Officials tallying the destruction left by the storm, which pummeled the coast from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod, said flooding was also devastating in Vermont, with hundreds of roads under water and some of the state’s trademark covered bridges destroyed.
Even as repairs began in the Washington area on a sunny, breezy Sunday, the height of hurricane season saw another storm spawned in the Atlantic Ocean — headed away from land — and a third system under observation off the west coast of Africa.
Irene, although downgraded to a tropical storm and far less potent than originally imagined, cut electricity to 1.2 million Dominion power customers in Virginia and North Carolina, resulting in the biggest repair effort since Hurricane Isabel in 2003, the utility said.
More than 6,000 line workers and support personnel, some from Alabama, Indiana and Michigan, were working to restore power ahead of Labor Day weekend.
In Southern Maryland, which was hit hard, one unit of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant automatically shut down when a piece of siding from a nearby building was blown into a facility transformer. Crews were trying to get it restarted.
In a statement Sunday evening, President Obama said that much remained to be done, but he praised officials from the top down.
“This has been an exemplary effort of how good government, at every level, should be responsive to peoples’ needs,” Obama said.
Federal offices are scheduled to be open Monday, with unscheduled leave and telework available.
Metro said it anticipates operating normally Monday. Two of the three MARC train lines were expected to have full service; limited service was expected on the Penn line. Power was out at several stations, so passengers were encouraged to take flashlights.
Virginia Railway Express was also expecting to operate with a full schedule, although power outages could result in delays on the Fredericksburg Line.
Wall Street was set to go back to work as usual Monday morning, and subway service was to resume.
The storm dumped more than a foot of rain in places up and down the coast, clobbering the Jersey Shore and prompting the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in New Jersey and New York City. Philadelphia saw extensive flooding, as local creeks overflowed and the Schuylkill River, which runs through the city, became a muddy torrent.
Vermont was experiencing its worst flooding in more than 80 years, news services reported. One woman was swept away Sunday by the swollen Deerfield River, west of Brattleboro, while watching the water with her boyfriend.