Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Report issued late last week says outage following June derecho in Northern Virginia and other parts of the country was "unacceptable."
The Federal Communications Commission plans to introduce new rules to strengthen the reliability and resiliency of 9-1-1 communications networks during disasters in the wake of a storm last summer that left Northern Virginia without 9-1-1 service, the federal agency said in a news release this week “These failures are unacceptable and the FCC will do whatever is necessary to ensure the reliability of 9-1-1," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said. The announcement late last week coincides with the regulatory agency's release of a report (attached with this story) about the 9-1-1 service failure June 29 to 30, after the derecho storm hit Northern Virginia and other parts of the country. The derecho that struck …
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tall trees toppling in storms highlight issue of tree pruning, removal and division of responsibility.
- Karen Goff
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Twice this summer, decades-old trees in Reston were toppled by unusually high winds. The June 29 Derecho blew through with winds at 73 miles per hour. Last Saturday's storm sure felt like a tornado to residents on Scandia Circle and South Shore Road, who suffered huge property damage in the short but powerful storm. Living in Reston means shaded patios and wooded lots. It means green space and Reston Association restrictions on when and why you can cut down a tree on your property. But as the lots age and the freak storms get more frequent, residents are asking - are toppling trees going to be a continued problem? And if so, whose responsibility is it? The large tree that severely damaged townhouses on Scandia Circle appears to have fallen…
Saturday, September 8, 2012
A tree crashed into the South Shore Road house during the Derecho in June, and again during Saturday's storm.
- PUBLIC SAFETY
- Karen Goff
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Work was set to begin Monday on the damage caused when the June 29 Derecho affected Randy and Nina Sands' home on South Shore Road in Reston. That work may have to be rescheduled, though, because another tree fell on their home on Saturday during a strong storm that blew through Reston. The Washington Post is reporting that a tornado hit the area, but Patch has not been able to confirm that with the National Weather Service. "Yes, I feel unlucky," Nina Sands said. "I feel like someone's got it out for us. I wouldn't be surprised if we got hit again." Saturday's storm, which hit the area about 3:30 p.m. with winds of more than 60 miles per hour, also crushed Randy's 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 truck. No one was injured. Is there a weather …
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Communications company explains 911 outage, among others, at town hall meeting.
Generator problems are to blame for Verizon's response to the June 29 derecho storm, a company representative said Thursday during a town hall meeting hosted by Del. Kaye Kory (D-38th) in Falls Church. Doug Sullivan, of Verizon, said the derecho storm “downed more poles and generated more commercial trouble tickets for Verizon than Hurricane Irene” and blamed the loss of service, particularly to the 911 network, on “multiple failures cascading from the generator problems”. Due to the power outage, Verizon did not have enough information to create a plan to fix the damage and restore power to its customers. “It is very scary to be without any kind of communication or air conditioning when we experience a million-year storm,” said Kory, who …
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Officials point to company in formal FCC report about outages after June 29 derecho
Fairfax County officials have filed a formal report with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding widespread 911 failures in the area during and after the June 29 derecho, this time blaming the outage on the failure of Verizon’s backup power sources and damage to equipment in the area. These factors, combined with what the county deems “Verizon’s failure to give prompt and effective notice” of the failures, inhibited the county’s responsiveness, the complaint says. The rare and intense storm caused the deaths of four county residents and damaged more than 100 homes. According to a July report from the county, 911 calls received in the county increased by 415 percent in the four hours after the derecho hit at roughly 10:30 p.m…
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
"Feds Feed Families" will help Reston Interfaith, other food pantries.
In the wake of the recent derecho, Northern Virginia's congressmen are helping feed needy families with its program, Feds Feed Families. Feds Feed Families kicked off this year's drive at the U.S. Geological Survey headquarters in Reston last week. Congressmen Gerry Connolly, Frank Wolf and Jim Moran attended the event and pointed out that in its three years, Feds Feed Families has collected more than 8 million pounds of food for area food banks. All food collected at USGS through August will go to Reston Interfaith. Food collected at other sites will go to various other pantries. Many of the food banks, including the one operated by Reston Interfaith, have a lower inventory following the power outages and increased need following the …
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Dercho chaos means board will review emergency plans and procedures.
After last month's derecho and subsequent power outages wreaked havoc on Reston businesses and facilities, Reston Association will now be organizing a more formal risk management plan. The board will appoint a group of directors to work with RA staff to review procedures and formulate a new plan. RA President Ken Knueven said at a board meeting July 12 that RA should have a more organized plan for many "what-ifs?" "The storm got us thinking we do have many aspects of continuity in place, " Knueven said. "But if the building is under five feet of water and no one can get to it, what do we do?" No Reston Association facilities were badly damaged in the storm's aftermath, but many were closed for several days with power outages and nearly 200…
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Fairfax County now has an online form where residents can report storm damage.
Fairfax County residents can now report damage from storms, hurricanes, fires and more with a new online tool. The county’s Office of Emergency Management launched the disaster reporting system after the June 29 derecho that killed 13 people Virginia, including four in Fairfax County. Falling trees from the storm - which had winds of a record 79 miles per hour in Reston - damaged more than 100 area homes. The system allows the county to share damage reports with Virginia state officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or the U.S. Small Business Administration. The reports will allow authorities to determine whether the county can be declared a major disaster area and what assistance should be given to affected county residents. …
Friday, July 13, 2012
Moran, Connolly, Wolf want the FCC to reconsider a regulation concerning backup power that the commission proposed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Northern Virginia's three congressmen called on the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday to take action that will prevent future outages to the region's 911 systems. In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, U.S. Reps. Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly and Frank Wolf asked that the commission dust off a post-Hurricane Katrina regulation that would have required all telecommunications companies to provide at least eight hours of backup power for all cell phone towers. The regulation was subsequently struck down on a technicality related to how the commission handled public comments, according to a news release. “In the event of an emergency situation, whether it be a natural disaster or man-made threat, the public needs confidence …
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Nearly 200 trees or parts of trees fell from Reston Association property.
Nearly two weeks after the powerful derecho swept through Reston with winds of 79 miles per hour, cleanup crews are still working on getting Reston's public areas clear. Reston Association director of maintenance Brian Murphy says three crews have been assigned to clear debris and remove downed trees from pathways and other Reston Association common properties. Nearly 200 trees have fallen in the last two weeks, he said. Murphy says that most of the debris from the initial storms has been cleared, but additional storms on Sunday set back efforts. "The paths are mostly clear but we are dealing with more trees that came down on paths from the Sunday storm," Murphy said. Most of the newly downed trees are on the south side of Reston, Murphy …