Virginia Department of Transportation crews planned to begin emergency operations Saturday morning, working in 12-hour shifts throughout the storm. They will suspend emergency response activities in the event of sustained tropical storm winds of 39 mph or higher.
VDOT generally does not close bridges, ramps or roads unless there is high water, strong sustained winds, pavement or structural damage, or downed trees and other debris blocking roads. VDOT prepares year-round for hurricanes by training, conducting drills and performing simulation studies.
Metro chief spokesman Dan Stessel said Friday that “we do not expect above-ground rail service to be suspended unless conditions end up being worse than expected. If there are any changes, we’ll let folks know at wmata.com.”
officials feared the hurricane would exacerbate damage done to the gothic church by Tuesday’s earthquake.
“If the earthquake hadn’t occurred, there wouldn’t be any issues with regard to the hurricane,” said Richard Weinberg, National Cathedral’s spokesman. “The cathedral can withstand heavy winds. But because the elements that are up there are not secure, the winds from the hurricane could cause further damage.”
Crownsville insurance agent David Mathes said that with the storm, an already busy week will get even more hectic.
“With the earthquake on Tuesday and the impending storms, we have never been so busy answering questions about what is covered and what is not,” Mathes said.
As Margaret Douglas loaded her van with enough food to last several days at Balducci’s on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, she said a recent $8,000 investment gave her storm confidence.
“I bought a whole house generator, that’s why,” she said. Last year, she lost the food in her refrigerator and freezer three times during separate power outages.
Patricia Capiro and Manny Fantis spent a year planning their Saturday wedding in Rehoboth Beach, where Capiro grew up. By Thursday afternoon, the linens were pressed, the flowers were ready and the cake was in the refrigerator. Then the limo company cancelled. The band’s hotel rooms were cancelled. One guest after another said they wouldn’t be able to make it.
Capiro, a news producer at NBC 4, kept calling the station’s meteorologists to ask for updates. “It just kept getting worse and worse,” said the 29 year-old bride. Finally, authorities told the couple’s venue, the Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club, that it needed to shut down for the weekend.
Capiro cried and then started calling guests and vendors to tell them the wedding was off. Fantis is the executive Web producer at Channel 9, and many of their friends — colleagues at the two television stations — will spend the weekend covering the storm instead of celebrating.