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Blowin' In the Wind

60 mile per hour gusts damage houses, take down trees and cause power outages in Great Falls and McLean.

Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour struck McLean and Great Falls on Sunday and Monday of this week. The result was power outages, downed trees and swept away lawn furniture.

Early Monday afternoon, April 16, the wind took down a large tree on Utterback Store Road between Georgetown Pike and Beach Mill Road. Another large tree fell victim to high gusts near the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and Glebe Road in McLean, jamming up traffic as roadway crews scrambled to clear the street.

Chris Pauly, president of Gutterman Services, Inc. in Sterling, said that wind damage to homes kept him busy all day Monday.

“We’ve been dealing with wind related damage to Northern Virginia homes all day — it’s been particularly bad in the western and northern suburbs,” said Pauly. “The gusts are blowing down siding, gutters and roof shingles everywhere.”

Pauly said “poor workmanship is mainly to blame” for most of the damage calls he received.

“Quick construction and poor quality work often don’t show their faults until big weather events like this wind storm,” he said. “Most repairs are simple, but the hardest part is finding the matching siding materials … over the next few weeks we will see up to 500 repair orders come across our desks.”

Winds were so high that Fairfax County Public Schools opted to close school three hours early on Monday in order to get students home before the gusts picked up to dangerous levels Monday evening.

Many neighborhoods in the Tysons area were subjected to power surges and lengthy power outages that sent residents out to any unaffected place they could find.

“I’ve had several people tell me they were here shopping tonight because they didn’t have any power at home,” said Container Store employee Jane Singleton.