We’re signing off for the night after a whirlwind 39 hours of coverage here.
The Post will continue to keep you updated with the latest news in the aftermath of the storm, so stay tuned to washingtonpost.com for around-the-clock updates.
The rain is on its way out, but it’s going to be a chilly night and a brisk Halloween tomorrow. Everyone stay warm and dry and be safe out there.
Check these links for news on the latest closings, power outages and more:
Photos: Before and after Sandy
The rides I took my kids on this summer are in the Atlantic Ocean. #Sandy
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 30, 2012
In a Tuesday evening press conference, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg provided a status report on recovery efforts and praised the city’s resilience in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“I don’t think it’s any secret, but Sandy hit us very hard; it was a storm of historic intensity. But New Yorkers are resilient and we have seen an enormous outpouring of support from people eager to volunteer, donate and help out.
“We encourage people to register with NYC Service at www.facebook.com/nycservice, and we’ll be identifying opportunities for volunteers in the coming days.
“And we’ve received calls of support from people and leaders all over the world – including from the President and senior members of his staff.
“We have a plan for recovery, and that recovery is already beginning, I’m happy to say. It’s the beginning of a process that we all know will take a while, but this is the end of the downside, and hopefully from here it is going up.”
In addition to all the physical damage, Hurricane Sandy is wreaking havoc on the upcoming election. Early voting in many states was halted as officials scrambled to provide aid to those impacted by the storm.
So how did elected officials respond?
President Obama canceled a Tuesday campaign trip to Wisconsin to remain in Washington to monitor the storm, and he is headed to New Jersey on Wednesday to survey damage with Gov. Chris Christie (R) and thank first-responders. Christie, who hasn’t been shy about criticizing the president, praised the Obama’s response to the storm.
Read how Christie, New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and other elected officials responded to the storm here.
The Post’s Katie Shaver reports: Amtrak said it will provide modified service on the Northeast Regional line between Newark, N.J., and points south on Wednesday, including restoring Virginia service to Lynchburg, Richmond and Newport News.
Amtrak will also operate Keystone Service trains between Harrisburg, Penn., and Philadelphia, and modified Downeaster service trains between Boston and Portland, Maine, along with some overnight services to and from the Northeast.
However, due to an “unprecedented” level of water in the railroad tunnels in and around New York, there is no date for restoration of Amtrak service directly into New York’s Penn Station, officials said. Amtrak continuing to remove water and making repairs to track, signal and power systems within its tunnels under the Hudson and East rivers.
There will be no Northeast Regional service between Newark and Boston and no Acela Express service for the length of the Northeast Corridor on Wednesday. Passengers are encouraged to call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com/alerts for alerts and passenger notices.
If you’re returning to work on Wednesday, be aware that fallen trees along residential streets could force you to take a few detours.
The atmospheric ingredients that turned Hurricane Sandy from a typical late-season hurricane into one of the most devastating weather events in recent history left many metereologists predicting a “perfect storm.”
Now, in the storm’s aftermath, some are questioning whether global warming was a factor.
For more than a dozen years, climate scientist and Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer and other climate scientists have been warning about the risk for big storms and serious flooding in New York. A 2000 federal report about global warming’s effect on the United States warned specifically of that possibility.
Still, they say it’s unfair to blame climate change for Sandy and the destruction it left behind. They cautioned that they cannot yet conclusively link a single storm to global warming, and any connection is not as clear and simple as environmental activists might contend.
“The ingredients of this storm seem a little bit cooked by climate change, but the overall storm is difficult to attribute to global warming,” Canada’s University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver said.
Still, some scientists cite the higher sea level around New York, the temperature of the water and the overall increase in late-season hurricanes in recent years as signs that climate change is contributing to stronger storms.
Read the full story here.
All but one of Montgomery County public schools will open on their regular schedule Wednesday. The remaining school, Sligo Middle School in Silver Spring, was without power Tuesday evening.
Prince William officials said that all their schools would be open Wednesday after lights came on at the remaining school without power Tuesday.
We may not know your power is out unless you call us. Please contact Pepco at 1-877-737-2662, pepco.com, or using our mobile app
— Pepco (@PepcoConnect) October 30, 2012
If you know someone without power, please make sure they report it to Pepco at 1-877-737-2662, pepco.com, or using our mobile app
— Pepco (@PepcoConnect) October 30, 2012
The Coast Guard will continue its search Tuesday night for the captain of the HMS Bounty, the giant ship that sank off the coast of North Carolina Monday when Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard.
Helicopter rescue teams saved 14 of the 16 crew members Monday and later recovered the body of 42-year-old Claudene Christian.
From the Associated Press:
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Mike Patterson says the search for the HMS Bounty captain will continue through Tuesday night with a C-130 plane and 2 cutter ships.
Searchers hope that 63-year-old Robin Walbridge of St. Petersburg, Fla., has been able to survive in the relatively mild 77-degree waters of the Atlantic about 90 miles off Cape Hatteras.
The Post’s Paul Schwartzman reports from the foot of the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge:
As darkness sets in, the streets are sparse. The Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall subway station, normally thick with crowds going home at this hour, is a dark, shuttered stairwell. Across the street, the city’s Municipal Building, home to many of its agencies, is silent. There are people setting out to walk over the bridge. One man is carrying a flashlight.
Brian Laird, 37, a marketer, was trying to get a cab uptown to a friend’s for a shower and some light. He lost power Monday and lay around with his dog all day in his lower Manhattan apartment.
“I’m from Louisiana so I know about hurricanes,” he said. What he knew was he had to get out of his apartment. But $35 to get to 57th street, as one driver offered?
“No way,” he said. “I know price gouging.” He stuck his hand in the air, awaiting another offer.
Hundreds of residents of Breezy Point found their homes destroyed by a six-alarm fire that ripped through the beach community in Queens, Monday night and into Tuesday morning.
“We watched the whole place go up in flames,” resident Thomas Reicherter told the Associated Press. “It was hell night. It was the devil’s night.”
Here are more photos of the devastation.
By late afternoon, life was returning, but slowly, to the K Street corridor and downtown D.C..
At the corner of Connecticut Avenue and K Street a sign on the Starbucks indicated that the place was closed.
But whose fault was that?
“Don’t blame us,” the sign said. “Blame the weatherman.”
Atop buildings along K Street and intersecting streets, flags that had weathered the wind still streamed in the breeze. One office building in the 1700 block flew a flag tattered into two frayed banners.
The street was still far from the bustling corridor that is known in lore and legend. People in jogging clothes ran this way and that, unimpeded by any large number of cars or pedestrians.
The death toll from Sandy has risen to 40 in the mainland United States (109 including the Caribbean), with the reports of three more deaths by The Associated Press.
The Post’s Paul Schwartzman reports from Soho:
At Fanelli’s, open since 1847 at Prince and Mercer Streets, there were no empty stools as the bartender served by flashlight. Small candles burned on the bar. The power was out.
“Liquor, no food,” said Mark Michaelson, 56, an art director, taking a smoke break at the entrance. “A Jameson’s is like a sandwich.”
Alexandria Demitru, 31, a writer visiting from Chicago, sat in the dark drinking a glass of red. Her buddy, the man she came to NY to visit, went to work and left her in a darkened Soho apartment. “I needed some human contact,” she said, lifting her glass.
Arlington and Prince William County schools will re-open with normal hours on Wednesday morning.
From the Prince William County schools Web site:
On Wednesday, October 31, Prince William County Public Schools and School Age Child Care programs will open on a normal schedule with the exception of Buckland Mills Elementary School which will be closed. Buckland Mills School Age Child Care program will also be closed.
Here’s the full list of closings.
Large quantities of rain from Sandy that fell to our west and northwest are collecting in the Upper Potomac and this water is headed downstream. This will cause moderate flooding, the National Weather Service says.
A coastal flooding warning is in effect through 2 p.m. Friday in the Potomac for water levels 3 to 4 feet above normal.
There is a 10 percent chance of crossing the threshold for major flooding – the 10 foot level – at the Wisconsin Avenue gauge when the Potomac crests early Thursday morning. In this scenario, flood water would approach K St. in Georgetown. If the level exceeds 10.5 feet, flood waters would reach 17th Street and Independence Avenue along the Tidal Basin.
Upcoming high tides:
Washington Channel: 9:19 p.m. tonight and 9:48 a.m. Wednesday morning
Alexandria: 9:37 p.m. tonight and 10:06 a.m. Wednesday morning
As the long road to recovery after Sandy begins up and down the East Coast, there are numerous ways to aid the effort. WYNC public radio’s Web site has a few ideas for New York and New Jersey residents from donating blood and food to volunteering at shelters.
The Post’s Susan Svrluga reports:
Superstorm Sandy will cost Fairfax County an estimated $1.5 million, officials said Tuesday, although the cost of property damage to individual homes and businesses is not yet known.
But the fears of flooding have subsided and county spokesman Glenn Barbour said, “I think the worst is over.”
County government will be open Wednesday, schools will open on time and Halloween will go on, county officials said. They asked residents to be careful around debris and fallen trees if they’re taking their children trick-or-treating.
About 11 percent of Fairfax County is still without power Tuesday — more than 40,000 homes, and a couple of dozen schools. More than 50 homes were damaged by trees. Some 60 roads are still closed, and 50 signals out Tuesday afternoon.
Alexandria public schools will operate on a normal school schedule Wednesday, according to its website, but warned parents to “be patient” as scattered road closures could cause bus delays. A re-evaluation of schools with power outages or leaks will be done in the morning and any schedule modifications announced.
The Post’s Paul Schwartzman reports from Manhattan’s East Village:
In the East Village, more than a dozen people waited on line at the Village Farms grocery, where workers escorted each shopper for a flashlight tour of the aisles.
Around the corner, 37 people waited on line at a coffee truck, some amusing themselves by guessing how long it would be before power returned to their apartments.
“Four days? Thanksgiving? ” asked Zack Zavada, 29, a clothing salesman who said he could see a Con Edison transformer explode from his window last night.
So you stocked up for Hurricane Sandy in anticipation of a power outage — only to breeze through it with a few days off from work and school and a pantry full of non-perishables. Now What?
The Washingtonian’s Sophie Gilbert put together a list of ideas for your canned food, bottled water, flashlights and batteries.
The Post’s Stefanie Dazio reports:
Postal service has largely returned to normal for the Metro area, according to a U.S. Postal Service spokesman.
About 97,500 deliveries were not made Monday out of 7.7 million possible deliveries, according to spokesman George Maffett for the Capital Metro area, which includes Greensboro, N.C., Virginia, Maryland and the District. Many deliveries could not be originally made on Maryland’s Eastern Shore because of bridge and tunnel closures, Maffett said in an e-mail, but carriers were back in the area once access was restored.
Most area post offices are open, although some may be operating on emergency generators, Maffett said. Customers can check online to see if their offices are open.
Fairfax County, Virginia’s largest jurisdiction, re-opened for the business of voting on Tuesday, inviting voters to come from 4-8 p.m. to its central voting location — but not the seven satellite offices — to cast in-person, absentee ballots.
Did Hurricane Sandy live up to the hype? That’s a debate raging amongst Washingtonians.
I discuss Sandy’s forecast and the hype factor in a Capital Weather Gang blog post.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority just released this video surveying the damage at South Ferry and Whitehall Street station on the east side of Battery Park.
Many of the tunnels and stairwells are completely under water.
Before Sandy, it was an ordinary New York parking garage.
But after the storm, it looks like this:
There’s a dramatic difference between many images of New York and New Jersey from only a few days ago to the present. Take a look at some other before and after scenes of the destruction.
The Post’s Joe Stephens reports:
Tuesday afternoon, about 238,000 people in the Washington-Baltimore area remained without power. And in a turn-around from many past storms, the District and its Maryland suburbs were faring far better than other areas.
Pepco announced that it expected to have the lights back on for the “vast majority” of its 12,000 customers by 8 a.m. Wednesday, and that it would achieve full restoration by late Wednesday. Pepco outages peaked late Monday at about 44,000.
“The remaining damage to the system is relatively localized, with a lot of individual outages,” said Pepco regional President Thomas H. Graham. Company executives said they experienced about 10 times more outages after June’s Derecho storms. Pepco officials said that, in expectation of a harder blow from Sandy, they had requested more mutual aid workers from other utilities than ever before in Pepco’s history.
At Dominion Virginia Power, about 65,000 customers remained without electricity Tuesday afternoon, or about 8 percent of homes and businesses. Outages there had peaked at about 140,000 at midnight Monday.
“Dominion employees, retirees, contractors and crews from other companies are fully engaged in this effort, and work will continue around the clock until power is restored to every customer affected by this storm,” said Rodney Blevins, vice president of electric distribution operations.
At Baltimore Gas & Electric, outages stood at 149,000 on Tuesday afternoon, about 12 percent of its customers. That was down from a peak of 217,000 homes and businesses without electricity overnight on Monday evening. More than 4,500 field and support workers were helping with the restoration effort for BGE, which also has requested 3,000 additional out-of-state support staff.
The Post’s Caitlin Gibson reports:
Absentee voting hours at the Loudoun County Voter Registration Office in Leesburg are being extended to accommodate voters who were inconvenienced during the closures caused by Hurricane Sandy, officials said Tuesday.
The main office, located at 750 Miller Drive, SE, Suite C in Leesburg will now be open this week, Wednesday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The office will also be open Saturday, Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., officials said.
Absentee voting at satellite locations at the Cascades Senior Center in Sterling and the Dulles South Multipurpose Center in South Riding will also be available Wednesday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Absentee Voting Hours Expanded in Loudoun County 1.usa.gov/Ykad8y
— LoudounCo Government (@LoudounCoGovt) October 30, 2012
More information, including directions to voting locations, is online.
The Associated Press has reported at least 17 storm-related deaths in the state of New York including 10 in New York City. The New York Daily News has the details of several reported fatalities, including a woman who was electrocuted while photographing downed power lines.
In Richmond Hill, Queens, a 23-year-old woman taking cellphone photos of a power line that had caught fire suffered a horrific death after she stepped on a live wire on the sidewalk and fell to the ground, screaming.
“She was right on top of the live cables and they were just frying her,” said neighbor Renny Bhagretta, 44, who watched from his window on 134th St. Monday night. “She couldn’t move. She didn’t have a chance.”
Police, firefighters and Con Edison workers couldn’t get near the victim for almost two hours because cables strewn all over the road were still sparking.
Among the other deaths reported by the Daily News:
- An off-duty police officer drowned in his Staten Island basement after getting his relatives into the safety of their attic.
- A teacher and a companion were crushed by a tree while walking a dog on Monday night in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
- A 13-year-old girl’s body was found on a street in the Tottenville section of Staten Island. Her mother was critically injured and her father was missing, according to neighbors. The family did not evacuate the beachfront neighborhood despite pleas from their neighbors.
See the full breakdown of deaths by state and nation.
The Post’s Emma Brown reports:
All FCPS schools & offices will open on time on Oct. 31. Individual schools that may have power outages will be reassessed in the morning.
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) October 30, 2012
The Post’s Susan Svrluga reports:
After a day and night of pounding surf, surging bay water, 10 or so inches of rain, and winds whipping through, many in the Delaware beaches felt mostly relief Tuesday as they surveyed their homes and businesses.
“I thought for sure we would have a lot more damage,” Herrick said. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell lifted an evacuation order Tuesday for residents close to coastal and other flood-prone areas.
In Dewey Beach, roads were still closed for all but essential transportation Tuesday afternoon, but the water that had risen from the bay side had receded; the risk remained from all the debris that had blown down or washed up. There was damage to two restaurants, to their decks overlooking the bay, and to a marina that had boat damage, said Mayor Diane Hanson.
But homes were spared major structural damage. Bethany Beach had significant tidal flooding — with lots of water still on some roads Tuesday — but property damage was minimal. Recent dune replenishment along the beaches seemed to help prevent flooding and major problems from the ocean side, several people said. Gregory Ferrese, the city manager in Rehoboth who has been there 30 years — since Route 1 sliced through farmland — said if they hadn’t widened the beach last spring, he thinks a stretch of boardwalk on the north side of town would have been lost. “Considering the devastation around us, we were very fortunate.”
The death toll from Sandy has risen to 37 in eight U.S. states (106 including the Caribbean), with the reports of two more deaths. The Associated Press said the additional two deaths occurred in hard-hit New Jersey, raising that state’s total to five.
CSX estimated that freight rail traffic throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic would be delayed at least 72 hours due to the storm. The CSX shutdown also affects Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) trains on the Brunswick and Camden lines because those trains run on CSX-owned track.
As of Tuesday afternoon, freight trains still were not running on CSX tracks between Richmond and north of Albany, N.Y., said CSX spokesman Robert Sullivan. CSX suspended service at 3 a.m. Monday.
CSX crews are inspecting the rail network in areas affected by the storm, including those in higher altitudes that had significant snow. Crews are removing trees, bringing in generators and reinstalling crossing gates that were taken down before the storm, Sullivan said.
The Virginia Railway Express, meanwhile, announced that it will be running full service Wednesday.
The Post’s Caitlin Gibson reports:
The Loudoun Sheriff’s Office reported the following roadways closed as of Tuesday afternoon due to flooding or downed trees or power lines:
Watson Road/Evergreen Mills Road
Route 15/Lime Kiln Road
Tollhouse Road/Dutchmans Creek Road
Evergreen Mills Road at Goose Creek
Authorities also reported that Silcott Springs Road has limited access.
The Post’s Caitlin Gibson reports:
Loudoun County Public Schools will open on a one-hour delay Wednesday, schools officials said Tuesday. The delay will allow all bus pick-ups to occur in daylight, so that drivers can carefully check for any downed power lines, according to Wayde Byard, Loudoun schools spokesman.
Byard said power is expected to be restored to all schools by late Tuesday evening, with the exception of Lovettsville Elementary, which is part of a broader area outage. Dominion hopes to have power restored to the school before morning, Byard said, but the school will be prepared to relocate students should there be a continuing problem Wednesday.
More than 70 bus routes will be altered due to flooding, particularly in western Loudoun, Byard said.
The federal government announced that agencies in Washington, D.C. will be open Wednesday. Employees retain the option to take unscheduled leave or telework and must notify their supervisor if taking such leave. Emergency employees are expected to report to work at their regular sites unless directed elsewhere by their agencies.
The Post’s Miranda S. Spivack reports:
Prince George’s will reopen its public bus system on Wednesday, including The Bus, paratransit and senior residents transportation services, public works spokesman Susan D. Hubbard said. Hubbard provide this updated list of road closures due to high water and flooding:
Sunnyside Avenue from Edmonston Road to Rhode Island Avenue (Beltsville)
Contee Road at Mayfair Road (Laurel)
Queen Anne Bridge Road (Bowie)
Governor’s Bridge Road (Bowie)
24th Avenue (Mt. Rainier)
Buck Lane (Upper Marlboro)
Marlboro Race Track Road (Upper Marlboro)
Chrysler Way (Upper Marlboro)
Bonniwood Turn (Clinton)
Caltor Lane (Fort Washington)
Old Fort Road (Fort Washington) –reopened
Upper Marlboro MD 717/Water Street
MD 726/Green Landing Road at Hunt Club Road
MD 725/Marlboro Pike from MD 202/Landover Road to railroad tracks
The Post’s Colum Lynch reports from Brooklyn:
New Yorkers were reeling in the storm’s aftermath, struggling to restart their lives without light or fresh running water, and largely restricted to their own neighborhoods as the city’s subway transportation system came to a halt.
Businesses, apartment dwellers and home owners from Manhattan’s East Village to Brooklyn’s Red Hook were still pumping out flood waters from their basements and trying to salvage water-logged possessions.
The inconveniences were compounded by the risks of crossing the street in lower Manhattan, were streets lights were out, traffic cops were scarce, and pedestrians had to play a dangerous game of chicken with cars, yellow cabs and trucks speeding along First Avenue.
In Brooklyn, the coastal sections of DUMBO and Red Hook were inundated at the height of the storm surge.
The streets around Fairway Market and IKEA, the which mark the outer reaches of Brooklyn’s gentrifying neighborhoods, had been badly flooded.
Elizabeth Freund, 49, returned to her home in Red Hook this morning to find her bedroom and her daughters’ room in nearly three and a half feet of water. “My bedroom is floating, my office if floating, my daughters’ room is floating,” she said.
“That red bed spread is mine,” she said pointing to her basement living area. “Those are my clothes down there, there are all my files.”
Gino Vitale, a Brooklyn landlord who owns 25 apartment buildings in the area, said that 16 of them were inundated with water.
Vitale said many were hit even harder, with apartments on the lower lying streets around the block submerged in more than 8 feet of water. One of his renters phoned him in a panic around 7 p.m. Monday, as the water began pouring into her home. “She said ‘What do I do?’ and I said you need to get out of the house. The water was at 3 feet and by 9, it was over the fridge.”
David Borchon, 28, watched the storm from the 3rd floor of his family apartment at the Jacob Riis Housing Projects on the Lower East Side, as the water flooded 12th street, rising up to the top of cars and spreading to the Con Edison power station across the street. FDR Highway, he said, seemed to merge with the East River.
As the surge rose, the power station exploded, twice, leaving the entire area in darkness. “We heard it go boom; I saw a big green light; it shook the projects,” he said. Water was pouring into the building, cars were flooded to the roof. “We don’t have no water, no electricity; we can’t even flush the toilet,” he said. “And we’re not going to have water for five days.”
The Post’s Nikita Stewart reports:
District officials said that more than 2,000 people in the city remained without power Tuesday afternoon. They warned residents of “lingering effects” from the storm — including melting snow from West Virginia — that could lead to flooding in Georgetown and elsewhere on the Potomac.
Chris T. Geldart, director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said the public should be wary of possible flooding and urged people to remain off the streets Tuesday.
“Our main threats are continued flooding,” Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said.
D.C. Public Schools and city government will reopen Wednesday and Halloween will go on as normal; Gray said children should be accompanied when trick-or-treating.
As of Tuesday morning, 86 people remained in special hurricane shelters, he said.
Trick-or-treating is on in the District tomorrow, Mayor Vincent Gray said in an afternoon press conference. While Gray warned trick-or-treaters and their parents to watch out for debris, streets are mostly dry and should be safe ahead of tomorrow’s festivities.
Other Halloweens did not fare so well. In New York, the Mayor’s Office cancelled Greenwich Village’s Halloween Parade for the first time in 39 years. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tweeted that he would reschedule trick-or-treating by executive order if conditions required it.
No word yet on how many people plan to dress as Hurricane Sandy tomorrow.
Baltimore received 5.51 inches of rain Monday, the most since records have been kept. The previous wettest October day was Oct. 10, 1922 when 4.38 inches fell.
A tidal surge triggered by superstorm Sandy sent water overflowing a riverbank and gushing out of storm drains, quickly swamping two northern New Jersey towns and setting off a frantic rescue of people stranded in houses and rooftops.
Authorities said the body of a man was recovered from the river during the Monday overnight rescues in a flooded area just upstream. The rescue work continued into Tuesday afternoon.
Gov. Chris Christie said hundreds of stranded people were rescued when the tidal surge up the Hackensack River resulted in water overflowing a natural berm in the middle of the night.
The body was recovered just upriver in the city of Hackensack, where flooding also occurred but was less severe. The victim was not immediately identified, and county officials said they did not yet have a cause of death.
In Moonachie, a town of 2,700 about 10 miles northwest of Manhattan, police Sgt. Tom Schmidt said water rose to 5 feet within 45 minutes, making roads impassable and cutting off residents who thought the worse from superstorm Sandy was over.
Read more here.
View more videos at: http://nbcphiladelphia.com.
NBC10 in Philadelphia just posted this dramatic aerial footage of flooding in Long Beach Island, N.J., where Hurricane Sandy breached dunes and flooded streets on Monday. Long Beach is on the New Jersey coast about 45 miles north of Atlantic City. Most of the town appears to be underwater.
The Post’s Joel Achenbach sends us these photos shot around the District.
The Post’s Steven Mufson reports:
Three nuclear power reactors were shut down because of electricity issues during Hurricane Sandy, while a fourth plant, Oyster Creek in New Jersey, remains in “alert” mode because of high water levels in its water intake structure, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday.
The three reactors to experience trips, or shutdowns, during the storm were Nine Mile Point 1 in Scriba, N.Y., Indian Point 3 in Buchanan, N.Y.; and Salem Unit 1 in Hancocks Bridge, N.J., the NRC said.
Read the full story here.
The Smithsonian and National Zoo are scheduled to resume normal hours Wednesday, along with D.C. schools and government and a number of area bars, restaurants and concert venues. The Mall seems to have come through Hurricane Sandy without much damage. As for the zoo animals, keeper Juan Rodriguez said they weren’t bothered by the rain and spent the day “chill-axing.” Some photos from the very damp, but mostly undamaged, Mall below.
— Elissa Frankle (@museums365) October 30, 2012
— Elissa Frankle (@museums365) October 30, 2012
— Elissa Frankle (@museums365) October 30, 2012
Sandy has disrupted life up and down the East Coast for more than two days, causing fires, floods and snow and leaving millions without power. Take a look at some of the superstorm’s most memorable moments.
More than 162,000 Virginians were still without power on Tuesday afternoon, the majority — more than 92,000 — in northern Virginia, authorities said.
Power companies estimated most customers would have electricity restored by Thursday night. However, more customers were expected to lose power later this week in western Virginia, where snow is expected over the next couple of days.
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said the commonwealth is shifting from response to recovery on Tuesday as Virginia was “spared a significant event.”
“The worst is certainly over now for Virginia,” McDonnell told reporters at a briefing in Richmond. “God has really blessed us here.”
McDonnell said nine voter registrar’s offices are currently without power, and others have been closed during the storm. All registrars have been asked to stay open up to eight additional hours to make up for time citizens may not have been able to vote in-person absentee on either Monday or Tuesday.
“I don’t want anything to interrupt full participation in democracy,” McDonnell said.
The governor said 17 shelters in 13 localities were still housing 529 people as of noon Tuesday. He expected many of those people to begin returning to their homes later in the day.
In our Election 2012 blog, Rachel Weiner reports via the Wall Street Journal that the Queens home of Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) was destroyed in a fire that began during the storm. The representative and his wife were not hurt. More than 80 homes were destroyed in the fire.
Richard Shepherd, a 28-year-old British photographer, made this time lapse video of Hurricane Sandy using still images from the New York Times building’s webcam. The video records Sandy’s descent into New York, from noon on Oct. 29 to about 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 30. Be sure to watch the whole thing — while the image is grainy in the beginning, you’ll see pretty amazing cloud movements toward the end.
Mayor Gray announced that D.C. Public Schools and city governent will reopen tomorrow.
The Maryland Transportation Authority reports the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was closed for 18 hours and 15 minutes, the most lengthy period on record. The previous record was 16 hours and 50 minutes set during Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
The weather station on the Bridge clocked some impressive wind speeds:
Highest wind gust: 90mph
Highest sustained wind: 74mph
The strongest winds occurred between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday.
Hurricane Sandy has caused at least 37 deaths in eight states by Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total from the storm to 106 overall, according to news reports. Here’s the breakdown:
NEW YORK (17) — Police Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday confirmed at least 10 storm-related deaths in New York City. Police said that figure is likely to rise. The Associated Press reported seven other storm-related deaths statewide.
PENNSYLVANIA (5) –The deaths included an 8-year-old boy killed by a falling tree limb, the AP reported. A 51-year-old woman was killed when she lost control of her vehicle and it rolled over on a Sandy-slicked highway, WPXI reported.
NEW JERSEY (5) — The AP’s toll from New Jersey includes a 77-year-old man who was killed when a tree hit his home. Another tree fell on a pickup truck, killing a man and a woman.
CONNECTICUT (3) – The fatalities included a man last seen swimming in heavy surf, the AP reported.
MARYLAND, VIRGINIA (2 each)
NORTH CAROLINA (2) – The deaths included the body of one member of the HMS Bounty recovered after the tall ship sank at sea off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The skipper is still at large. Another 14 crew members were rescued.
WEST VIRGINIA (1 each) – CNN reported a woman died in West Virginia in a Sandy-related car accident.
HAITI – 52 deaths confirmed, the latest reported Monday morning.
CUBA – 11 deaths reported by state media.
BAHAMAS, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Two deaths reported in each nation.
JAMAICA, PUERTO RICO – One death reported from each.
As of midday Tuesday, Sandy was not among the 20 deadliest hurricanes recorded in the United States. According to a list by Weather Underground, the 1900 Great Galveston Hurricane was the deadliest, with a toll estimated at 8,000. The next deadliest were the 1928 Florida hurricane and 2005′s Katrina.
The National Guard posted a video capturing the devastation along the shore of New Jersey. The YouTube description says: “Aviators of the 1-150th Assault Helicopter Battalion, New Jersey National Guard, look for displaced residents along the coastline of Seaside Heights Oct. 30, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. (Video by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/108th WG/PA)”
Metro says trains are moving on all five lines. Remember, trains won’t run as frequently as they normally would on a weekday, but peak fares will still be in effect from 3 to 7 p.m. And some Metrobuses are encountering detours as a result of the storm.
As bus service resumed, Metro reports delays on the following routes: 89, 89M, C12, C14, D1, D2 and 4B. See specific detour details here.
Amtrak officials said they expect to announce later Tuesday afternoon when train service will resume between Washington and Boston.
That timing also will affect the Maryland Area Commuter Rail (MARC) service on the Penn Line, which Amtrak operates for the Maryland Transit Administration.
“We’d like to start limited service Wednesday, but I can’t say if or where that would happen,” said Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm.
Amtrak crews were out Tuesday repairing downed wires and removing trees from across tracks. Some tracks also have been flooded, Kulm said.
Train service has been affected as far as New Orleans, Chicago and Miami, he said. He said train service likely will be restored in pieces. “Where we can [restore service] we will while we continue working on other areas,” Kulm said.
— Katherine Shaver
Suzanne Sataline reports from New York:
The morning after the storm, many residents in Southern Brooklyn were without power and coping with debris that blew in, or rushed in, from the ocean’s surge.
Several residents of Sheepshead Bay, an old fishing community in southern Brooklyn, tried to ride out the storm in their wood frame homes and bungalows. They were inundated by fierce waves that surged in from Manhattan Beach, filling the bay and tearing through the narrow straights, said Ned Berke, editor of Sheepshead Bites, a news Web site that covers the neighborhood and environs.
“It didn’t seem as if anyone had prepared their homes before the storm came in,’’ Berke said. “They thought it was going to be like Irene.’’
By 5 p.m. people were palpably nervous and were feebly trying to secure their property and nail boards on windows, he says. “By the time we realized, ‘shoot this place is going to flood,’ it was too late. It was too dangerous to try to go outside.’’
At high tide, ocean water funneled through the bay, ripping apart a 100-year-old esplanade. Sailboats were cut from their moorings, while some sank. Storefronts filled with water and mud. The plate glass windows shattered at Tete A Tete Café on Avenue Z, which Berke described as “basically a fish tank,’’ filled waist high with water. Cars were submerged, leaving them coated with mud by morning.
By now we’ve all seen the sharks, the thunderous storm clouds over New York, and the giant waves crashing into Lady Liberty. Those photos are, sadly, either highly manipulated or taken from other events. But a number of truly astounding (real) images have also come out of Hurricane Sandy, like this photo of a 170-foot water tanker run aground on Staten Island. More so-amazing-they-could-be-fake photos below.
Ride On is resuming some service in Montgomery County at 4 p.m., operating on a Sunday schedule. (Head here to see if your route will run.) It will resume all routes on Wednesday.
MetroAccess remains closed for the rest of Tuesday and will reopen on Wednesday. The call center will be open on Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. to accept reservations for Wednesday trips.
All existing reservations and subscription trips will operate as normal when MetroAccess resumes on Wednesday. If you need to make a reservation for Wednesday, call 301-562-5360 and press “2″ at the first two prompts. Metro warns that high call volume could create long hold times.
You can also make reservations online here, but make sure they’re in by 6 p.m.
Maryland early voting resumes Wednesday and has been extended to make up for the two days lost to Sandy. You can read more on the Election 2012 blog: “Maryland early voting extended, resumes Wednesday.“
Much of the Hoboken, N.J. — at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan — was submerged under water Tuesday. Most roads into the city were blocked. This photo was taken by The Post’s Lisa Rein from Jersey City above Hoboken along the Palisades:
AccuWeather’s Jesse Ferrell summarizes the highest totals by state, so far (in some places it’s still snowing):
Redhouse, Md.: 26.0″ (Garrett county)
Bowden, W.Va.: 24.0″*
Champion, Pa.: 13.0″
Newfound Gap, N.C.: 18″
Wise, Va.: 24.0″
Gatlinburg, Tenn.: 17.0″
Payne Gap, Ky.: 14.0″
Bellefontaine, Ohio: 3.5″
That total in West Virginia is probably too low. Our eyewitness in Davis, W. Va. reports 28-30 inches and it’s still snowing. See the webcam image from nearby Canaan Valley Ski resort. White Grass cross country ski resort – also in that vicinity – reports 29 inches at 11 a.m. with more snow to come.
Here are some other local ski resort totals:
Wisp ski resort in western Maryland: 17 inches
Snowshoe ski resort in W. Va.: 19 inches
Seven Springs in Pa: 14 inches
Back in 2010, The Post’s Ed O’Keefe profiled FEMA Director W. Craig Fugate. At that time, here was Fugate’s approach to the job:
Fugate, former head of Florida’s emergency agency, believes strongly that state and local officials must lead in disaster response, so barking orders at them during a crisis isn’t his thing. But “sitting back here looking at computer screens, drinking coffee and using a flush toilet that works and not understanding the adversities they’re dealing with in the field” isn’t acceptable, either.
You can read the full profile here: “Director W. Craig Fugate refocusing a chastened FEMA.“
The facade of a four-story Manhattan building fell off Monday evening, leaving apartments visible from the street. Photos of the exposed building have been plastered all over the web today. This appears to be a video of the destruction:
In the lead up to Hurricane Sandy, D.C. residents stockpiled candles and flashlights, bought up every D-size battery from at least one local Target, and placed bets on how long Pepco would take to restore power. Then the storm came … and went. And for most District residents, the power stayed on.
Have I established deterrence with #Pepco? I publicly stated I would unleash barrage of mockery the instant power was off. Power stayed on.
— Aaron Mannes (@awmannes) October 30, 2012
For the first time almost ever in a storm, did not lose power. Those around us who lost got power back last night. Impressive, esp for Pepco
— James (@letzgoterps) October 30, 2012
That has many locals admitting grudging admiration for Pepco, the much-maligned utility company that’s taken serious flak in past storms. At the height of 2010′s “Snowmageddon,” almost 98,000 lost power; after last summer’s derecho storm, more than a million did. But with fewer than 3,000 outages in D.C. as of Tuesday afternoon, the public tone toward Pepco is changing. Washington City Paper even posted a congratulatory thank-you — “Props to Pepco (!)” — that made the Internet rounds this afternoon.
I never thought I’d say it, but great job with the power last night, Pepco! Hope everyone else in the area fared as well as we did!
— Chris Pulaski (@chrispulaski) October 30, 2012
SHOUT OUT TO PEPCO WHO HELD IT DOWN CAUSE I NEVER LOST POWER
— Dennis Reyes (@SithGangOrDie) October 30, 2012
— Stephanie Griffith (@steph_griff) October 30, 2012
It isn’t clear if Pepco actually handled Sandy better than past storms or if the company just got lucky. Still, widespread Pepco outages won’t be a story for this storm-cycle — a nice change for Pepco and its customers alike. At least until the next hurricane.
OK, @pepco. Don’t get too cozy here, but I appreciate that you were ready and my power never even flickered. Thanks! Now keep it up, right?
— Margaret Holwill (@HStreetDC_) October 30, 2012
Capital Bikeshare is reopening at 1 p.m., according to John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation.
However, the workers who move bikes to different stations to ensure that the most popular stations have bikes won’t begin working until 4 p.m. Typically, these workers rotate bikes to make sure that stations have the right number of available bikes and open docks.
It shouldn’t have a big impact on Bikeshare users, because these efforts are geared around movement that typically occurs during the morning and evening commutes. With so many people not working today, there won’t be the same need to empty out stations filled up in the morning and replenish the stations popular for workers heading home.
The Post’s Carol Morello just passed along this report:
Some area roads remained closed Tuesday due to high water, but the Washington region was largely spared the damage and danger caused by massive flooding. In Fairfax County: Authorities lifted a mandatory evacuation order for the flood-prone Huntington area around 10 a.m. Tuesday, saying that there had been no flooding. About 100 residents of two streets, Arlington Terrace and Fenwick Drive had been ordered to leave Monday night. Officials gave them the go-ahead to return home after high tide had passed. Officials also assured residents of Belle View and New Alexandria that they don’t expect flooding there. Still, about 90 roads were closed in Fairfax County, and 100 traffic lights were not working. In Alexandria: The city experienced minor coastal flooding. Union Street was blocked from Prince Street to Cameron Street, and King Street was blocked. In Prince George’s County: At least seven roads were closed due to flooding. In Prince William County: Most road closures were due to fallen trees or power lines, and officials said there had been no flooding issues. In downtown Annapolis: The harbor inundated an adjacent parking lot and flooded some nearby merchants, necessitating the closure of several surrounding streets. In some places, the water appeared to be about a foot deep. But many residents said they had expected worse, and said it was nothing compared to Hurricane Isabel, which submerged much of lower downtown Annapolis in 2003. In Loudoun County: At the height of the storm Monday night, around 11 p.m., two utility crew members with Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative were trapped in their vehicle by high water around Snickersville Turnpike and Gibbs Bridge Road in Loudoun County. Loudoun sheriff’s deputies and firefighters rescued them.
The often overrun areas of Huntington, Belle View and New Alexandria in northeastern Fairfax County were preparing for the worst today, in the aftermath of Sandy. But Fairfax Emergency Management Coordinator Dave McKernan just said in the county board meeting (noon Tuesday) that, “we dodged a bullet” with the weather and that no flooding is expected in those areas.
McKernan said the first damage estimate for the county is $1.2 million, which isn’t final but also isn’t that bad, and wouldn’t qualify Fairfax for federal aid. He said 54,377 customers remain without electricity, including a fire station in Clifton (on emergency backup) and the Lewinsville Senior Center. He also said 12 county facilities and 86 schools are without power, but Dominion is working on that. Schools in Fairfax are closed today.
In Virginia: Two people died in a traffic crash in Richmond Tuesday morning, the first fatalities in Virginia related to superstorm Sandy, officials told The Post’s Allison Klein. At about 1:23 a.m. a car failed to navigate a left turn and hit a light pole and two trees, killing the driver and a passenger, according to James Mercante, spokesman for the Richmond police department. The driver, Keith D. Fordham, 52, died at a local hospital, while the passenger, Michael T. Overton, 51, died at the scene, Mercante said. Both men lived in Richmond. Mercante said speed was a factor in the accident, as well as rain and wet pavement.
In Maryland: On Monday morning, a Montgomery County woman was killed in a head-on collision in Clarksburg on Monday morning. On Monday night, Donald Cannata of Pasadena was trapped and killed when a tree fell on his home Monday night, according to Anne Arundel fire officials. It happened at about 11 p.m. in the 7700 block of Suitt Drive, said Chief Michael Cox. Cannata is the first person in the region reported killed from such an accident during the storm.
The Post’s Lori Aratani reports:
David Mould, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which manages both Reagan National and Dulles International airports, said that flights may resume around mid-day on Tuesday.
United and Delta airlines have indicated they will likely resume flying and other international carriers including ANA, Ethiopian, Lufthansa, Austrian, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Qatar airlines say they will also begin operations out of Dulles.
Still, there are some cancellations. Porter, South African, Air France, KLM, Taca, Avianca and some of United’s international flights have been canceled. Copa, AeroMexico, British Airways, Scandinavian and Turkish airlines have not yet made a decision about their operations.
Mould said passengers should check with their airlines before heading to the airport. Both airports appear to have come through the storm with little damage. Crews are repairing a few damaged lights at Reagan National where they have also been some minor leaks in the terminal building.
Montgomery and Prince George’s county schools plan to reopen on Wednesday. School systems in Prince William and Arlington counties are still trying to make up their minds. In Arlington, seven of 29 schools were without power Tuesday morning, and some streets were still blocked by fallen trees, spokeswoman Linda Erdos told The Post’s Donna St. George. Officials were evaluating the situation and will make a decision later in the day, she said. In Prince William, building-by-building assessments were still under way shortly before noon Tuesday, said spokesman Phil Kavits.
Maryland has lifted the 45 miles per hour speed limit on all interstates and U.S. routes, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration.
This speed limit was enacted on Monday afternoon as officials urged drivers to stay home and off of the roads. But things are considerably different on Tuesday, as there has been an increase in traffic on the roads when compared to Monday, said Kellie Boulware, spokeswoman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.
Still, Boulware urged drivers to use caution and stay home if possible. Flooded roadways and dark traffic signals are still creating problems in the Washington region, she said.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley held a news conference Tuesday morning about the impact of Sandy in the state.
“We were prepared for the worst. We were spared the worst,” said O’Malley, thanking residents and emergency services personnel for “herculean efforts of coordination and cooperation.”
Here are the highlights from the press conference:
O’Malley said that there are 308,773 power outages at the time of the press conference. Residents are encouraged to continue reporting power outages. New reports may cause the total outage numbers to go up in the short-term, but O’Malley expects crews will “take a chunk out of outage numbers by nightfall.” He said crews have been out since dawn Tuesday morning making repairs. Garrett County, which has seen significant snowfall, is reporting the greatest number of outages, O’Malley said.
Traffic and transportation
O’Malley once again reminded drivers that if traffic lights are not working, they must treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
The state is in the process of restoring mass transit. Limited bus, subway and paratransit service is expected to be operational by noon Tuesday. Transit is expected to be fully operational Wednesday morning.
O’Malley reminded anyone using a generator to keep it outdoors and in a well ventilated area.
On Monday, a man suffered burns to his face when a leaking generator set fire to his home. On Tuesday, three people were hospitalized for apparent carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper generator use. For more information, check our generator safety guide.
Even as the rain subsides, flooding is expected to be a problem for quite a few days, O’Malley said. The Susquehanna River, in particular, is being monitored. Many homes in the state have been flooded or destroyed, O’Malley said.
Early voting will resume on Wednesday, O’Malley said. The state will make up for Monday’s cancellation by opening early voting centers on Friday. To make up for Tuesday’s cancellation, early voting centers will operate on extended hours — from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Aid to New Jersey
“What surprised me most was the pleasant surprise that we weren’t hit as hard” as expected, O’Malley said. He added that he hopes assets will soon be freed up in Maryland “to help our friends up in New Jersey,” which bore the brunt of the storm.
Hurricane Sandy shut down planes, trains and automobiles — but fierce rain and heavy flooding didn’t intimidate a few brave souls, who took to the streets on more unusual vehicles.
In Manasquan, N.J., a coastal town with strict evacuation orders and driving restrictions during the storm, an unidentified videographer cruises the flooded streets on jet-ski. Driveways, yards and sidewalks are completely underwater.
To the north in Rockaway, N.Y., a man pedals through at least a foot of standing water, oblivious to the abandoned cars around him. Watch to the middle, where a group of firemen cheer him on.
From Capital Weather Gang winter weather expert, Wes Junker:
Heavy snow continues in the mountains of West Virginia and Maryland. My colleague, Beau Dodson, has been taking pictures and reporting about his storm chase that led him to Davis, West Virginia. Davis is a small town located near Canaan Valley.
At 12:30 a.m. last night, he starting seeing lights flicker and transformers starting to flash. He reports it was windy with very heavy snow during the night and that he estimates 28-30 inches of snow has fallen so far.
Now, 80% of Davis without power and that a state of emergency has been declared and people there are not supposed to be on the roads. During his walk to take the following picture, he did not see any utility trucks.
Officials with the Virginia Railway Express and the Maryland Transit Administration say that VRE and MARC riders should expect information on Wednesday service later this afternoon.
Airlines are gradually resuming some service at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, according to Jonathan Dean, an airport spokesman.
Delta has a number of flights traveling this afternoon, while United has flights scheduled to arrive this evening.
Still, Dean warned that flights will be generally limited throughout the day. As always, check with your airline for the latest.
The D.C. Circulator will resume service on all routes at 2 p.m., according to the District Department of Transportation. There may be a limited number of buses and drivers available at that time, so riders might encounter waits and other delays.
The $15 taxicab surcharge authorized by the D.C. Taxicab Commission on Monday will expire on Tuesday at noon.
This emergency fare period, which began affecting cab rides beginning in the District on Monday at noon, is automatically set to expire after 24 hours. It can be canceled early or extended, but the Taxi Commission didn’t elect to do either of those things.
A man trapped in a flooding Lower East Side parking garage Monday made it out — but not before a resident in the building he supervised alerted the police, the fire department, and thousands of Twitter users to his plight.
That resident, 23-year-old Claire Schlissel, first called 911 when she heard that her supervisor was trapped in the parking garage at 90 West Street with one floor already completely underwater. After 911 put her on hold, Schlissel took the issue to the Internet.
911 is not answering. our super is trapped in the parking garage and needs help. 90 west st.
— Claire(@DJRumspringa) October 30, 2012
Users retweeted her call for help 631 times and replied with other emergency numbers and advice.
@djrumspringa call 311. 911 is overwhelmed with calls.
— Susan Diane Freel (@sfreel1) October 30, 2012
— Shugah (@Shugah) October 30, 2012
— Rachel S. Haot (@rachelhaot) October 30, 2012
Eventually, Schlissel got through to both 911 and @FDNY — though in that time, her supervisor managed to get out on his own. “The response on Twitter to my tweet was incredible,” she said. “Glad my story had a happy ending, and hope others who were in trouble were able to find safer ground.”
The car-sharing service Car2go, which launched earlier this year in D.C., resumed service on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
However, if you’re planning on using Car2go, take note of a few things:
The Post’s Allison Klein reports:
A Pasadena man was trapped and killed when a tree fell on his home Monday night, according to Anne Arundel County fire officials. It happened at about 11 p.m. in the 7700 block of Suitt Drive, said Chief Michael Cox.
The man, who police have not yet identified, was found dead in the home. Fire and police are investigating the case. While scores of trees have fallen on homes in the Washington area during Sandy, he is the first person in the region reported killed from such an accident during the storm.
New York City public school students get one more day off — but Montgomery County schools plan to reopen on Wednesday morning.
My colleague Donna St. George reports:
Montgomery County’s public schools will be open Wednesday, officials said. As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, 10 of the county’s 200 schools were without power, but officials were hoping those buildings would be up and running in time for the Wednesday school day.
If outages persist, individual school communities will be notified of the problem, said spokesman Dana Tofig. “We’re hopeful that all of those schools will have power tomorrow and that any damage or downed trees will be cleaned up by tomorrow,” he said.
Capital Weather Gang occasional contributor Matt Ross says flooding is underway with water in Old Town (pictured) on Prince and King streets near the river, advancing as far up as Union St. This morning’s high tide has passed but flooding may continue if the storm surge overcomes the drop in tide. The next high tide cycle peaks at 9:36 p.m. tonight. Levels are predicted to be 2 to 4 feet above normal throughout the day and a coastal flood warning is in effect.
Photo by Matt Ross
Some key points from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s briefing this morning:
* At least 10 people were killed in the city during the storm. In Queens, at least 80 houses were destroyed. And 750,000 households and businesses in the city are still without power.
* Schools will again be closed on Wednesday. Workers are encouraged to go to work if their offices are open — and they can safely get there.
* It’s unclear how long it will take to reopen the subway system, as the tunnels are flooded. Bloomberg says he hopes the roads will be clear tomorrow so buses can run. The mayor has lifted rules for cab drivers, allowing them to pick up multiple fares at one time from any part of the city.
* Runways at the airport at flooded and no flights are taking off or arriving. It’s unknown if any of the runways were damaged.
Air traffic is expected to resume this afternoon at Dulles and Reagan National airports, airport officials said.
Some airlines are expected to start operating after 11 a.m., Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority spokesman Rob Yingling said. A Delta flight from Atlanta is expected to arrive at 11:34 a.m. at Dulles, followed by a few other international flights, according to the airports information aid desk. Some international carriers are also showing on-time afternoon flights at Dulles, and travelers traffic is picking up at the airport with busier news and food stands after a relatively slow day yesterday.
Travelers are urged to contact their airlines before making their trip to the airport, said Yingling.
“Our airports did not sustain any damage nor any flooding so our runways are in good shape,” said Yingling. “It is a question of when the airlines are in a position to bring in the employees and be operational.”
Yingling said it is still unclear when flight traffic will return to normal at Dulles and Reagan National, particularly because the local airports are not the only affected by the storm and flights to other affected airports can be cancelled.
“Everybody took the necessary precautions and it looks like their efforts were successful,” he said. “We are looking forward to a smooth return to service at the airports.”
— Luz Lazo