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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 08/27/2011

Latest Irene news: Roads closed and airlines, trains and buses canceling service

For the latest Hurricane Irene news and information, stay with PostLocal and the Capital Weather Gang. For our rundown of what you need to know this weekend, head here. For the latest transportation updates, follow us on Twitter: @drgridlock.

Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina just after dawn on Saturday, with strong winds and showers quickly arriving in the Washington area. Flooding might be an issue on Sunday and into Monday’s commute.

Saturday’s transportation updates:

(Click here for updates from Sunday.)

AMTRAK CANCELS SERVICE ALONG MORE LINES

Amtrak is canceling more East Coast trains with service reductions and no trains operating in the Northeast on Sunday.

The cancellations include service for the Northeast Corridor (Washington – Boston), the Keystone Corridor (New York – Harrisburg, Pa.), the Springfield Line (New Haven, Conn. – Springfield, Mass.), the Empire Service (New York – Albany), the Vermonter (St. Albans, Vt. – Washington), the Northeast Regional services in Virginia and several long-distance trains.

BAY BRIDGE CLOSED

The Bay Bridge was ordered closed at 7:35 p.m. Saturday due to severe winds and unsafe driving conditions, the Maryland Transportation Authority announced.

The bridge is experiencing sustained winds of more than 62 mph with gusts of 72 to 80 miles per hour and will remain closed until conditions are deemed safe, officials said.

NO METRO SERVICE CHANGES PLANNED

Metro is still running on a regular weekend scheduled for the rest of Saturday evening and does not plan to close early, according to the transit agency. Metrobus ridership is light and there are minor detours on two routes due to downed wires, but service is operating on all routes.

D.C. CLOSES ROADS

The District Department of Transportation temporarily closed sections of Broad Branch and Kalmia roads at 3 p.m. due to the storm. Kalmia Road closed between east and west Beach drives, while Broad Branch Road closed from Brandywine Street to Ridge Road.

MARYLAND ROADS CLOSED

Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda is closed to traffic, according to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, Maggie Fazeli Fard reports. It’s closed from MacArthur Boulevard to River Road, and will be closed from River Road to Hillandale Road within the hour, according to the Maryland-National Capital Park Police.

Sligo Creek Parkway is closed between Old Carroll Avenue and New Hampshire avenues, according to the Maryland-National Capital Park Police.

Beach Drive is also closed in Maryland from the D.C. line to East-West Highway. It’s also closed in Rock Creek Park between Needwood and Avery roads.

VIRGINIA ROADS IMPACTED, CLOSED

The Virginia State Police responded to 152 traffic accidents and 83 disabled vehicles on Saturday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. There is one confirmed death involving an accident in Brunswick County, while a trooper was not injured when his vehicle was struck on I-85 in Dinwiddie County.

Browns Mill Road/Route 675 is blocked from Cromwell Road to Pennycress Lane/Rosewood Hill Drive due to flooding.

Carroll Avenue in Woodbridge is blocked by a fallen wire, Prince William County officials tell the Post’s Jennifer Buske. A tree fell on the power line and brought it down, but there are no reported outages as a result

AMTRAK, GREYHOUND SUSPENDING SERVICE

After running on a reduced schedule in the northeast corridor all day Saturday, Amtrak announced that it was cancelling all trains between Washington and Boston on Sunday, Ashley Halsey III reports. Greyhound suspended bus service between Richmond and Boston for the balance of the weekend.

CAPITAL BIKESHARE CLOSING AT 6 P.M.

Capital Bikeshare is closing at 6 p.m. tonight. All bikes out at that time can still be returned, but no new rentals will be possible.

BAY BRIDGE TRAFFIC LIMITED

Vehicles affected by cross winds were banned from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge as sustained winds topped 40 miles per hour and gusts approached 50 miles per hour, Ashley Halsey III reports. Authorities said they would close the bridge entirely if winds reached 55 miles per hour.

THOUSANDS WITHOUT POWER

More than 600,000 homes and businesses are now without power in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

SANDBAG DISTRIBUTION SUSPENDED AT RFK

The District Department of Public Works suspended sandbag distrubtion at RFK Stadium at 3 p.m. today. Anybody in line as of 3 p.m. would receive a sandbag, according to the agency.

AIRLINES CANCEL MORE FLIGHTS

Update: More than 8,300 flights have been canceled this weekend from North Carolina to Boston, more than 3,600 of them on Saturday alone, according to the Associated Press.

Southwest Airlines has canceled 400 flights along the eastern seaboard through Monday, while its subsidiary AirTran Airways has canceled about 300 flights during the same time period. Delta is canceling about 600 flights on Saturday and 1,500 flights between Saturday and Monday. They join JetBlue, which canceled 880 flights due to the storm.

AREA AIRPORTS REMAIN OPEN, FLIGHTS CANCELED

The three area airports remain open and have no plans to close today, though Washington and Baltimore aren’t exempt from the widespread cancellations.

Every flight scheduled to arrive at or depart from Baltimore Washington International Airport tonight has been canceled. (The airport’s Web site shows lists only one flight as on-time: a Southwest Airlines flight departing at 4 a.m. for Phoenix. Time will tell.)

Almost every flight arriving at Reagan National Airport tonight has been canceled, as have all of the flights originally scheduled to depart after 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Dulles International Airport’s Web site also lists a mixture of cancellations for flights originally scheduled to depart and arrive tonight.

“Airlines have canceled most of their service this afternoon at BWI,” airport spokesman Jonathan Dean said earlier today. There were no plans to close the airport unless there was an unexpected change in the weather. He said airlines indicated that they planned to resume normal operations Sunday afternoon, but that’s all dependent on the weather.

Dulles and Reagan National both remain open, with no plans to close either airport, said Courtney Mickalonis, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Obviously, that’s also dependent on the weather. They weren’t expecting a lot of passengers to be stranded overnight at either airport, because there was a lot of warning and people had time to make other arrangements, she said.

Head here for a full list of airlines serving Reagan National, Dulles International and Baltimore-Washington International airports, so you can contact your airline for flight and rebooking information. The information listed on airport and airline Web sites is helpful but not always up to date; it’s best to contact your airline directly to make sure.

NEW YORK SHUTS DOWN AIRPORTS

UPDATE: Teterboro Airport is open right now and will remain open until 10 p.m. tonight, according to the Port Authority.

The Port Authority will close the five main airports in the New York area to arriving flights beginning at noon today. That means John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, Stewart International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports will all be closed to arriving planes, which will in turn have a severe impact on a lot of other flights in a lot of areas. Head here for a list of airlines serving the three Washington area airports so you can contact your airline to see about your flights and rebooking.

TUNNELS IN NORFOLK AND HAMPTON ROADS

The Virginia Department of Transportation closed the Midtown Tunnel at 10 a.m. and closed the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel at 11 a.m. Drivers are warned to stay off the roads until the storm passes.

MARYLAND COMMUTER SERVICES

The Maryland Transit Administration is suspending all services Saturday evening. Light Rail will stop operating at 6 p.m., followed by local bus and subway service at 9 p.m.

INTER-CITY BUS TRAVEL SCRAPPED

BoltBus is suspending all service today at different times for different routes. All service has already been canceled for Sunday. (For questions about your specific route, use their site or Twitter.) Megabus has canceled all routes to and from Washington, New York, Philadelphia and Boston for Saturday and Sunday. A full list is here. (To check about refunds and rebooking, head to their site, Facebook page or their Twitter.)

By  |  11:44 AM ET, 08/27/2011

 
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