The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said all federal offices in the Washington area would be closed Monday, with all non-emergency employees being granted excused absences for the day. Federal workers who can telework from home — and have electricity to do so — are expected to work Monday.
The Maryland Transit Administration canceled all MARC service and commuter bus operations for Monday.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge will close if winds top 55 miles per hour.
“We’re assuming anything is possible at this point,” said John C. Sales, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority.
Scores of flights at Reagan National and Dulles International airports were canceled, and flights at those airports will largely halt Monday morning.
Travelers should not expect flights from 10 a.m. Monday until after the storm passes, said David Mould, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates National and Dulles.
The ripple effect of shutting down flights to most of the East Coast states is expected to snarl national air travel for days after the storm passes.
The first of it was in evidence Sunday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. United Airlines canceled its Sunday afternoon flights to Reagan National, causing Washington-bound passengers to try to get seats on the earlier flights.
“I don’t want to get stranded in Chicago,” Matt Kremer, 40, of Alexandria said when his 3 p.m. flight was canceled. He managed to get on a noon departure.
Amtrak canceled service in the northeast on Monday, shutting down the rail line between Washington and New York.
With utilities from Virginia to Maine asking other companies to loan them line crews, the companies that do business in states that won’t be hit by the storm were stretched thin. There was hope that local power systems rebuilt after the intense windstorm known as the derecho in June might better stand up to Sandy.
“Pepco has committed all its resources to Hurricane Sandy,” said Thomas H. Graham, Pepco’s regional president. “Because of the magnitude of the storm, we will not be issuing estimated restoration times until the storm has passed and a preliminary damage assessment has been conducted. At that time, a global estimated restoration time will be released indicating when we expect to have 90 percent of customers restored.”
Lori Aratani, Jeremy Borden, Emma Brown, Tim Craig, Aaron C. Davis, Hamil R. Harris, Ann E. Marimow, Ed O’Keefe, Colum Lynch and Del Quentin Wilber contributed to this report.