*** IMPORTANT LINK: LIVE BLOG WITH CWG WEATHER UPDATES AND BREAKING STORM NEWS ***
11:55 p.m. update: One last check on the power before we sign off for the night shows outages are up to over 221,000 in the Washington area. With gusts to near 60 mph continuing a few more hours, that number is likely to rise some more. Good news is that winds during the daytime hours of Tuesday should be mainly below 35 mph - Pepco crews only work when winds are below that mark.
We’ll resume storm coverage on CWG at 4 a.m. In the meantime , follow the live blog for more storm updates through the night.
From 10:30 p.m.: Sandy is pummeling the area with raging winds and heavy rain, and will continue to do so for several more hours before starting to weaken late tonight. Temperatures in the 40s overnight and straight through tomorrow are plenty cold for those without power. We’ll see more rain tomorrow but not nearly as much as today, probably under 1”, and may even see some non-accumulating snowflakes north and west of D.C. Winds tomorrow should be a more forgiving 20-30 mph with some higher gusts.
Winds: Sustained winds are generally at 25-40 mph across the area with gusts over 50 mph common, and 60 mph gusts recently recorded at National and BWI. Strong enough to bring down trees, power lines, and the ‘A’ off the “USA Today” sign in McLean
Rain: Rain totals are nearing 4” at National and Dulles, and now over 5” at BWI. Many area WeatherBug stations are reporting 6-9”, and those totals could rise another 1” or so through the night.
Power: At last check, power outages were over 161,000 across Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the District. This is far below the number out during the June derecho and if we’re lucky we won’t even come close to the more than 1 million knocked out by the derecho. Of course, that’s not much consolation for those who are currently powerless, and we still have several hours to go of the storm’s worst winds battering vulnerable trees rooted in rain-soaked ground.
Potomac River Flooding: While the D.C. area may catch a bit of a break on power outages, flooding looks to be a different story. In fact, the National Weather Service is warning residents and businesses along the Potomac River of the worst flooding since 1996, late tonight through the week, especially Wednesday into Thursday.
Ocean City: As bad as it is here, things are much worse at the beach. In Ocean City, winds have gusted over 70 mph, a pier has been washed away, and the boardwalk is under water with benches being pushed around by the water (as seen on NBC4).
New York City: Ridiculous is the only word to describe what Sandy is doing to the Big Apple. The World Trade Center is flooded, there appears to have been an electrical explosion, and much of the Westside Highway is reported underwater. It will take weeks to months for NYC to fully recover.