Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields reported to the News-Press this afternoon that conditions in F.C. are what he called “stable” in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s impact, while about 15 percent of the City, including City Hall, the Community Center, Mt. Daniel Elementary and public library, remains without power as of this hour.
While 17 streets were originally reported blocked or partially blocked to traffic due to fallen trees and branches, as of this afternoon only two streets in the City remain closed to traffic — Lincoln Ave. and Irving Street. On Lincoln, a large tree has fallen into the street dragging power lines with it. City Hall and the Community Center are operating on back-up generators, but while the Community Center is open to the public, City Hall is not. The generators are powering only the police department and a couple other rooms at City Hall, where Shields was posted today to stay on top of developments.
Shields also told the News-Press that three pump stations (McLean, Chesterbrook and Willston) in the Falls Church water system are currently operating on backup generators, and that all the tanks remain at high levels and in full service.
Remarkably, there have been no reports of flooding or backflows into homes, Shields said, even though about 7 inches of rain fell on the City. Shields said that the rainfall being over an extended period contributed to the lack of flooding, and that compared to the “derecho” storm last May, the damage has been comparatively minimal. “The ‘derecho’ was a very serious storm,” he said, compared to Hurricane Sandy.
Shields said that he hoped power would be restored in time for all normal City services to be up and running by tomorrow. The City will waive all brush and branch collection fees in the coming week.
Federal Disaster: Virginia is under a Presidential Declaration, making the City eligible for reimbursement of expenses. We typically waive brush fees when that is the case, and will likely waive fees this week.
Electric Power: Nova Region: 110,000 out of power. 950 out in the City (approx 20% of City is off grid.) City Hall and Community Center are on generator.
Utilities: 3 Pump Stations (McLean, Chesterbrook, Willston) off the grid, and operating on generator. DVP has our prioritized restoration list.
Streets: 17 City Streets with trees blocking or partially blocking. Will be updated this morning.
Flooding: No flooding reported. 6.5″ on rain gauge over past 18 hours.
Sewer backflows: none reported.
Also today, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issued a Declaration of a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Included in the declaration and discussed at a press conference today, the Governor has:
1) Ordered DMV, and other executive branch agencies as deem appropriate in their discretion, to extend the validity period of Virginia driver’s licenses, special identification cards, permits, and other licenses or credentials issued by the Commonwealth that expire during the period from October 29th through November 8th of 2012 until November 9, 2012.
2) Requested that DMV, and other executive branch agencies exercise their discretion to the extent allowed by law to waive any late fees associated with October registrations, licenses, permits, or credential renewals that are submitted on or before November 9, 2012.
3) Requested that all appropriate executive branch agencies exercise their discretion to the extent allowed by law to address any other pending deadlines or expirations affected by or attributable to Hurricane Sandy.
You can find the complete EO attached and via the link below:
The State Board of Elections is asking local registrar’s offices to stay open an additional eight hours to allow people additional time to vote in-person absentee.