at 9:38 pm, Sunday, July 1. Visit the City’s Website, www.fallschurchva.gov, for All Current Updates.
Falls Church Water Utility Boil Water Advisory
• Map of Advisory Area available at www.fallschurchva.gov or bit.ly/NTFrw8
• For all water issues, call 703-248-5071. Please keep tying if lines are busy. The phones will be stafffed until 1:59 p.m., Sunday, July 1.
• The Water Boil Advisory continues for Tysons, Dunn Loring, and Vienna.
• Merrifield no longer included (based on reevaluation of area affected).
• Prepare to boil water at least through Monday night, July 2.
• All but one pumping station back at full power.
• Go here for water boiling instructions: http://bit.ly/MKds5f.
Voluntary Water Conservation
Falls Church Water Utility asks its customers to voluntarily conserve water. Please do not use water in unnecessary ways today, including washing cars, watering lawns, doing dishes and laundry. Water main breaks should be reported immediately to 703-248-5044.
City of Falls Church Summer Camps
For Monday, July 2, most Recreation and Parks Department camps—including all scheduled to meet at Falls Church City Schools—will be held at the Community Center (223 Little Falls St.). Kids enrolled in camps can be dropped off at the Community Center and staff will direct them to the correct room. Canceled camps are Music Together, Art in Hand, and all swimming lessons.
Falls Church City Schools
No summer programs Monday, July 2. Division closed except for essential maintenance and facility staff only.
Cooling Center: City Community Center
The City’s Community Center (223 Little Falls St.) will be open 9am to 9pm on Monday, July 2 with air conditioning and power strips to charge cell phones.
Brush Debris Collection
Brush pick-up fees are waived through Wednesday, July 11. Residents and businesses asked to take following measures to aid collection:
• Place brush at the curb or within the parking lane where applicable; do not obstruct the sidewalks or right-of-ways.
• Cut large tree limbs into segments no longer than 8 ft.; brush that exceeds this length requires additional manpower and resources. Smaller debris can be placed in brown, compostable yard waste bags.
• Leave only vegetative matter for pick-up; this collection is exclusively for tree limbs and brush downed by Friday’s storm. Fee waivers do not apply to special collections.
City of Falls Church Street Closures
The following City streets are closed to through traffic due to downed trees and/or wires. void the areas:
• Great Falls Street: from Lincoln Ave. to Little Falls St.
• E. Columbia St.: from N. Washington St. to N. Underwood St.
• S. Oak St.: from W. Broad St. to Fellow Ct.
The following City streets have issues. Proceed with caution, but obey detours and take no risks around downed power lines:
• N. Underwood St. at 11th St.
• E. Jefferson St. from N. Washington St. to the 500 block of E. Jefferson
• N. Cherry St. at E. Columbia St.
• N. Virginia Ave. at Great Falls St.
• Parker Ave. at Timber Ln.
• 400 block of Jackson St.
• 100-200 block of Rosemary Ln.
• 1300 block Robinson Pl.
• 600 block Knollwood Dr.
• 600 block S. Spring St.
• 1000 block Madison Ln.
Call Falls Church Police Directly for True Emergencies
The City’s 911 system is down. Call Police directly at 703-241-5050 or go to the Fire Station at 6950 Little Falls Rd.
Stop at All Intersections
Most City intersections are still without traffic lights, and street lights are down. Treat ALL intersections as 4-way stops.
Falls Church Water has issued an alert for customers in Tyson’s Corner, Dunn Loring, and Vienna to boil their water before drinking. Customers in those area should continue the precaution through July 2, when system testing will be completed following the storm of Friday, June 29. The alert no longer applies to Merrifield.
Falls Church City Public School activities will be cancelled Monday July 2 due to power outages, according to Superintendent Toni Jones.