At Brookland Hardware, District residents make crucial pre-storm purchases. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

In the District of Columbia today, schools are closed. Government offices are closed. Courts are (mostly) closed. Metro is closed. Capital Bikeshare is closed. Early voting is closed. Everything else is closed. And for the love of god, your windows should be closed. Sandy is here, with sustained winds up to 50 mph and gusts of 70 mph expected later today. Keep your eyes on Capitol Weather Gang for the very latest information on a storm that is “unique, large, dangerous and unlike anything our region has ever experienced in a very a long time,” according to Mayor Vincent C. Gray — at least since Hurricane Isabel in 2003. If you’re looking for the bright side of all this, street sweeping is suspended until Thursday, so don’t worry about moving your car.

In other news:

Long waits after officials fail to deploy enough machines at D.C. early voting sites (PostDCistWRC-TVWTOP)

Meet your motley crew of at-large D.C. Council challengers (Post)

The race “illustrates the power of incumbency in the district, where voters are reluctant to throw out officeholders despite broad dissatisfaction with local government” (AP)

Post endorsement goes to Ron Moten over Yvette Alexander (Post editorial)

Colby King on the “District of Uncertainty,” where voters “head to the polls with clouds hovering over their elected leaders” (Post column)

OCFO is a “rogue agency operating within the government,” says ex-CM (Examiner)

Natwar Gandhi’s former top deputy sticks up for his old boss: “[I]f one looks at Mr. Gandhi’s fiscal management of the District, which spans more than a decade, one would be hard-pressed to find a better story.” (Post letter)

Metro bus chief on curtailing late night Ward 8 service: “From a safety standpoint it is worth taking the service away” (Post)

Cop is convicted of shooting at transgender woman he’d solicited for sex (PostBlade)

“Where is the D.C. Council’s e-mail transparency?” (Post editorial)

Burglar stabs resident of tony Rhode Island Row (Crime SceneWTOP)

Former top District lawyers argue that budget autonomy referendum is unlawful (Post op-ed)

Eleanor Holmes Norton: “Everyone gets to vote on the DC budget but me. It can’t possibly be what the framers imagined for us.” (AFP)

In wake of hidden camera footage, officials pledge to crack down on employees’ abuse of disabled parking placards (WRC-TV)

Ads could appear on Bikeshare stations within months (Examiner)

Why insurance exchanges are good for small businesses: They lower costs (Post op-ed)

Doesn’t look like there will be a lot of surprises in Vince Gray’s five-year economic development plan (Examiner)

Michael Brown talks about economic development and how he used to smoke weed (Housing Complex)

Deborah Simmons thinks you should vote on those three charter amendments (WaTimes)

Don’t worry: LivingSocial’s $566 million quarterly loss was really only a $70 million quarterly loss (WBJ)

Mayor’s housing task force heard pleas for help (GGW)

She might not become a full Superior Court judge, but she’ll be a magistrate (Legal Times)

How Greater Greater Washington would have you vote (GGW)

D.C. residents, on the whole, are OK with traffic cameras (WAMU-FM)

For all of New Beginnings’ faults, it’s a sight better than Oak Hill (WAMU-FM)

Dick Durbin asks Vince Gray to tell Parkmobile customers he’s not responsible for their fee increase (City DeskThe Hill)

Seems like after six “critical violations” of the health code, your restaurant should have to close for a while (The Hoya)

Let’s just treat all of Southeast as a violent, crack-infested hellhole (City Desk)

Cyclist: Put speed cameras on Beach Drive (Post letter)

These guys seem surprised Marion Barry’s voice mail was full (Vice)

See Phil Mendelson getting his mustache trimmed (Mendo for Chair)

For $1.4 million, you could own the former Bulgarian embassy on 16th Street NW (UrbanTurf)

George Pelecanos speaks to Cardozo High class about latest book, whose main character speaks to a Cardozo High class: “This is what fancy people call ‘meta.’” (Post)