County Services Available for Residents Affected by Weather

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010

June 27, 2006

Fairfax County Services Available for Residents Affected By Severe Weather

The recent storms and flooding have forced numerous residents to evacuate their homes, downed countless trees and caused thousands of power outages. Fairfax County officials are assessing the damage caused by the storm. Below are resources for Fairfax County residents affected by the severe weather.

Emergency Service Center and Shelter

Fairfax County and the American Red Cross have established a service center that will be open again June 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and an emergency shelter, which will remain open until 8 p.m. on June 28 at Edison High School (entrance 14), 5801 Franconia Road, Alexandria, for residents who have been affected by the flooding in the Arlington Terrace section of southeastern Fairfax County. Fastran shuttle bus service is available between Edison High School and the corner of Biscayne Drive and Huntington Avenue in the Arlington Terrace area.

Reporting Problems

Residents are encouraged to report downed power lines, trees in roads and other situations to the appropriate authorities. Below are the appropriate numbers to call.

  • To report rising water in your home that threatens your safety, call 9-1-1. If you have damp walls or floors, contact a water removal or restoration company. You should also call the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) at 703-934-2800, TTY 711, to report any house flooding or blocked storm drains.
  • To report a sewer back-up or if you smell an odor, call the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services at 703-323-1211 or 703-250-2003, TTY 703-239-8489.
  • To report flooded roads, blocked roads or malfunctioning traffic signals, call the Virginia Department of Transportation at 703-383-VDOT (8368), TTY 711.
  • To report problems with water service, call Fairfax Water at 703-698-5800, TTY 703-698-7025. After hours, call 703-698-5613, TTY 711.
  • To report a gas leak, call Washington Gas at 703-750-1400, TTY 711, or Columbia Gas at 1-800-544-5606, TTY 1-800-231-3238.
  • To report a power outage, depending on your electric company, contact either Dominion Virginia Power at 1-888-667-3000, TTY 711, or NOVEC at 1-888-335-0500, TTY 711. 
  • To report a problem with land-line telephone service, call Verizon at 703-670-3500, TTY 711; Cox Communications at 703-378-8422, TTY 711; or Comcast of Virginia at 703-841-7700, TTY 711.

Additional Information About County Services

  • Fairfax County curbside trash and recyclables collection will be collected as normal. The county will be collecting trash and debris from flood damaged homes in the Huntington Avenue area (Arlington Terrace) on a daily basis through July 11 (including Saturday, July 1). Please separate materials in four categories: metal, bulk, trees and bagged/boxed trash. If you have questions about trash collection, call 703-802-3322, TTY 711.
  • Fairfax Connector bus service is operating on a normal schedule. For information, call 703-339-7200, TTY 703-339-1608, or visit 

Property Damage

  • The county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services has trained inspectors on duty throughout the county to monitor property that has been damaged by the flooding. DPWES has a three-level color code system—green, yellow and red.

o       If you have a green sticker on your home, it is safe to re-renter.

o       If you have a yellow sticker on your home, you may enter the home, but it is uninhabitable.

o       If you have a red sticker on your home, you are not allowed to re-enter. The property has been deemed uninhabitable and no one is allowed to enter the premises. Should you have a red sticker on your home, please call the DPWES Operations Center at 703-324-8355, TTY 711 for additional information.

  • Check for structural damage before entering a building.
  • Check for exposed or live wires before turning main power switch back on.
  • Cover broken windows.
  • Call your insurance agent immediately if your home, apartment or business has suffered flood damage.
  • Drain and clean flooded basements as soon as possible.
  • If you encounter floodwaters do not try to drive or walk through them.

Health and Food Safety

  • In the event of a power outage, perishable foods including meats, dairy products and eggs that haven’t been refrigerated for more than two hours should be discarded because they are no longer safe to consume. Foods that have been contaminated by flooding should also be discarded.
  • Protect against mosquito bites by wearing long, loose, and light-colored clothing. Use insect repellant with the smallest percentage of DEET necessary for the length of time you are exposed to mosquitoes, but no more than 50 percent for adults and 30 percent for children under 12. 

General Safety

  • If you have lost water service, the power (electric or gas) to the hot water heater should be shut off.  Please refer to the service manual for relighting instructions once water service is restored, or call a qualified service representative.
  • Be aware that floods are deceptive. Avoid already-flooded areas. Floodwaters that are above your knees are dangerous. Turn around and go back to higher ground. If you find floodwaters on the road while driving, turn around and find an alternate route. The road could be washed out and rapidly rising water could lift your car and carry it away.
  • Candles are not recommended for lighting because of fire hazards. Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns.
  • If you use a generator for emergency power make sure it is outdoors in a dry, ventilated area away from attached garages or air intakes to the house. Never fuel or run a portable generator in the home or garage, as gas-powered generators pose a serious fire and carbon monoxide threat.
  • Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet. Do not turn on damaged electrical appliances because of the hazards of electric shock or fire.
  • Watch for live electrical wires. Be sure the electrical current is turned off and do not attempt to turn on any electrically operated light or appliance until an electrician has checked your system.
  • Begin cleanup as soon as possible. Follow the normal guidelines provided by your trash hauler and prepare any tree limbs and debris according to their standards for collection.
  • During flood cleanup, operate all gasoline-powered devices such as pumps, generators, and pressure washers outdoors and never bring them indoors.
  • Never allow children to swim or play in or near floodwaters or detention ponds.
  • Watch out for rodents and snakes.
  • Check on relatives and neighbors, especially seniors and persons with disabilities, to ensure they are safe.
  • For more information on mold and mildew, visit

Tips for Selecting a Contractor

  • Ask for a copy of the contractor's current licenses and insurance certificates. Home improvement contractors and their sales staff must be licensed by the Licensing Section of the Office of Building Code Services, 703-324-1540, TTY 711. They must meet requirements of the Virginia State Board for Contractors and are often required to have a Fairfax County Business, Professional and Occupational License issued by the Department of Tax Administration.
  • Check the contractor's compliance record with the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection at 703-222-8435, TTY 703-222-8653; or visit the county's Web site at If the work was in other jurisdictions, call their consumer offices. Contact the local Better Business Bureau for a further check of the contractor's past performance.
  • Make sure the contractor has insurance to cover damage to your home or injury to employees working on your property. Obtain the name of the insurance carrier and the agent and contact them to verify that the appropriate policies are in effect.
  • Get written estimates from several firms. Be sure to specify the work you want done and the materials to be used, so that the estimates will be easy to compare.
  • Insist on a written contract, as required by the Fairfax County Home Improvement Code and state regulations, and make sure that it includes all agreements regarding the work to be done and materials to be used.
  • For further information or if you have a complaint regarding a home improvement contractor, contact the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection at 703-222-8435, TTY 703-222-8653,

For the latest information, call the Fairfax County Emergency Information Line at 703-817-7771, TTY 711 or visit


To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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