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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 04:43 PM ET, 08/25/2011

Metro gets ready for Hurricane Irene

Two days after an earthquake shook the Washington region, Metro said it is getting ready for another act of Mother Nature — Hurricane Irene.

The storm is expected to hit the D.C. region this weekend with heavy rain and wind.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the transit agency is participating in a conference call with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to “ensure a coordinated response.”

More than 2,000 sand bags are being placed at some Metro stations to prevent water from cascading down the escalators and into the stations.

The stations that have sandbags being placed at them include: Cleveland Park, King Street, Southern Avenue, Navy Yard, Federal Triangle, Foggy Bottom, Largo Town Center and Stadium-Armory. They’ve had issues with flooding previously, officials said.

Metro crews will check drains in advance of the storm and monitor them throughout the weekend. Chain saws are being put on certain vehicles for use if there are downed trees.

The agency is also scheduling additional personnel to work throughout the weekend.

“We’re putting all of our resources in place to address any issues that arise out of the extreme weather conditions this weekend,” said Metro General Manager Richard Sarles in a press release.

The agency said it plans to update customers throughout the weekend with information on its Web site, Twitter feed and e-mail alerts.

Metro is opening at 5 a.m. Sunday and plans to have added personnel to help get the tens of thousands of people downtown for the dedication ceremony of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Metro gave a number of tips and warnings to customers traveling on trains during the storm. They include:

• Metro buses and MetroAccess, the door-to-door service for those with disabilities, will detour around downed trees and flooded streets, if necessary, so allow for additional travel time.

• Use caution when on wet surfaces such as platforms and escalators.

• Do not carry open umbrellas in the rail system.

• Customers should stand back from platform edges or curbs, especially given the likelihood of high winds during the storm.

• Passengers riding Metro buses may not get reliable results from the NextBus system, which monitors when the next bus will arrive, because of extreme road conditions.

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By  |  04:43 PM ET, 08/25/2011

Categories:  Metro

 
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