The National Weather Service said moderate flooding will continue through Thursday afternoon, projecting that the river will reach about two feet above normal in Alexandria and Georgetown at high tide late Wednesday night.
“Georgetown and Alexandria typically flood a couple of times a year,” said Jason Samenow of The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. “This will be closer to that, and it’s not going to be a historic flooding.”
Moderate flooding was expected to continue through Thursday along the Atlantic coast.
As New York and New Jersey struggled with the storm’s devastation, the Washington region began to return to normal Wednesday after two days at a near standstill. People returned to work, schools opened, airports were back in action, the region’s trains and buses resumed service, and commuters got back into their cars.
And in another sign of progress, Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel announced that as of 9:12 p.m. Wednesday, the utility had restored power to all customers who suffered storm-related outages, which was earlier than it had anticipated.
Maryland authorities are investigating whether as many as nine deaths since Monday were related to the hurricane.
Four of the nine died from exposure — one woman in Montgomery County, another in Prince George’s County and two in Baltimore — according to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigations were continuing said that one was an Alzheimer’s patient who had wandered outside and that another suffered from severe mental illness.
Three others, including Clarksburg resident Mai Ai Lam-Phan, 66, died in automobile-related accidents. A Capitol Heights man died early Tuesday when he was crushed by a minivan while changing a tire. Prince George’s authorities have not listed the death as storm-related, but state officials said it is unclear if the vehicle was blown off its jack by a gust of wind.
Wind also toppled a tree that killed Donald Cannata Sr., who was pinned in his home in Pasadena.
People who had spent days cooped up at home because of the storm ventured out on Wednesday, and many of them found themselves stuck in a 15-mile backup on the Capital Beltway. A crash blocked most of the outer loop in Maryland for several hours, causing major delays on the Beltway, Interstate 95, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and other roads.
Metro began running its normal weekday service, although several Metrobuses encountered delays and detours because of flashing traffic signals, fallen trees and downed power lines. The D.C. Circulator and suburban commuter buses all hit the road, and Virginia Railway Express and MARC trains again began ferrying people back to work.