News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Flashback Monday: The Tornado of Ought-Eleven

Hey, remember that time last April when an honest-to-goodness tornado whipped through Reston, felling trees in a telltale straight line but otherwise doing very little damage? So does Fairfax County, which posted a Where Are They Now? sort of reminiscence to its "web site," complete with this map:

“The tornado began in a parking lot along Sunset Hills Road where small limbs were snapped from a hardwood tree and a large limb was snapped from a softwood tree. It crossed Sunset Hills Road and entered the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course where it intensified and uprooted or snapped several hardwood and softwood trees. The tornado weakened slightly as it crossed North Shore Drive and Wedge Road where a few trees were snapped or uprooted. A few homes appeared to suffer minor damage from fallen trees. As it crossed Wiehle Avenue, the tornado intensified again snapping or uprooting numerous trees adjacent to Tall Oaks Village Center before weakening rapidly.”
Actually, it's amazing how few buildings were in the tornado's path -- though if you look off Wiehle Avenue nearly a year later, you can still see the felled trees, right where the tornado left them. (We'll spare everyone the joke about the immeasurable amount of improvements that would have happened had the twister veered to the right and struck the then-as-now empty grocery store in the Tall Oaks Shopping Center, the end.)


  1. Whoa. The tornado started pretty much where the fall Sunset Hills Flood was? Creepy. There's obviously a conspiracy going on.

  2. If a Burger King or a 7-11 failed at Tall Oaks, that should have been enough warning that it was doomed. Maybe time to open it up and make it visible from Whiele? Just sayin'....

  3. I don't know if you noticed, but a couple of the houses north of the golf course had considerable damage from the tornadoes. And there's a handful more that used it as an excuse for new landscaping...

    Big huge 80 year old trees behind the old folks home that fell? They're still just lying there...

  4. Reston has it's own "Tornado Alley"

  5. Tall Oaks may not be empty for long. They start work on a new gold's gym in a month or so. We heard about it at our condo mtg and confirmed with gold's. Hopefully this one will make it because it is a bit depressing to live near such an empty plaza. I agree that making it visible from whiele would help a lot (heck even just put a sign that south bound drivers could see).


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