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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 07/08/2011

Storms cause power outages, flight delays and commuting challenges

[This post has been updated]

Storms pushing through the region caused power outages and delays for commuters traveling on all modes of transportation Friday.

Post weather editor Jason Samenow said that a flash flood watch was in effect through late Friday.

Earlier, the region was also seeing power outages sweep from west to east with the storms. However, as of 7 p.m. the major power providers were reporting less than 10,000 customers affected. The majority were Pepco customers concentrated in Prince George’s County, where about 4,500 customers were without power. The number had dwindled from more than 15,000 at the height of the storm.

“Today’s severe weather and rush hour traffic has made our restoration effort a challenge,” Thomas Graham, Pepco Region president, said in a statement. “Our restoration effort is well under way.”

The storms were wreaking havoc on the roads, and were capable of producing two inches of rain an hour, with the potential for lightning, hail and damaging winds, the National Weather Service said. Emergency personnel cautioned people in some areas to avoid driving.

Some Maryland Area Regional Commuter trains on the Brunswick Line were also reporting delays. CSX, which owns the tracks, had issued flood restrictions requiring trains to travel at slower speeds. The Maryland Transit Administration warned commuters to expect delays, some of which were running more than 30 minutes.

Norfolk Southern also imposed speed restrictions on its tracks causing Virginia Railway Express trains on the Manassas Line to slow to 15 mph. Officials there warned commuters to “expect significant delays.”

Traffic on the Bay Bridge was operating under wind warnings, as the Maryland Transportation Authority reported sustained winds of 30-39 mph. Drivers were advised to proceed cautiously.

Metro reported a temporary power outage Branch Avenue Station on the Green Line. Officials also briefly reported delays on the Red Line due to a power problem at Rockville, where the transit authority was unable to maintain power on both tracks. Trains single-tracked for a short time between Rockville and Shady Grove.

Delays were also affecting the region’s three major airports, a problem that rippled up the East Coast all the way to Logan airport in Boston. The Federal Aviation Administration was reporting delays of more than an hour in some locations with ground stops in effect at some airports.

RESOURCES

Here are some resources for reporting power outages, downed trees and debris in roadways.

Utilities

BGE outages: 877-778-2222; downed wires: 800-685-0123; outage map

Dominion outages and downed wires: 866-366-4357; outage map

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative outages and downed wires: 703-335-0500; outage reports

Pepco outages: 877-737-2662; downed wires: 202-872-343; outage map

Washington Gas: 800-752-7520

Downed trees and debris in roads

Anne Arundel County: After hours, 410-222-6120; northern district, 410-222-6120; central district, 410-222-7940; southern district; 410-222-7940; Annapolis; 410-263-7870.

Arlington County:703-228-6527; after hours, 703-558-2222.

Calvert County: 410-535-1600.

Charles County: 301-932-3450 or 301-870-2778.

The District: 311; clogged storm drains, 202-612-3400.

Fairfax County: 703-324-5033 (Public Works); 571-350-1000 (Emergency Management); 703-383-VDOT.

Howard County: 410-313-3440.

Loudoun County:703-777-0333 (Emergency Management); 703-383-VDOT.

Maryland state: 800-543-2515.

Montgomery County: 240-777-6000.

National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/state/dc/

Prince George’s County: 301-499-8520; after hours, 301-499-8600.

Prince William County: 703-792-7070 or 703-383-VDOT.

Virginia State: 703-383-VDOT.

Road conditions

Live traffic map | Maryland | Virginia

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By Washington Post Editors  |  12:21 PM ET, 07/08/2011

Categories:  Commuting, Weather | Tags:  Weather

 
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