As Hurricane Irene roars up the East Coast, the City of Falls Church continues to prepare for heavy rains and possible high winds that could cause downed trees and power outages late Saturday and early Sunday. City Manager Wyatt Shields said the City is taking necessary precautions to keep residents and employees safe, to keep streets open and to maintain City services, especially water.
Falls Church Police encourage the public to stay off the streets during the storm to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles. Calls to 911 should only be for emergencies. To report power outages, call Dominion Virginia Power at 1-866-366-4357. The City has set up a Storm Information Line, 703-248-5200 (TTY 711), which will be answered during the peak of the storm by a City staff member beginning at 6 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28. When not answered by staff, the phone line will carry recorded information. A list of emergency contact numbers is available on the City web site www.fallschurchva.gov along with other emergency information and updates about City services. Weather emergency information is also posted on the City’s facebook page www.facebook.com/CityofFallsChurch and FCC-TV (Cox channel 12, Verizon channel 35, RCN channel 2).
City residents should make preparations now for possibly several hours of bad weather and power outages. Supplies to have on hand include non-perishable food and water for three days, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio with extra batteries, a flashlight with extra batteries, and basic first aid supplies.
The City’s preparations include placement of standby generators at City Hall, the Community Center, Public Utilities pumping stations and the Property Yard. The Community Center and Library will have normal operating hours this weekend unless it becomes unsafe for employees and the public. The City water system has emergency generators in place to maintain water service. Although police advise the public to stay off the streets during the storm, the City’s goal is to keep traffic moving and Public Works crews has generators on standby to operate all Broad Street traffic signals and select intersections on Washington Street. In preparation for possible flooding, City crews have cleared debris from catch basins and storm drains.