City of Alexandria Issues Updated Warnings for March 2 Wind Storm

Page archived as of March 13, 2018

City of Alexandria Issues Updated Warnings for March 2 Wind Storm

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2018

A High Wind Warning for the City of Alexandria continues through 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 3. Dangerous winds of up to 40 miles per hour will continue, with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour. As of 3 p.m., the high winds have caused more than 10,000 customers in Alexandria to be without power, and widespread power outages are expected to continue through the evening.

Residents and businesses are urged to maintain their preparations for power outages from downed trees and wires.  Avoid going outdoors. Travel is dangerous, especially for high-profile vehicles, and motorists need to be aware of rapidly changing road conditions due to the potential of downed trees and power lines.

Pedestrians will face very hazardous conditions, and need to be aware of wind-borne projectiles. People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your property during the windstorm, and avoid windows.

This will be a prolonged, high-impact windstorm for the region, with many downed trees and power lines expected.  The duration of the winds will add to the hazardous nature of this storm, as winds will continue throughout the weekend before diminishing below 30 mph on Sunday afternoon.

Because potentially damaging gusts are expected to continue through the night, it may be difficult for emergency personnel to restore power or fight fires.

Weathering the Storm

  • Keep batteries and flashlights ready, as well as any other necessary supplies; make sure cell phones and other electronic devices are charged.

  • Monitor weather-related news, alerts and updates in the media and on

  • If your power goes out, report it to Dominion Virginia Power at 866.DOM.HELP (866.366.4357) or To report a water main break or for questions about water service, contact Virginia American Water at 800.452.6863.

If Your Power Goes Out

  • If you use a portable generator, follow manufacturer's instructions carefully and do not use inside homes, garages, or apartments.
  • If the power is out for LESS THAN 2 HOURS, the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to eat. While the power is out keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. This will help to keep the food colder for longer.
  • If the power is out for MORE THAN 2 HOURS,  follow the guidelines below:
    • For the Freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
    • For the Refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
    • Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more. A full list of foods can be found on the USDA website.
    • IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT! For more food safety tips, visit the City’s Food Safety During Power Outages Page

Cancellations and Closures

The St. Patrick's Day Parade, scheduled for Saturday, March 3, has been cancelled due to uncertainty of this weekend’s weather conditions and potential impact to participants and attendees.  For more information, please see the event organizer’s Facebook page.

Meeting cancellations and facilities closures will be posted on For Alexandria City Public Schools operating status, see

For questions or concerns about storm response, call 703.746.HELP or use Call.Click.Connect. Please call 911 only if you need immediate police, fire, or emergency medical assistance.

For emergency preparedness information, visit For weather-related alerts, sign up for the City's Alexandria eNews service, or connect online at

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at or 703.746.3959.                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                    # # #

This news release is available at