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Irene Underwhelms, But Outages Could Last Days

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An an oak tree toppled over an SUV in Old Town Alexandria.
Jonathan Wilson
An an oak tree toppled over an SUV in Old Town Alexandria.

More than 100,000 customers are without power in northern Virginia, and although some were expecting more damage from Hurricane Irene, those outages could still last for a couple of days.

A spokesperson for Dominion Virginia Power says while crews are working to restore power to customers across the state, the utility company is still in the assessment phase, and will remain so until Monday. That means for many local customers, outages could be multi-day affairs.

In Northern Virginia, most of the outages are located along Interstate-95 in Prince William and Fairfax Counties.

Alexandria resident Linda Cole awoke this morning to a different problem: her car, crushed by a large oak tree, which toppled in the storm. She says she actually moved her car last night in hopes of avoiding this scenario.

"I actually did move it, thinking I'd have a better chance where I was now than with the big tree in front of my house," she says.

But it was her neighbor's tree that fell instead, blocking the cobblestone section of Princess Street in Old Town before a city armed with chainsaws made quick work of it this morning.

Luckily, the storm brought down mostly leaves and branches, not trees, making the damage, so far, a lot less remarkable than even some recent windstorms here.

Alexandria city leaders also say there’s little street flooding, and Prince William County officials report no road closures due to high water so far.

Dominion Power, however, warns residents that more outages could come as windy conditions continue, and the saturated ground makes it easy for more trees to topple over.

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