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
Winds have steadily slackened since around midnight last night. While still gusty in the D.C. area (15-25 mph, with some higher gusts), they no longer meet advisory criteria (gusts over 45 mph).
Metro is restoring only limited bus and rail service on Tuesday at 2 p.m., but that doesn’t mean the cost will be any lower for riders.
Fares at Metro’s stations and parking garages will be the usual weekday rates, with peak fares being charged between 3 and 7 p.m. This is because changing the fares takes several hours for testing and implementation, and Metro doesn’t have enough time to make these changes by the time peak fares kick in, said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.
Trains will run less frequently than they would on a normal weekday, but they will still operate slightly more often than on a Sunday, Stessel said.
He said Red Line trains will run every seven to eight minutes, while trains on the other four lines will operate every eight to 15 minutes.
One big difference for riders: Unlike a normal weekend, there’s no track work, so at least riders can avoid those delays. Some trains could encounter minor delays if debris or leaves gets blown onto the tracks, Stessel said.
Trains will begin test runs on the tracks at noon. Stessel said that once the system reopens at 2 p.m., it might take about 30 minutes for the first trains to service all of the stations.
The Post’s Caitlin Gibson reports:
Loudoun authorities reported that two utility crew members with Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative were trapped in their vehicle by high water on Snickersville Turnpike and Gibbs Bridge Road around 11 p.m. Monday. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Loudoun Fire and Rescue responded to the call, according to Liz Mills, spokesperson for the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office.
Between 8 a.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday, Loudoun authorities reported seven accidents, 13 disabled vehicles and 118 roadway obstructions due to the weather generated by Sandy. Authorities also responded to several reports of trees falling on homes, but there were no injuries reported; in one case, a family was evacuated from their house, Mills said.
Authorities continue to monitor rising water in Goose Creek, which prompted the shutdown of Route 15 early Tuesday. Officials said about 9,000 people were currently without power in Loudoun, with most outages concentrated in the western part of the county.
(For more updates, check out The Post’s Loudoun County page.)
Nearly 2.7 million New Yorkers will struggle to get to work for the indefinite future, as the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority scrambles to fix damage to flooded subway lines.
In statements this morning, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota repeatedly emphasized that the system has “never faced a disaster as devastating” as Sandy and offered no timeline for reopening the subway. Current estimates range from 14 hours to four days just to clear water and debris from the tunnels; the MTA must also examine more than 600 miles of track for damage.
In a city where more than 30 percent of residents commute by public transportation, that time is costly. Some of the city’s largest financial firms, like Citigroup and JP Morgan, asked employees to work from home on Monday. The New York Stock Exchange closed for the second day in a row on Tuesday, the first time it’s done so for weather reasons since 1888.
Of course, those macro numbers don’t begin to get at the inconvenience to the average New Yorker, more than half of whom do not own cars. Until subway and bus service resumes, the city’s 2.7 million public-transit commuters can’t do much but carpool, walk or bike to work.
The Post’s Cindy Boren writes:
The Nets’ regular-season debut in their glittering new arena in Brooklyn is up in the air because of the devastation wreaked on the Northeast by superstorm Sandy. The Nets are scheduled to open against the New York Knicks on Thursday in the Barclays Center, but the league, according to the New York Times’ Howard Beck, is considering its options. “Tonight’s games will be played,” Tim Frank, the league’s vice-president of communications, told Beck. “We are still assessing the situation with regards to the rest of the week.”
You can read more here: NBA “assessing” whether to postpone Knicks-Nets opener because of Sandy.
Another update from The Post’s Allison Klein:
A person died in a house fire in the Fairlington area of Arlington County Tuesday morning, officials said.
Firefighters were called to the 2900 block of Buchanan South Street at 7:25 a.m. for what turned out to be a two-alarm fire. After they knocked down the flames, they discovered a person dead inside the home, said Arlington Fire Capt. Gregg Karl.
He said the fire department and police are investigating the case, and whether it was related to the storm. “It’s too early to try to make that determination,” Karl said.
The Post’s Jeremy Borden has filed another update from Maryland’s Ocean City:
The western portion of Ocean City, which sits along the Chesapeake Bay, experienced severe flooding of about 7 feet, with water flowing into low-lying structures, town officials said at a press conference Tuesday morning. But Mayor Rick Meehan said the town was “fortunate” not to have suffered more. The town’s boardwalk suffered little damage. There were also no fatalities and injuries. Nearly 50 people were relocated during the storm when waters began to rise. “I think the bullet came,” Meehan said. “I think we were prepared and that’s what helped us survive.”
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is live now with an update on the aftermath from Sandy:
Up and down the East Coast, more than 7.5 million homes, businesses and other establishments are without power.
Here in the Washington area (District, Northern Virginia, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties), about 144,000 customers were without electricity as of late morning, according to The Post’s outage tracker. That’s down from more than 220,000 late Monday.
The breakdown, from the five utilities serving the region: 115,000 in Northern Virginia, 26,000 in the two southern Maryland counties and 3,402 in the District.
Nationwide, the big outages are in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Here’s a look at state-by-state damage.
The week before the election is a key time for voters to cast their ballots early — and Sandy has wreaked havoc on that. There is no early voting in Maryland today, and many counties in Virginia also canceled.
The Post’s Laura Vozzella, who writes about Virginia politics, explains:
Most polling places around Virginia were open Tuesday, but some of those that remained shuttered were in vote-rich Northern Virginia, a potential disadvantage for President Obama, who swept the region four years ago and won a sizable margin in absentee voting. Polls were closed in Accomack County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, Tazewell County and Wise County, the State Board of Elections announced.
Bolt Bus just tweeted that all buses are still canceled for today. No decision has been made yet regarding Wednesday’s trips.
While showers remain in the area, rainfall totals have generally been in the 4-8 inch range in the D.C. area. A few spots southwest of town picked up just 2-4 inches, whereas a few spots near the Chesapeake Bay received 8-10 inches. These totals are very close to what were forecast.
Here are a few select totals:
Aspen Hill (Montgomery co.): 6.14″
Lorton (Fairfax co.): 5.28″
Reagan National: 4.62″
Peak winds in the immediate metro region were generally around 60 mph, increasing to near 70 mph near the Bay. These were also in the range of what we predicted but closer to the low end rather than the end, a key reason why power outages numbers were not as bad as some feared locally.
Here are some of the peak gusts as reported by the National Weather Service:
* 71 MPH WIND GUST AT BISHOPS HEAD MARYLAND AT 543 PM.
* 74 MPH WIND GUST AT POINT LOOKOUT MARYLAND AT 620 PM.
* 76 MPH WIND GUST AT LAYTONSVILLE MARYLAND AT 9:13 PM.
* 60 MPH WIND GUST AT ORIOLE PARK IN BALTIMORE MARYLAND AT 500 PM.
* 58 MPH WIND GUST AT PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION AT 638 PM.
* 79 MPH WIND GUST AT THOMAS POINT LIGHT ON THE BAY AT 9:00 PM.
* 60 MPH WIND GUST AT REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT AT 951 PM.
* 60 MPH WIND GUST AT MARSHALL BWI AIRPORT AT 1023 PM.
* 63 MPH WIND GUST AT FORT BELVOIR VIRGINIA AT 9:29 PM.
* 60 MPH WIND GUST AT MARTINSBURG WEST VIRGINIA AT 8:33 PM.
(image courtesy Weather Underground)
Metro will resume limited bus and rail service at 2 p.m. Robert Thomson, the Post’s Dr. Gridlock, has more on this service restoration:
We’ve never had a storm strike us like this, so the impact on transit was unpredictable. Metro could have wound up dealing with hundreds of stranded bus riders spread across the entire region with no fallback way of getting them to where they’re going or getting them home.
If power problems stranded even one train, that could have seriously taxed emergency responders at the height of a hurricane.
During the blizzards, when Metro warned of a possible shutdown but didn’t know when it might occur, it was very difficult and stressful for people to plan their rides. People didn’t know when or where they might be left stranded by a service shutdown.
For more, head over to Dr. Gridlock.
Downed trees remain a major problem in the region. The District Department of Transportation had 237 tree-related requests in this morning, and crews were beginning to fan out and respond.
Here’s one such fallen tree in the 1900 block of 18th Street NW:
— DDOT DC (@DDOTDC) October 30, 2012
The National Weather Service has announced a blizzard warning for parts of West Virginia, with more than two feet of snow reported in some areas of the state. Between today and 4 p.m. Wednesday, Fayette, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Randolph and Webster counties can expect to see an additional 18 to 24 inches of snow. More than 30 roads are closed already, and power is down for 205,000 customers.
— Dusty (@politicaldusty) October 30, 2012
Snowing in West Virginia….. Was not expecting that when I looked out the window this morning twitter.com/k_whatthebeck/…
— kylie not kyle(@k_whatthebeck) October 30, 2012
— Julie Merklin(@jmmerklin) October 30, 2012
WV baby! instagr.am/p/RaKqTsxnIJ/
— Michael Kelley (@yourfavhonkey) October 30, 2012
— Shawna S Monroe (@ShawnaSMonroe) October 30, 2012
Here’s another update from The Post’s Allison Klein:
A man was found dead in Old Town Manassas Tuesday morning, police said. He was discovered at about 7:30 a.m. in the 9000 block of Church Street. Manassas authorities said police are investigating how the man died, and whether his death was related to the storm.
The Post’s Miranda S. Spivack reports:
Prince George’s County spokesman Scott Peterson said Tuesday morning that the county had largely dodged major damage from Sandy, although many residents were without power and several roads remain closed due to flooding.
“We had about eight trees down countywide,” he said.
Here is a list of closed roads:
- Sunnyside Avenue from railroad tracks to Kenilworth Avenue and also at Rhode Island Avenue in Beltsville
- Governor’s Bridge Road in Bowie
- Bonniwood Turn in Clinton
- Brock Bridge Road in Laurel
- Contee Road at Mayfair Road in Laurel
- Leeland Road from Church Road to railroad tracks in Mitchellville
And three state roads are also blocked:
- Rt 198 at Old Gunpowder Road in Laurel
- Baltimore Avenue at Muirkirk Road in Laurel
- Water Street in Upper Marlboro
The Post’s Katherine Shaver reports:
The closure of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for about 15 hours is believed to be one of the longest periods it has ever been shut down because of bad weather since its construction in 1952, said Cheryl Sparks, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transportation Authority.
Sparks said authority policy calls for closing the bridge when wind blows at a sustained 55 mph or when there are three gusts of 55 mph or more within 10 minutes. Three other bridges — the Thomas J. Hatem Bridge, the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge — also closed during parts of the storm.
Sparks said none of Maryland’s other toll roads, highways or bridges sustained significant damage.
She said authority officials will continue to monitor winds throughout the day to see if closures are again warranted.
“We’re still in the mode of watching the tail end of this storm,” Sparks said.
Here’s an update from Annapolis from The Post’s John Wagner:
In downtown Annapolis, the harbor spilled into an adjacent parking lot, flooded some nearby merchants and closed a couple of surrounding streets.
Water in the parking lot adjacent to “Ego Alley” appeared to be about a foot deep. Storm Bros. Ice Cream Factory was among a row of water-logged shops and restaurants. A pump there was spewing water back out an open window.
A dinghy dock at the head of the alley was submerged, but the water stopped well short of the iconic Market House, a traditional yardstick for how bad flooding has become. Shallow floodwater also extended toward the nearby Naval Academy but appeared to stop at the property’s edge.
All things considered, most onlookers Tuesday morning said they were surprised they didn’t see much worse.
“This is pretty much typical,” said Pat Horm, 64, an Annapolis resident since 1987. “This can happen here after any big rain storm. … Isabel was clear up the street.”
She was referring to Hurricane Isabel, which submerged much of the lower part of downtown Annapolis in 2003. Photos of that storm remain on sale at several downtown shops. This was nothing like that.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) reminded Maryland drivers not once but twice this morning that when they came to an intersection without working traffic lights, they need to treat it as a four-way stop.
Reminder: Treat non-working traffic signals as a four-way stop. #MDSandy
— Martin O’Malley (@GovernorOMalley) October 30, 2012
Was just asked by a local official on a call to send this reminder again: If you get to an intersection w/out power treat it as a 4-way stop
— Martin O’Malley (@GovernorOMalley) October 30, 2012
Up until this morning, the storm’s winds – mainly from the north – had been pushing water out of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal Potomac. Now they are shifting around, coming from the south, and waters are rapidly on the rise.
Writes a forecaster from the National Weather Service:
THE BALTIMORE/ANNAPOLIS HYDROGRAPHS MAY BE THE MOST AMAZING HYDROGRAPH I`VE EVER SEEN – WATERS LEVELS JUMPED LIKE A ROCKET IN A 4 HOUR PERIOD.
Water is piling into the Chesapeake Bay, through Annapolis and Baltimore Harbor, and into the Potomac.
A coastal flooding warning is in effect through 8 a.m. Wednesday for water levels 2 to 4 feet above normal. On the Potomac, one high tide is occurring now in Alexandria and the District, with reports of levels near flood stage.
Some key high tides (consult warning statement for full list) moving forward:
Washington Channel: 9:08 a.m. (already passed), 9:19 p.m. tonight
Alexandria: 9:26 a.m. this morning and 9:37 p.m. tonight
Annapolis: 6:44 p.m. tonight and 6:23 a.m. Wednesday morning
Fort McHenry Baltimore: 8:59 p.m. tonight
(Pictured: hydrograph for Alexandria, showing rapid increase this morning from below normal levels to nearly flood stage. Click to enlarge)
The vapors from a leaking power generator reportedly ignited in St. Mary’s County Monday afternoon, setting fire to a home and burning a man’s face.
Local news agencies reported that the accident happened shortly after 3 p.m. at a home on South Pembrook Drive in Leonardtown, Md.
The generator had apparently been leaking fuel and was brought inside the home, to the basement, for repairs. TheBayNet.com reports that the electric sump pump automatically turned on and caused the fuel vapors to ignite.
Kelly Jung, 48, was injured in the incident, the Web site said. He reportedly suffered first- and second-degree burns to his face and was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The fire caused an estimated $15,000 in damage to the house.
This was the first of two reported generator accidents in Maryland this week.
Three people in Howard County suffered from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning early Wednesday morning after running a generator in an unventilated area, officials said.
Metro will restore limited bus and rail service on Tuesday at 2 p.m, with normal service expected to begin on Wednesday morning.
Metrorail and Metrobus will both operate today on Sunday service levels. This means trains and buses will not arrive as often as they normally would on a weekday, and certain bus routes will not operate. MetroAccess remains canceled for the day and will resume on Wednesday.
Expect to experience delays as a result of the storm. Buses could encounter flooding, downed trees or power lines.
Here’s some very important holiday news from The Post’s Allison Klein:
What will happen to Halloween tomorrow post Sandy?
In storm-ravaged New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to reschedule it if necessary. He tweeted: “If conditions are not safe on Wednesday for Trick or Treating, I will sign an Executive Order rescheduling.”
Around the D.C. area, many neighborhoods will probably overlook soggy conditions and have Halloween as scheduled. And at least one mall in Virginia says Halloween is on.
Fair Oaks Mall will open at 2 p.m. Tuesday, and host its Mall-O-Ween Wednesday night, complete with fountains transformed into bubbling cauldrons and trick-or-treating.
The Maryland Transit Administration will begin limited service for the local buses, the Baltimore subway and mobility/paratransit trips it operates.
MARC trains and commuter buses remain suspended for the day. The MTA will have information on when that service will resume later today.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge has reopened in both directions, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority. Wind warnings are still in effect, so use caution.
Sports columnist Sally Jenkins filed this dispatch from New York’s Sag Harbor:
The Hamptons, the ocean-front vacation spot of hedgies, entertainers and old money, lost power at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday when Sandy’s leading edge grazed Long Island. Many of the communities were cut off by downed oak trees that lay across the privet-lined two-lane roads.
In the bay-front village of Sag Harbor the combination of flood and downed trees and power lines meant residents would be without power for seven to 10 days,mayor Brian Gilbride said via radio early this morning.
The District Department of Transportation reports that conditions are fairly good on D.C.’s roads this morning.
Just one intersection is without power in the District. It’s at Minnesota Avenue and Ely Place SE, so use caution near that spot.
DDOT received 237 tree-related service requests, and most of those locations still need to be checked out, said spokesman John Lisle.
“It obviously could have been a lot worse” in the District, Lisle said. “In terms of the signals out and power outages I’ve seen, it doesn’t look that overwhelming.”
The Potomac River rose six inches in the 7 a.m. hour and is less than a foot from overflowing its banks, according to observers in Georgetown. The National Weather Service predicted last night that the river would suffer its worst flood since 1996, beginning last night and continuing throughout the week, with the highest water on Wednesday and Thursday.
On Tuesday the river will reach high tide shortly after 9 a.m.
— Dave Dildine (@ddildine) October 30, 2012
— Mark Segraves (@SegravesWTOP) October 30, 2012
— Jessica Doyle (@financialista) October 30, 2012
The waters are also rising in Southwest and Anacostia; all told, the Potomac could peak two to four feet above its current level.
— Jeff Aitken (@JMAitken) October 30, 2012
Robert Thomson, the Post’s Dr. Gridlock, gives drivers some advice on being out this morning:
I do have two safety messages: Can’t people lighten up their wardrobes? Everyone I saw when I was driving was in dark clothing. People are making their usual mid-block crossings and are practically invisible. The sky is lightening but the day will remain gloomy. Plus, the rain limits visibility.
Also, drive slowly and avoid hard braking. Many leaves came down in last night’s rain and wind, creating a slimy mess on local streets.
For more, read his entire post.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) clarified on CNN this morning that it was a natural berm, not a levee, that was overwhelmed in Bergen County, flooding three towns with four to five feet of water.
The Record newspaper reported that the flooding occurred in Moonachie and parts of Little Ferry and Carlstadt early Tuesday morning:
The entire borough is underwater and hundreds of people are being evacuated, according to Jeanne Baratta, chief of staff for the Bergen County executive.
In a trailer park in one part of the borough, people have had to climb onto the roofs of their trailers to await rescue, Baratta said.
There are no reports of any injuries or deaths, she said.
Boats and high-water vehicles are being brought in from other municipalities to assist in the rescue. Parts of Little Ferry and Carlstadt are also affected, Baratta said, and the number of people needing evacuation could eventually exceed 1,000.
Moonachie “has lost their fire department, their police department and their municipal building,” Baratta said.
In the National Weather Service’s latest local update on Sandy, it leads with the statement that the heaviest rains and strongest winds have moved out of the area. Here is the most critical information it highlights:
* THE MOST SEVERE PORTION OF SANDY HAS PAST.
* WINDS AND RAIN WILL GRADUALLY SUBSIDE DURING THE DAY TUESDAY.
* PEOPLE ALONG THE BAY SHORE ANNAPOLIS AND NORTH SHOULD MONITOR TIDAL LEVELS…WHICH WILL BE RISING TODAY WITH STORM SURGE.
* RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES ALONG THE POTOMAC RIVER FROM HARPERS FERRY DOWNSTREAM TO AND INCLUDING WASHINGTON DC SHOULD PREPARE FOR SIGNIFICANT FLOODING AS THE CREST SLOWLY WORKS ITS WAY DOWNSTREAM TODAY THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
At 8:30 a.m., the storm was positioned in south central Pennsylvania and still spinning back gusty rain bands into the area, which will slowly taper off through the course of the day. The high wind warning in effect for the D.C. area was downgraded to a wind advisory, which will expire at 2 p.m. A Flood Warning for urban areas and small streams continues in the region through the early-to-mid afternoon.
Seven subway tunnels under New York’s East River flooded Monday night, along with the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel, the Long Island Railroad’s West Side Yards, and parts of the Queens Midtown Tunnel. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority calls Sandy the worst disaster in the system’s 108-year history and predicts it will take an “indefinite” amount of time to clean up the damage. In these photos, it’s easy to see why.
— Port Authority NY&NJ (@PANYNJ) October 30, 2012
Another dispatch from The Post’s Jeremy Borden in Ocean City:
Ocean City has opened one of its major inland arteries, the Route 90 bridge. However, police have still blocked off access south of 62nd Street and travel is still severely restricted. The Route 50 bridge remains closed.
City maintenance worker Rick Slumski said he had seen down power lines, debris, ripped off signs and damage to the boardwalk in morning tours up and down the Ocean City strip. But he hadn’t seen or heard of the kind of devastation that was predicted.
“I feel lucky,” he said.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter for more updates, @Jeremy_Borden.
A power outage at a Howard County water reclamation plant caused sewage to pour into the main stem of the Little Patuxent River at the rate of 2 million gallons per hour, according to the Associated Press.
Officials told the AP that the overflow started Monday night and, given the severity of the storm, no action had yet been taken to mitigate the damage.
A tree is down at northbound Foxhall Road at Canal Road, according to the D.C. police. Stay to the left and expect delays.
Maryland is still reeling from the effects of snow in the western portion of the state, pounding waves on the Eastern Shore and rain and wind most other places.
“This pretty much hit every county statewide,” said Kellie Boulware, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.
High water and signal outages remain the biggest problems facing counties near Washington and Baltimore, Boulware said. She urged drivers to stay home if possible, but said there seemed to be more traffic on the roads than there was on Monday.
“For anyone that’s heading out or driving, we want them to take extra caution,” she said.
The statewide 45 miles per hour speed limit remains in effect on all interstates and U.S. routes, with no timetable yet for when that might be lifted.
In Montgomery County, Route 29 about a mile north of University Boulevard in Silver Spring is closed due to high water. U.S. 1 is also blocked in both directions at Muirkirk Road in Vansville due to high water.
The snow in western Maryland also created icy roads and dangerous conditions. A 40-mile stretch of I-68 was shut down in Allegany, though the eastbound lanes reopened at 5:30 a.m., Boulware said. The westbound lanes remain closed.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Aubrey Whelan has been reporting from Atlantic City this week. This morning she tweeted that the wind is still really strong, although the rain has let up.
— Aubrey Whelan (@aubreyjwhelan) October 30, 2012
— Aubrey Whelan (@aubreyjwhelan) October 30, 2012
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has been making the rounds of the morning shows today, talking about the massive destruction in the state and recovery plans. Christie said at least three people were killed as a result of the storm, and he has repeatedly criticized the mayor of Atlantic City for not forcing more people to evacuate.
Here are some of Christie’s comments and tweets:
“We are in the midst of search and rescue missions.”- Gov. Chris Christie on latest efforts in New Jersey. #SandyTODAY
— TODAY(@todayshow) October 30, 2012
— TODAY(@todayshow) October 30, 2012
.@govchristie says there are 2.4 million households without power in NJ
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 30, 2012
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 30, 2012
The surge was so strong we have rail cars on the Jersey Turnpike this morning. #Sandy.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 30, 2012
Christie also earned digital applause for this tweet last night:
If conditions are not safe on Wednesday for Trick or Treating, I will sign an Executive Order rescheduling #Halloween.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 30, 2012
A tree is down in the northbound 2400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast Washington, the Metropolitan Police Department reports.
The Post’s Maggie Fazeli Fard just filed this news update:
Three people in North Laurel were hospitalized early Tuesday morning after suffering from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. Officials believe the incident was caused by improper use of a generator.
Howard County fire crews reported to a home in the 9700 block of Brevard Street in North Laurel around 4:45 a.m. after receiving reports of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.
One man and two women were taken to a local hospital. The man was in
critical condition and the women were in serious condition, officials said. Emergency crews found a generator inside the home that was running without proper ventilation.
The Post’s Jeremy Borden is based in Ocean City this week, filing dispatches from the beach. Here’s his latest report:
Ocean City residents awoke to a cold, blustery wind as maintenance crews began to clear streets and the town’s iconic boardwalk.
While daylight will bring a fuller accounting of damage from the roughly 10 inches of rain and hurricane force gusts from Monday night, some damage was already visible early — signs ripped off posts, heavy metal benches off perches and sand and debris far from the beach.
As of last night, authorities had reported no major injuries.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter for more updates, @Jeremy_Borden.
— Jeremy Borden (@Jeremy_Borden) October 30, 2012
— Jeremy Borden (@Jeremy_Borden) October 30, 2012
All interstates are clear in Northern Virginia, while several major roads and many side roads are closed, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Three major roads have closures:
- Georgetown Pike near Georgetown Court (Fairfax County)
- Route 15 at Route 50 (Loudoun County)
- A few scattered locations on Route 50 in Loudoun County
In addition, there are 143 secondary roads closed in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties due to high water, downed trees and downed power lines. Most of these closures are in Fairfax County.
Virginia has again lifted the H.O.V. restrictions on I-66, I-395, I-95 and the Dulles Toll Road.
There are currently 107 traffic signals not working in Northern Virginia. As always, treat dark intersections as four-way stops.
Sandy pushed David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon to tape their Monday shows before an empty studio audience, with only staffers around to laugh at their jokes.
The Post’s Lisa de Moraes posted a clip from the quiet show:
“David Letterman plays to no crowd,” which you can watch below.
Virginia state troopers have responded to 2,549 traffic crashes and disabled vehicles between Sunday and Tuesday at 6 a.m., according to state police spokeswoman Corrine Geller.
They received 4,605 calls for service, and during the height of the storm, troopers fielded 155 calls an hour.
Here’s another update from The Post’s Allison Klein:
In Fairfax County, where residents in one neighborhood were evacuated
because of flooding, 52 trees fell into homes during the storm, officials said. But no major injuries were reported.
Some 30 power lines were downed, and 77 roads were closed. The fallen trees were spread across the county, except in the Fair Oaks area, which was spared, said county spokeswoman Merni Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald warned that trees will continue fall because of soggy ground conditions, even though the wind has died down.
“We still have lots of water on the streets,” she said. More than 100 households in the Huntington neighborhood were evacuated Monday night.
Route 15 is closed in both directions near Goose Creek, according to Loudoun County authorities.
Columbia Pike/Route 29 is closed right near Lockwood Drive in Silver Spring due to flooding from the storm, according to Patrick Lacefield, a Montgomery County spokesman. Expect that closure to linger and avoid that area.
Metro service remains suspended, but riders should learn a timeframe for when service will resume by noon on Tuesday.
Early indications are that the rail system weathered the storm fairly well, but crews are going to do another track inspection looking at all five lines at sunrise, said Dan Stessel, a spokesman for Metro.
Crews have already been assessing the damage, but they want to perform one more inspection during daylight before announcing when the trains and buses will begin running again.
We’ll have information on the timetable for Metro service as soon as it is available.
The Metro system remains closed on Tuesday morning, along with every other commuter rail and bus system in the Washington area. Here’s the status of major transit systems in other cities affected by Sandy:
New York City
New York City’s subway system, which closed on Sunday at 7 p.m., was severely affected by the storm. Seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded, while the Metro-North Railroad lost power on two lines.
In a statement, Joseph J. Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, called the disaster the worst in the subway system’s history.
The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots. As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line.
The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel. The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is flooded from end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel also took on water and was closed. Six bus garages were disabled by high water. We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery.
All New Jersey Transit rail and bus service remains suspended.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority resumed most service on Tuesday at 5 a.m., though it did warn that riders should expect some residual delays due to the storm. Buses will replace trains on the Green Line D-Branch (between Riverson and Newton Highlands), but all other lines will operate full service with some delays.
The Providence/Stoughton Line, which connects North Kingston, R.I., and Boston, will remain suspended between Mansfield and Wickford Junction due to downed trees and power lines. All other commuter lines are resuming regular service, albeit with delays.
Service was suspended on Monday at 12:30 a.m. No firm time has been set yet for when service might resume, but the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority reports that it will attempt to restore some service by Tuesday afternoon.
Crews still have to inspect and assess the system, which is a process that takes between six and eight hours, according to SEPTA.
Full service is expected on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines first. Following that, bus and trolleys could resume, although with some detours and service limitations.
One other note: Amtrak’s shutdown of the northeast corridor means that the Paoli/Thorndale, Airport, Chestnut Hill West, Wilmington/Newark, Cynwyd and Trenton lines are suspended.
A levee broke in northern New Jersey this morning, flooding the towns of Moonachie, Little Ferry and Carlstadt with 4 to 5 feet of water, Reuters has reported.
“We are in rescue mode,” Jeanne Baratta, chief of the Bergen County Executive, told Reuters. Baratta said there have been no reports of fatalities thus far.
The Post’s Allison Klein just filed this report:
Twenty people in Alexandria were evacuated and displaced when the roof was torn off the garden-style apartment building where they lived, according to the Virginia State Police. Wind also blew off the roofs of two other buildings in Alexandria, and about 10 homes were damaged by falling trees, police said. Crews will be out assessing damage at daylight.
In southern Virginia, a car crash in Charlotte County killed two people when a car slammed into a tree at about 10:45 p.m., according to state police. A 2007 Honda Civic ran off the road, went down an embankment and struck the tree, police said. The driver of the car, Taylor D. Reeves, 22, of Dillwyn, died at the scene. The passenger, Alec L. England, 24, of Drakes Branch, was taken to a local hospital, where he died. Neither was wearing a seat belt. Police are investigating if the crash was weather related.
President Obama has declared that a major disaster exists in New York and New Jersey, where Sandy hit last night, and sent federal aid to help the states recover.
In New York, federal funding is now available to those in the counties of Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk and Queens. In New Jersey, funding is now available in Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union counties, according to the White House press office. That money could go toward paying for temporary housing and home repairs, providing low-cost loans and other programs.
FEMA is continuing to survey damage and could add more areas to the disaster list, according to the White House.
(This post was updated at 6:20 a.m. to include New York.)
There are blizzard conditions in western Maryland that were brought on by Sandy, according to the Associated Press. The state’s higher elevations have gotten more than a foot of snow since Monday afternoon and flakes continued to fall this morning.
Maryland State Police have closed a 40-mile span of Interstate 68, from the West Virginia-Maryland line to Exit 34 in Allegany County.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge remains closed due to strong winds, said John Sales, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority.
Sustained winds stronger than 55 miles per hour or three gusts of 55 miles per hour (or greater) in a 10 minute period require that the bridge be shut down. Once the wind falls below that mark, officials have to conduct an inspection before the bridge can reopen.
The Key and Hatem bridges have both reopened, albeit under a wind restriction that bars tractor trailers and box trucks from using either bridge. The Tydings and Nice bridges are also open and operating under the same wind restrictions.
Here are some numbers from the Associated Press that illustrate the immense impact of Sandy:
* At least 16 people are dead in seven states, although it is unclear the nature of those deaths.
* More than 6 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio are without power.
* Winds reached 90 miles per hour as Sandy made landfall in New Jersey last night.
* Airlines canceled about 12,500 flights, a number that’s expected to grow today.
The Virginia Department of Transportation warns motorists to encounter slick travel conditions in the southwestern part of the state on Tuesday morning. Watch for snow-covered primary and secondary roads in Bland, Smyth, Tazewell and Russell counties. In addition, some interstates in this part of the state could have scattered snow and ice. Use caution and stay off of these roads if you can help it.
The National Weather Service reports that “Post-tropical Cyclone Sandy” is moving westward across southern Pennsylvania. As of 5 a.m. the center of the storm was about 15 miles east of York.
The storm is expected to continue moving west and northwest, but to lose speed along the way. Sandy is expected to head north into western New York tonight and then continue into Canada on Wednesday, according to the NWS.
Up and down the Eastern seaboard, gale force winds continued and many flash flood watches and warnings were in effect. Some Mid-Atlantic states are expected to get 4 to 8 inches of rain.
For more, check out The Post’s Capital Weather Gang blog.
Need to get somewhere today? Here’s a rundown of what is not running today:
- Metrorail and Metrobus (Metro says service is just canceled for the morning; the transit agency has to assess the damage before figuring out when service could resume. We’ll have more on this later today)
- MetroAccess (canceled all day)
- Amtrak (no Acela or Northeast Regional trains; all service has been suspended between Boston to Raleigh, N.C.)
- Local buses, commuter buses, light rail and subway trains operated by the Maryland Transit Administration
- Arlington Transit
- Fairfax Connector
- The King Street Trolley in Old Town Alexandria
- Loudoun County Bus
- Ride On
- The D.C. Circulator will remain closed at least through Tuesday morning (it could resume service on Tuesday afternoon, the District Department of Transportation says)
- Capital Bikeshare remains closed at least through Tuesday morning
And, as an added bonus: D.C. won’t enforce parking on Tuesday.
The number of people without power in the Washington region seems to have peaked around midnight and is now decreasing. Just before 5 a.m. on Tuesday, more than 179,000 homes, businesses and other establishments were without power, according to regional power companies. (You can watch the numbers yourself here: “Tracking power outages in Washington region.“)
Earlier in the night, the Associated Press reported that power outages had topped 5.4 million customers.
They are out there! Crews are working to restore power throughout the region but may not be visible from your home.
— Pepco (@PepcoConnect) October 30, 2012
From the Associated Press: NEW YORK — Police on Long Island say a 39-year-old man was killed when he was struck by a falling tree as superstorm Sandy pummeled the area.
Suffolk County Police say John Miller and his wife were in their driveway in Lloyd Harbor preparing to leave their home when a tree collapsed just before 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was not injured and the couple’s young daughters, who were in the car at the time of the accident, were also not injured.
The storm’s wrath left more than 800,000 Long Island Power Authority customers without power Monday night and thousands of residents evacuated low-laying areas.
The storm is expected to gradually decrease Tuesday as it moves western New York.
From the Associated Press: PEARL RIVER, N.Y. — A fire involving 15 houses is burning in a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens.
A fire department spokesman says 170 firefighters are currently at the blaze in the Breezy Point section. He says two people have suffered minor injuries.
Fire officials say the blaze was reported around 11 p.m. Monday and involves about 15 houses in an area flooded by the superstorm that began sweeping through earlier.
The neighborhood sits on the Rockaway peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean.
From the Associated Press: RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Transportation is continuing to urge motorists to limit their travel on roadways until unsafe weather conditions pass.
Officials say flooding, high winds and downed trees and power lines have caused some road closures.
Effects from the storm began in the Hampton Roads region and central Virginia on Monday and then began impacting northern Virginia. Meanwhile cold temperatures are impacting the western part of the state, with heavy snowfall expected in higher elevations.
As of Monday night, about 100 roads were closed in eastern and northern Virginia, mainly from flooding. Icy patches also were being reported in western Virginia.
All tunnels and water crossings were open Monday night in the Hampton Roads region.
Officials say conditions are subject to change.
From the Associated Press: REISTERSTOWN, Md. — Maryland officials have scheduled a briefing at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to talk about superstorm Sandy.
The briefing in Reisterstown is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Ken Widelski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Monday night that some of the worst conditions in the state are expected overnight with sustained winds between 30 to 45 miles per hour and gusts from 50 to 65 mph.
Blizzard warnings are in effect in for Garrett and Allegany counties.
Widelski also says tidal flooding is expected in the Chesapeake Bay, with storm surges from 2 to 4 feet, primarily Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.
The Olympian interviews U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Jane Peña, copilot of one of the helicopters sent to recover crew members of the HMS Bounty: “Peña, Lt. Cmdr. Steve Cerveny, flight mechanic Mike Lufkin and aviation survival technician Randy Hoba were aboard the first MH-60 helicopter on the scene. The conditions were challenging, Peña said, with winds gusting to 40 miles per hour, low visibility and ocean swells topping 30 feet. ‘This is the first case I’ve ever seen like this,’ said Peña, who graduated from Curtis High School in University Place in 2000 and got clearance to fly for the Coast Guard about a year ago.”
A cold front joined forces with Sandy to bring at least 10 inches of snow to eastern Tennessee Monday, according to The Tennessean: “Ten inches were on the ground shortly before 5 p.m. in Newfound Gap, which sits at about 5,000 feet in elevation on the North Carolina border, said Tod Hyslop, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn. Hyslop also said 4 inches of snow fell on peaks above 5,500 feet near Roan Mountain.”
From the Post’s Peter Hermann: The number of people without power has increased slightly since our last check about 11:15 p.m., from roughly 398,000 to 408.796, as of 2:36 a.m.
BGE reports 218,474 outages, compared with 199,000 on last check. Dominion VA Power reports131,851 outages, compared with 133,000.
Pepco reports 35,480 compared with 41,000; NoVa Electric Coop reports, 22,991 compared with 25,000.
The Post has an online chart of area outages.
In Boston, the Globe reported a range of issues including downed wires and a few thousand homes without power, but the city was apparently spared Sandy’s harshest effects Monday: “The outer reaches of Hurricane Sandy pummeled Boston on Monday with startling ferocity for a storm whose center was so far away, buffeting the city with winds exceeding 50 miles per hour and pushing surf over sea walls. Mostly, the storm acted like a giant weed whacker, breaking branches, toppling trees, and dragging down power lines. In Hyde Park on Metropolitan Avenue, the wind snapped the top off a tall maple. Two people narrowly escaped after a tree crashed onto their car on the VFW Parkway. A tree barreled into a gas lamp on Pinckney Street in Beacon Hill.”
From the Associated Press: NEW YORK — A New York City hospital is moving out more than 200 patients after its backup generator failed when the power was knocked out by a superstorm.
Dozens of ambulances lined up outside NYU Tisch Hospital on Monday night as doctors and nurses began the slow process of taking people out. They started with the sickest and youngest, including 20 babies from neonatal intensive care. Some were on respirators operating on battery power.
NYU Medical Dean Robert Grossman says some of the patients are being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses. He says they have to be carefully carried down staircases. The elevators don’t work without power.
Patients will be taken to other hospitals including Mount Sinai and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer.
From the Associated Press: NORTH SALEM, N.Y. — New York State Police say two children were killed when a tree struck a home in Westchester County.
Sgt. Brian Ferrone of Troop K says the boys, ages 11 and 13, were pronounced dead at the scene Monday night. It happened just before 7:30 p.m. on Bonnie View Street in North Salem.
A 15-year-old and a 12 year-old in the home were also treated for minor injuries. No other details were immediately available.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office says at least five people have died in New York state because of the massive storm lashing the area.
From the Associated Press: NEW YORK — A record storm surge that was higher than had even been predicted along with high-speed winds proved too much for parts of New York City’s electrical system to handle.
The effect of the superstorm left large parts of New York City in the dark, and officials at Consolidated Edison said it could be up to a week before full restoration. The company said Monday night that 670,000 customers were without power in New York City and Westchester, with 230,000 of those in Manhattan alone. A customer is an individual meter, so the actual number of people affected is probably higher.
Con Ed Senior Vice President John Miksad said that the utility had anticipated overhead outages from power lines downed by wind as well as the possibility of flooding in low-lying areas affecting underground networks. But a storm surge that was estimated to reach an already record-breaking 10 to 12 feet went even higher than that.
“What we didn’t anticipate was flooding to continue to rise,” he said, leading to the largest storm-related outage in Con Ed’s history.
“This will be one for the record books,” he said.
The power outages stem from different issues, Miksad said. Some are due to downed overhead lines, while others are because of a planned power cut Con Ed initiated in parts of lower Manhattan to lessen storm damage to some underground networks. But the majority of outages in Manhattan are because of an explosion at a substation at East 14th Street.
Miksad said he wasn’t sure what caused the explosion, if it was flooding or perhaps it was damaged by flying debris.
He estimated it would take three to four days to restore power cut in the planned outage, and up to a week but probably less for the outages due to the substation explosion.
Fixing power lost to downed lines is going to take the longest, Miksad said. “The overhead is going to be a slog.”
And he pointed out that the number of outages could still go up as the last parts of the storm system impact the area.
From the Associated Press: PASADENA, Md. — Fire officials say a man was killed when a tree fell on a house in Pasadena during superstorm Sandy.
Anne Arundel County Division Chief Michael Cox said firefighters were called about 11 p.m. Monday to Suitt Drive. Cox said a tree had fallen onto the home and an occupant was trapped.
Cox said the male occupant was pronounced dead at the scene by fire personnel.