Washington Metropolitan Area in Alert for Hurricane Sandy

Mayor of Washington Has Declared State of Emergency

Preemptively Requested a Presidential Disaster. Declaration and Is Coordinating Citywide Preparations; Public Schools Closed Tomorrow


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced that the District government will be closed Monday, October 29 and said that the District’s agencies and regional, utility and federal partners are preparing the city to weather the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

In a press conference briefing journalists on the city’s preparations for the storm – expected to cause wind and water damage across a wide swath of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast – the Mayor emphasized the serious nature of the approaching storm.

“Let me be clear: this storm is unique, large, dangerous and unlike anything our region has experienced in a very long time,” Mayor Gray said. “We are likely to suffer significant power outages due to fallen trees and other debris, and we may experience significant street flooding. Let me also be clear about this: the District government is ready to meet this challenge.”

Officials have been working through the weekend to ensure the District’s residents, businesses and infrastructure are as ready as possible for the effects of the storm, which are expected to include heavy rain and street flooding, strong winds and power outages, and the potential for storm-surge flooding along the Potomac River and its tributaries.

Forecasters are predicting 4″ to 8″ of rain to fall between Sunday night and Wednesday, with bursts of rain falling at a rate of 2″ per hour.

Sustained tropical-storm-force winds of 40-60 miles per hour with gusts up to hurricane strength (75 miles per hour or more) are possible, and duration of the storm’s peak impact will likely be several hours – with conditions expected to deteriorate rapidly during the day tomorrow and the peak of the extreme winds expected between about noon Monday and the early hours of Tuesday morning, with high winds extending well into the day on Tuesday.


District residents need to shelter in place during the peak of this storm, preferably on the lowest level of their home and as far away as possible from windows and potential falling trees,” Mayor Gray said.


Metrorail Systema Closed on Monday 

In light of updated forecast information from the National Weather Service projecting higher wind speeds, as well as the closure of Federal Government offices in the Washington area and the possibility of widespread commercial power outages, Metro has announced the following service changes for Monday, October 29, 2012: Metrorail System Closed on Monday

The Metrorail system will be closed on Monday. Rail service on Sunday night will continue operate as scheduled until its normal closing time (midnight). No decision has yet been made on when Metrorail service will be restored after Monday.

All Metrobus service will be suspended as of the end of the service day on Sunday and remain suspended until further notice.

All MetroAccess service has been cancelled on Monday.

Metro service will only be restored when it is safe to do so. Following the storm, Metro personnel will need to perform a comprehensive damage assessment, including inspections of track, bridges, aerial structures, stations and facilities. Service restoration also will be contingent on adequate commercial power to support operations and repair of any storm-related damage.

 Schools also closed

D.C. Public Schools are closed on Monday, October 29, including all after-school programs and athletic events. Principals, teachers and school-based staff who are not essential personnel do not report to school tomorrow. Central-office staff and essential school-based personnel should refer to the DCPS website for updates about whether they will be required to report to work.

The District government and the federal government are closed today.

Mayor Gray has declared a state of emergency in the District and has sent President Obama a pre-landfall request for a presidential disaster declaration, which would provide federal assistance to help the District defray the extra costs will impose on the city.


DC Water is clearing storm drains citywide.  

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is assigning staff and contractors to be ready to collect storm debris starting Monday, October 29, and DPW crews will assist.

DPW tow trucks will be deployed as necessary to remove vehicles blocking roadways.

DDOT has generators in place at major intersections. If power is disrupted, traffic signals will continue to work, and DDOT traffic control officers will be deployed to direct traffic where necessary.

DPW is suspending street cleaning Monday through Wednesday. Bulk garbage collections for Monday and Tuesday will be rescheduled. Also, residents are asked to bag their leaves so they don’t collect in the storm drains and cause flooding.

Crews from DC Water and District government agencies are being deployed to assist the residents of Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park, a section of the city that has been especially hard-hit by street flooding due to backed-up storm drains during heavy downpours. 
Residents may go to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency website to get tips to help them prepare their homes and families for the storm. To receive important text messages about the latest information on weather, traffic, closings and more, sign up for ALERT DC at textalert.ema.dc.gov.

D.C. government agencies will maintain a constant presence throughout the storm on Twitter and other social-media outlets and provide crucial information as conditions develop.

Please follow the Mayor (@MayorVinceGray), DPW (@dcdpw), DDOT (@ddotdc) and DC Water (@dcwater) on Twitter for information on Hurricane Sandy response, using #SandyDC as a hashtag.


Tips for Residents

Dealing with Downed Trees

Residents are reminded to stay clear of broken and hanging tree branches, which can fall at any time.

Please report any downed tree branches by calling 311.
Residents are also reminded to stay away from downed wires, as they could be energized and electrical contact could be fatal. Report downed wires to Pepco by calling1.877.PEPCO62

Power and Water Outages
To report a power outage, please call Pepco at 1.877.PEPCO62. Customers may report outages online at pepco.com or download Pepco’s smart phone app,pepco.com/mobileapp to report and track outages. To report a water outage, residents can call DC Water at 202.612.3400

Motorists are reminded to treat dark intersections as four-way stops and to avoid driving through standing water.

Montgomery system so you will receive these notices directly in the future. Sign-up for this free county service at https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov


Montgomery County Government

Montgomery County government will be closed today, Monday, October 29. Essential

personnel must report to work.


County Encourages Residents To Shelter in Place

Montgomery County officials encourage residents to stay indoors, stay off the roads and shelter in place as Hurricane Sandy approaches.  If residents are in need of emergency shelter, the following three overnight shelters are open:


White Oak Community Recreation Center

Accepting people and pets

1700 April Lane

Silver Spring, MD  20904

Mid County Community Recreation Center

Accepting people only—no pets

2004 Queensguard Road

Silver Spring, MD  20906


Bohrer Park Recreation Center

Accepting people only—no pets

506. S. Frederick Avenue

Gaithersburg, MD  20877


Individuals planning to go to a shelter should bring all medications, critical phone numbers and any comfort items such as personal pillows with them.  Residents taking their pets to the White Oak shelter are advised that the shelter will be capable of housing dogs, cats and small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits. The shelter will be staffed by the County Animal Services Division and the volunteer County Animal Response Team (CART).

The homeless shelters –Gude Men’s at 600 East Gude Drive in Rockville and Progress Place at 8210 Colonial Lane in Silver Spring are open and prepared to serve homeless individuals who arrive.

Montgomery County Public Schools

Montgomery County Public Schools will be closed on Monday, October 29 and Tuesday, October 30, due to emergency weather conditions. All school and community activities in school buildings are canceled. Administrative offices are closed Monday October 29.

Montgomery College

College closed Monday Oct 29 and Tues Oct 30 due to Hurricane Sandy. All classes/activities canceled.

Montgomery County Recreation Department

All Rec classes cancelled Oct 29 & Oct 30. Pools will hold classes.

Montgomery County Government to be closed on Monday, October 29

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that, due to the severe weather conditions the area will experience from Hurricane Sandy, Montgomery County government offices will be closed Monday, October 29 beginning at 7:00 a.m.  A decision for Tuesday, October 30, will be made at a later time.

Essential personnel must report to work.

Contact: Patrick Lacefield, 240-7776507;


Federal Government / Office of Personnel Management

OPM has determined that due to Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Government will be closed on Monday, October 29, 2012.

Montgomery County Urges Community to Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Residents reminded: Public schools closed Monday, Tuesday; Do not rake leaves onto street; trash/recycling/yard trim collections cancelled Monday, Tuesday; Early Voting Cancelled Monday; Shelters to Open Monday noon

In preparation for the arrival and impact of Hurricane Sandy, Montgomery County has issued the following updates and reminders for residents:

Public Schools Closed

Montgomery County Public Schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday, October 29 and 30. All community use activities in public schools are cancelled Monday and Tuesday, as well.

Scheduled Recreation Activities

All Montgomery Recreation scheduled activities are cancelled on Monday, October 29.

Alert Montgomery

If you have not done so already, it is important to sign up for Alert Montgomery at https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov.  Community members are advised to print out the safety messages currently posted on the County website, www.montgomerycountymd.gov  and on other emergency websites so they can be available for referral after power is lost.

Critical Safety Information

·        Dial 9-1-1 for a life-threatening emergency;

·        Call 3-1-1 (240-777-0311 from a cell phone) for questions regarding County Government services, programs and/or issues or go to www.MC311.com for online help.  MC311.com is available on smart phones. The MC311 call center will open at 6 a.m. Monday and be activated to provide information throughout the duration of the effects of Hurricane Sandy;

·        Call 301-279-8000 for police-related non-emergency calls.

Leaves, Trash and Recycling

In an effort to keep County storm drains open, residents are urged not to rake leaves to the curb or into the street.  The anticipated heavy rains are likely to wash any leaves along the edge of the roads into storm drains and clog the pipes worsening flooding in the County.  For more information, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste.  Residents are urged to clean their gutters before the rain begins.

Montgomery County has cancelled its trash and recycling collections on Monday and Tuesday.  If conditions have improved by mid week, the Division of Solid Waster Services will institute a “slide” — Monday customers will be picked up on Wednesday, Tuesday customers, on Thursday, Wednesday customers, on Friday; Thursday customers, on Saturday; and Friday customers on Sunday, with normal service expected to resume on Monday, November 5. If you (or your community) have a private contract for your trash collection, or if you live in a municipality, our schedule announcements may not apply to your trash service — check with your hauler or community manager.


Early Voting

Governor Martin J. O’Malley has announced that due to the storm, early voting on Monday October 29, has been cancelled. For more information and updates on Early Voting, visit www.777vote.org.

Ride On

Current plans call for Ride On to operate a normal schedule on Monday. However, residents are advised that schedules may change depending on the latest conditions


Beginning at noon on Monday, Montgomery County will open shelters at  the following locations: White Oak Community Recreation Center, people and pets, at 1700 April La. Silver Spring; the Activity Center at Bohrer Park for people only, at 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg; and the Mid- County Community Recreation Center for people only, 2004 Queensguard Rd., Silver Spring.

Those going to shelters are advised to bring prescription medicines, critical phone numbers, and any comfort items such as personal pillows. Residents taking their pets to the White Oak shelter are advised that the shelter will be capable of housing dogs, cats, and small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits. The shelter will be staffed by the County Animal Services Division and the volunteer County Animal Response Team (CART).

The homeless shelters –Gude Men’s, 600 E. Gude Dr., Rockville; Progress Place, 8210 Colonial La., Silver Spring; and Wilkins Avenue Women’s Shelter, 12250 Wilkins Ave., Rockville — are all prepared to serve those who arrive.

County Parking Lots and Garages

Montgomery County parking lots and garages will operate under normal rules.

Reporting Power Outages

Residents should report any power outages directly to their local power company:

·        PEPCO, call 1-877-737-2662 or go to the PEPCO website http://www.pepco.com/home

·        Baltimore Gas and Electric, call 1-877-778-2222 or go to the BG&E website http://www.bge.com/portal/site/bge

·        Allegheny Power, call 1-800-255-3443 or go to the Allegheny Power website http://www.alleghenypower.com

Drive with caution

Drive with caution. Avoid areas subject to flooding, including low spots, canals and streams. Do not attempt to drive on a flooded road, which could lead to becoming stranded or trapped because the depth of the water and the condition of the road is not always obvious.  Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers, downed wires and other hazards.


Reporting Downed Trees

For downed trees on public property, Montgomery County residents should call -3-1-1 starting at 6 a.m. on October 29 or 240-777-0311 from outside the county or from a cell phone, or file a report at www.MC311.com.  If live wires are involved, the tree is blocking a roadway, the tree is on a structure or if anyone is trapped under a fallen tree, call 9-1-1.


General Reminders

Use extreme caution when cleaning up storm damage on your property. Downed or damaged power lines can send electrical currents through tree branches and metal fences, so survey the area carefully – especially if you’ll be using a pruning pole, ax or chainsaw.

Have your emergency supplies conveniently located (create an emergency kit), non-perishable food ready (don’t forget baby food and pet food if needed) and make extra ice stored in plastic bags to use in a cooler

Keep up to date with local weather conditions by TV, radio, or website

Check on friends, neighbors and family especially our vulnerable population, to ensure they are prepared

Have an effective communication plan – text messaging can often get around network disruptions when a phone call can’t get through.



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