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Posted at 09:54 AM ET, 07/01/2012

After the D.C. storms: What’s open, power outage information, and live updates


Mike Kilinski of Alexander's Tree Service plots his next move in removing a large tree that destroyed the top floor of a home in La Plata, Md. (Linda Davidson - THE WASHINGTON POST)

10:20 p.m. |Where to get a shower in Loudoun County

Patrick Henry College is opening its on-campus shower facilities to those who are in need in Purcellville and surrounding area, according to a statement by Purcellville Mayor Robert W. Lazaro, Jr.

The use of the showers is offered at no charge between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily. Interested residents should bring their own towels and toiletries, and must check in at the information desk located in the main lobby of The Barbara Hodel Center. For questions, please contact Campus Safety at 540-441-8888.

— Caitlin Gibson and Martin Weil

7:15 p.m. | What to expect from D.C. government Monday

The District government will be open as usual Monday, officials announced, with the exception of summer school and other programs held in D.C. Public Schools buildings. Also, the city has suspended its bus service for special education students.

While city administrative buildings are online, Paul Quander, the District’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice, said Sunday evening that a half-dozen recreation centers remained without power. He said the city is working with Pepco to restore power by Monday morning to those centers, which provide summer programming for children.

Children who would otherwise have received breakfast and lunch at schools will be able to get meals at other sites (PDF: http://bit.ly/LDITdV), including open recreation centers, churches and participating community facilities.

As of 6 p.m., Quander said, 57 city intersections remained without power. But he said he is “anticipating a smooth commute” Monday, noting that the federal government is encouraging telecommuting, that about three dozen key intersections are under generator power and that traffic control officers will be in place at anticipated trouble spots.

Quander said the city has sent a triaged set of priorities to Pepco, starting with addressing live power lines that continue to be down across the city obstructing efforts to clear neighborhood streets and sidewalks.

“Essentially they are in the driver’s seat,” Quander said. “We have staff that are waiting to do the work

He said the power company has made progress on other priorities, such as bringing health-care and senior facilities online, as well as key government facilities.

“I think they’re trying to do the best they can, and they hear what our needs are,” Quander said. “I think they’re making what resources they have available and they’re deploying them. I think they’re giving us a fair shake, a fair opportunity” vis-a-vis the other jurisdictions Pepco serves.

Quander praised city employees who worked though the weekend. Since 11 p.m. Friday, officials said, emergency responders have answered a combined 4,500 calls for service. Residents have made another 3,700 non-emergency service requests. On Saturday alone, 115 tons of debris was removed from city streets.

— Mike DeBonis

10:00 p.m. | Liberal leave for Prince George’s s County employees

A Liberal Leave Policy will be in effect for non-essential Prince George’s County Employees for Monday, July 2, 2012 due to storm aftermath and vast power outages. The county wants all employees to call their supervisors to confirm their status.

— Ovetta Wiggins and Martin Weil

5:58 p.m. | Prince George’s schools closed Monday

Prince George’s County public schools will be closed on Monday. School officials posted the following news:

“On Monday, July 2, PGCPS will operate under a Code Yellow due to power outages. All schools and offices are closed. All evening programs and activities are canceled. Emergency personnel must report to work.”

— Washington Post Staff

5:58 p.m. | Catch up on news you might’ve missed

Looking for something you’re not finding in this live blog? Here are some other stories we’ve posted:

As power outages stretch on, officials are fuming (http://wapo.st/LOoDeX )

Power outage and food: Pitch it or keep it? (http://wapo.st/NaPBtf)

Emergency numbers, useful resources, etc. (http://wapo.st/MxPHOT)

Capital Weather Gang’s latest forecast (http://wapo.st/kO8WSO)

Find a nearby cooling center (http://wapo.st/LoeK3h)

5:14 p.m. | Federal agencies open Monday; option for unscheduled leave, telework

The Office of Personnel Management said federal agencies will be open Monday, and federal workers have the option of taking unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.

Here is the OPM press release:

“Federal agencies in the Washington, DC, area are OPEN and employees have the OPTION for UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK.”

Non-emergency employees must notify their supervisor of their intent to use unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. Eligible employees may-

• Use annual leave, earned compensatory time off, earned credit hours, or leave without pay; or

• As permitted by their agency’s policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements, telework from home on a non-telework day, if the employee has a telework agreement in place that is approved for unscheduled telework.

Employees scheduled to telework on the day of the announcement are expected to begin telework on time or request unscheduled leave.

Non-emergency employees may request supervisory approval to change their AWS day off or rearrange their work hours under a flexible work schedule.

Non-emergency employees may request sick leave if they meet the qualifying conditions under law, OPM regulations, and follow their agency’s policies and procedures.

Emergency employees are expected to report to their worksite on time unless otherwise directed by their agencies.”

— Washington Post Staff

4:57 p.m. | Montgomery schools cancel Monday, Tuesday events

Montgomery County public schools will not hold any programs or activities Monday or Tuesday, officials said.

Here is the press release from school officials:

“All programs and activities in MCPS buildings are CANCELED on Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3 due to widespread power loss in schools and facilities. This includes MCPS programs, such as high school summer school and Extended School Year programs, as well as community activities in school buildings, such as day care centers, camps and recreation programs, and evening activities.

“Administrative offices are closed on Monday, July 2. Only designated staff will be required to report to work on Monday. Information about administrative offices and staff required to report to work on Tuesday, July 3 will be provided on Monday evening”

— Washington Post Staff

4:43 p.m. | D.C. public schools closed Monday

D.C. Public Schools will be closed for summer school and other programs Monday, officials said. They said teams will assess the condition of buildings to determine if they can re-open Tuesday.

Here is the press release from school officials:

“As a result of the major storm that hit the area on Friday night, all District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) will be closed tomorrow, Monday, July 2nd. Students and staff assigned to summer school, summer bridge or extended school year (ESY) programs should not report to their sites. DCPS schools will not be open for use by other community based organizations (CBOs) or programs, including SYEP participants, on July 2nd. DCPS administrative sites will be open.

Early tomorrow, teams will quickly assess the condition of DCPS schools to determine and announce if we can resume normal operations on Tuesday, July 3rd.”

— Washington Post Staff


A massive tree punctured Laurel’s Goldberg home on Verplanck Street. (Daniel C. Britt - THE WASHINGTON POST)

4:15 p.m. | About 60,000 D.C. customers without power at noon

As of noon Sunday, Pepco reported more than 60,000 customers in the District remained without power, including five health facilities, eight schools and 46 traffic signals.

City officials reported 10 recreation centers had no power; six recreation centers and nine city pools will remain open Sunday till 8 p.m. Five city libraries, typically closed on Sundays, will be open till 9 p.m.

Police swore in 20 soldiers of the D.C. National Guard by Sunday morning to assist in recovery efforts, including patrolling intersections where traffic lights are out and clearing trees from city streets.

Transportation officials reported 69 trees remained down as of midday Sunday — nearly half in Ward 3, the portion of northwest Washington west of Rock Creek Park. None of those, officials said, were blocking major thoroughfares.

D.C. Public Schools officials cancelled summer school programs for Monday and said other groups using DCPS facilities, including the city summer job program, would not be able to.

The D.C. government Web site has more details here: http://bit.ly/MBnO8t

— Mike DeBonis

3:39 p.m. | Share your photos of the storm’s aftermath


The aftermath in Chevy Chase (User-submitted photo by chch-mg)

Have a photo of what your neighborhood looks like now? Add it to our gallery by uploading it here (http://wapo.st/NTbkFl) or by e-mailing the photo to userpics@washpost.com.

— Emily Ingram

1:42 p.m. | Md. official say they will press Pepco for quick action

State and county officials in Maryland said they would press Pepco for more immediate action to restore power to thousands across the state.

“July 6 is unacceptable,” Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said during a Sunday press conference in Gaithersburg, citing the goal Pepco cited of having 90 percent of homes restored

Flanked by Gov. Martin O’Malley, Leggett said that, 40 hours after the storm hit, more crews from out of state should be arriving or in place.

Pepco said Sunday that, with so many nearby areas affected by the storm, it had to call on many out of state crews from states as far away as missouri and texas. Many had yet to arrive but would be in Maryland in the next 24 to 48 hours, officials said.

Leggett said it was taking too long.

“We have known 40 hours ago that the storm hit and we didn’t have the availability of crews on the immediate area,” he said.

A weeklong power-out, with scorching temperatures, falls short, he said.

“That’s an unacceptable number,” he said of July 6. “That’s setting the bar too low.”

— Donna St. George

12:16 p.m. | WSSC lifts water restrictions

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission announced at noon Sunday that it had lifted mandatory water restrictions for customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, but urged residents to be judicious about water usage during the very hot weather.

Officials said power had been restored to almost all pumping stations following Friday’s storms.

Those who did not experience low pressure or discolored water need not flush the lines, officials said, and can resume use as normal.

In cases of low pressure or discolored water, WSSC put out the following recommendations:

“Flush the cold water lines in your home or business for five minutes.

If you have a single-lever faucet, set it to run the cold water.

Flush your refrigerator’s water lines for five minutes.

Consult your owner’s manual for detailed instructions.

Make sure the water in your washing machine is running clear before you wash clothes.

Doing laundry with discolored water can stain clothes.”

Those still experiencing problems can contact the Customer Emergency Call Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week at: (301) 206-4002, 1-800-828-6439 or TTY (301)-206-8345.

— Washington Post Staff

11:43a.m. | NoVa leader questions 911 failure

Fairfax officials said late Sunday morning that 911 service, which was disrupted as a result of the storm, is only partially restored. People who can’t reach 911 should call 703-691-7561 or 703-691-3680, they said.

The failure of 911 service in northern Virginia Saturday cut many residents in Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties off from emergency operators from about 6 a.m. until partial restoration started in early afternoon.

Officials at Verizon, which provides 911 services to Northern Virginia, have not yet responded to questions from The Washington Post.

“I don’t ever remember 911 system going down, and it happened exactly at the time when we needed it most,” said Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She’s held public office more than 20 years. “Why was there not a backup or something? That’s a question regional leaders will be focusing on with our state partners in the aftermath of the storm.”

— Patricia Sullivan

11:18 a.m. | Harris Teeter distributing free ice

Harris Teeter put out the following press release:

“Charlotte, N.C. - Harris Teeter associates are distributing free bags of ice on Sunday, July 1, 2012 to community members in Northern Virginia and Maryland whose electrical service was disrupted by the storm on Friday evening.

The company dispatched a tractor trailer containing bags of ice to each of the nine Harris Teeter locations listed below. The nine Harris Teeter tractor trailers each contain approximately 2,800, 10-pound bags of ice.

Harris Teeter associates will distribute the ice starting on Sunday at 8 a.m., while supplies last, at the following locations:

Fair Hill Shopping Center Harris Teeter, #403: 18169 Towncenter Drive in Olney, Md.

Ashbrook Commons Plaza Harris Teeter, #242: 20070 Ashbrook Commons Plaza in Ashburn, Va.

Purcellville Gateway Harris Teeter, #388: 105 Purcellville Gateway Drive in Purcellville, Va.

Hyde Park Plaza Harris Teeter, #86: 600 North Glebe Road in Arlington, Va.

Barcroft Plaza Harris Teeter, #279: 6351 Columbia Pike in Falls Church, Va.

Shops at Foxchase Harris Teeter, #133: 4641 Duke Street in Alexandria, Va.

Blue Ridge Shopping Center Harris Teeter, #332: 545 Radford Lane in Charlottesville, Va.

Harris Teeter associates will distribute free ice starting on Sunday at 10 a.m., while supplies last, at the following locations:

North Bethesda Town Center Harris Teeter, #328: 11845 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, Md.

Kings Contrivance Harris Teeter, #322: 8620 Guilford Road in Columbia, Md.”

— Washington Post Staff

10:30 a.m. | Using a generator? Officials warn of risks

Emergency officials from around the region are cautioning residents who are using generators to be careful of the potential risks of using generators, including Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

D.C. officials said three adults and two children believed to be suffering from CO poisoning were taken to area hospitals this morning. And Prince George’s County rescue officials said a family in Upper Marlboro was exposed to CO while running a generator just outside their home.

The American Red Cross offered these tips:

“The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use.

Under no circumstances should portable generators be used indoors, including inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO buildup in the home. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death, but CO can’t be seen or smelled. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY - DO NOT DELAY.

Because you may have windows open to get fresh air while the power is out, be sure to place the generator away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors. To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. To protect the generator from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Dry your hands if wet before touching the generator.

It is a good idea to install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. If CO gas from the generator enters your home and poses a health risk, the alarm will sound to warn you. Test the battery frequently and replace when needed.

Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can. Use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator. Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you may store, or the storage location. Ask your local fire department for additional information about local regulations. Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. Do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage. If the fuel is spilled or the container is not sealed properly, invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and can be ignited by the appliance’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance.

Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household protection devices.”

— Washington Post Staff


9:46 a.m. | Pepco reports power outage numbers

Pepco says it has restored power to nearly 100,000 homes in the last 24 hours (since 7 a.m. Sat). Still, 345, 000 remain without power. Hardest hit is Montgomery, with 178,000 still in the dark. In Prince George’s county 105,000 customers have no electricity and in DC 62000 are still waiting.

It will take as long as seven days from the onset of the storm to return to full power.

“Our expectation is for our customers to be back this week,” said Pepco spokesman Clay Anderson. “It’s going to take several days to get the job done. We know it’s going to be frustrating because of the continued heat so our crews and our customers are on for a frustrating week ahead - we absolutely realize that- but we will get it done.”

— Donna St. George

By Washington Post Staff  |  09:54 AM ET, 07/01/2012

 
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