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Vehicle overturns in 3rd St. Tunnel

Mark Berman

What are you seeing on the road? Let us know in the comments section below or by e-mailing us at We want to know how your commute was -- where it was bad, where it was easy and how things were after the storm.

After a major storm tore through the region yesterday, there are plenty of outages and traffic issues. Plenty of traffic lights are still out, and drivers should treat any intersections with nonfunctional signals as four-way stops. Here's a roundup of some headaches awaiting you on the road.

5:40 P.M. UPDATE: All lanes in the tunnel are reportedly open.

5:30 P.M. UPDATE: Normally, New York Avenue inbound isn't a problem for the evening commute. But the accident in the Third Street Tunnel is playing havoc with the traffic. Traffic cameras show cars backed up to Florida Avenue. Find an alternate route or allow plenty of time.

5:05 P.M. UPDATE: The D.C. police are on the scene and a tow truck is en route. One southbound lane in the tunnel remains open.

4:35 P.M. UPDATE: A vehicle has been reported overturned in the southbound lanes of the Third Street Tunnel. D.C. Fire/EMS is on the scene, according to spokesman Pete Piringer. Drivers should avoid the area as emergency crews work the scene.

DDOT reports that three lanes are closed.

2:55 P.M. UPDATE: According to Montgomery County spokeswoman Esther Bowring, about 225 traffic signals remain dark in the county and 90 streets are blocked by downed wires and trees. Police officers are directing traffic at 60 intersections; others have temporary stop signs, but there are many others, she said, without officers or signs. Drivers should treat those as four-way stops. Five Ride On bus routes have detours, she said, but expect additional delays due to the street problems.

2:45 P.M. UPDATE: The state of Maryland is listing the following road closures as a result of the storm:

-- Massachusetts Avenue southbound at Goldsboro Road (storm debris).
-- River Road at Springridge Road (trees and wires down).
-- River Road at Falls Road (trees and wires down).
-- Riggs Road and Metzerott Road (debris).
-- U.S. 1 south at Southard Drive (debris).

2:35 P.M. UPDATE: At Southwood Avenue and Colesville Road, there are wires down that limit traffic to the left lane only on Colesville. Use caution. And on Colesville northbound at Route 32, only the right lane gets by.

1:55 P.M. UPDATE: A reminder that you can help keep others updated on problem areas by plotting locations on our storm damage map.

1:45 P.M. UPDATE: PepcoConnect reports that 219,000 Pepco customers are without power.

1:35 P.M. UPDATE: There is a report of water main break at 27th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Southeast Washington. That won't do anything to improve the commute for people leaving the city that way this afternoon.

1:29 P.M. UPDATE: Our "eyes on the roads," the network of traffic cameras we rely on, are still being affected by the power outages, especially in Montgomery County. If you know of a problem area, please post a comment below.

And because of the problems being anticipated this afternoon, please allow extra time for your trips, or avoid traveling if you can.

1:09 P.M. UPDATE: The word from Montgomery County is that drivers should expect this afternoon's commute to be little improved over what they experienced Monday morning. According to county spokeswoman Esther Bowring, about 270 traffic signals remain without power. The county transportation department placed temporary stop signs in some locations and police were on the scene directing traffic at others.

1 P.M. UPDATE: According to DDOT Director Gabe Klein, there are 303 reports of tree damage in the District, and 140 have been resolved by the city's forestry division. The city is waiting on Pepco before the others can be resolved , he said.

12:55 P.M. UPDATE: DDOT reports that there are 65 intersections without power in the District.

NOON UPDATE: We're expecting an update from Montgomery County on its plans for this afternoon's commute soon. Meanwhile, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are scheduled to survey storm damage and discuss cleanup beginning at 1 p.m. We'll provide details as we get them.

11:55 A.M. UPDATE: District Department of Transportation spokesman John Lisle says DDOT has deployed traffic control officers and crossing guards "to as many intersections as we can." DDOT has also sent generators and portable stop signs to others. The District is still dealing with about 50 intersections that do not have power, he said.

11:12 A.M. UPDATE: D.C Fire/EMS reports that a pedestrian has been struck at 13th and D streets SE.

11 A.M. UPDATE: Downed power lines are being reported on River Road at Falls Road. Avoid the area.

10:55 A.M. UPDATE: East Capitol Street at Southern Avenue is another problem spot, and U.S. 29 is still a problem.

10:45 A.M. UPDATE: Want to help us plot storm damage and power outages affecting travel in the region? You can add a trouble spot to this regional map.

10:30 A.M. UPDATE: Ed O'Keefe's Federal Eye blog reports that the offices of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda are closed Monday due to the weekend storms:

• 6100 and 6006 Executive Boulevard
• Rockledge 2
• 6610 Rockledge Dr.
• Democracy 1 and 2
• GDC Warehouse
• 6700B Rockledge
• 5635 Fishers Lane
• 9800 Medical Center Drive

Essential personnel still must report for work. All other Washington-area federal offices are operating as normal, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

10:20 A.M. UPDATE: Signals are out on Connecticut Avenue between Aspen Hill Road and Knowles Avenue.

Signals are also out at Missouri Avenue at New Hampshire and Veirs Mill between Ferrara Avenue and Georgia.

10:15 A.M. UPDATE: Montgomery County was the hardest hit by yesterday's sudden storm.

-- To report power outages, call Pepco at 1-877-737-2662, Allegheny Power at 1-800-255-3443 or Baltimore Gas and Electric at 1-877-778-2222.
-- To report "hot" wires or sparking wires, especially those across roadways, call 911.
-- To report downed trees in the public right-of-way, call 311 from within Montgomery County or if Montgomery County residents are outside the county, call 240-777-0311.

10:10 A.M. UPDATE: The Post's Lena H. Sun reports that signals are out on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda.

10:02 A.M. UPDATE: Traffic signals on 16th Street NW between Georgia Avenue and East-West Highway are out.

10 A.M. UPDATE: If you're traveling around the area by bus, you'll want to allow extra time. Transit services, such as Metrobus, Montgomery's Ride On, the Fairfax Connector and the Circulator will be disrupted by the power outages affecting traffic signals around the region.

9:15 A.M. UPDATE: A reminder that in the District you can call 311 to report downed trees and problem areas.

9:10 A.M. UPDATE: The District Department of Transportation says there are 52 intersections in the District affected by power outages.

9:05 A.M. UPDATE: Another bright spot this morning appears to be the 14th Street Bridge. Traffic is relatively light and moving easily.

9 A.M. UPDATE: Widespread power outages have many of us blind this morning. The traffic cameras that provide feeds of current conditions aren't working in many cases. What are you seeing? If you know of an outage that is affecting traffic signals, please post a comment below.

8:50 A.M. UPDATE: It's a miserable commute around the Beltway and just about everywhere else this morning, with travels complicated by downed trees and traffic signals that aren't functioning. If you were coming in from the east, New York Avenue was a parking lot due to the accident at North Capitol. The street has reopened, but the delays will take a while to work through the system. The surrounding streets became burdened, too, as drivers sought relief and flowed onto Rhode Island, Virginia and Bladensburg.

I-270 commuters are also in the soup this morning. At last check, southbound taffic was backed up to Father Hurley Boulevard.

Metro seemed to be one of the bright spots. Some commuters reported plenty of parking spaces at their stations and trains that were relatively trouble-free.

What was your experience? Post a comment below.

8:40 A.M. UPDATE:

-- River Road is still blocked in both directions at Falls Road and Springridge Road in Potomac.

-- Massachusetts Avenue is still blocked heading southbound at Goldsboro Road in Bethesda.

-- Riggs Road in still blocked in both directions at Metzerott Road in Adelphi.

-- Baltimore Avenue/U.S. 1 is still blocked southbound at Southard Drive in Beltsville.

-- New York Avenue might have reopened at North Capitol Street, but expect residual delays to linger from this morning's road closure.

-- I-395 North is very jammed up at the 14th Street Bridge.
8:10 A.M. UPDATE:

-- New York Avenue has reopened in both directions, according to the District Department of Transportation. Residual delays are going to linger in the area for a while, so it's still advisable to try and avoid it if you can.


-- There are the usual delays in Northern Virginia -- backups on I-66 East, I-395 North and I-495 North.

-- New York Avenue is still blocked at North Capitol Street, and it's causing major problems for inbound traffic coming from Maryland. The Post's Michael Bolden reports that it is backed up all the way to Bladensburg Road in Northeast.

-- Amtrak is also fraught with delays. Last night, northbound trains were delayed between three and six hours.

7:35 A.M. UPDATE:

-- In non-storm/regularly-scheduled-traffic-news, I-66 East is jammed up at Nutley Street.

-- And I-495 North is crowded at I-66.

7:10 A.M. UPDATE:

-- River Road is blocked in both directions at Falls Road and Springridge Road in Potomac, owing to fallen debris at both locations.

-- The traffic lights are out and there's big congestion on Route 29 heading south into Silver Spring.

-- More than 20 traffic signals are still out in the District, according to the District Department of Transportation. Some of the big roadways with signal problems:

- Benning Road SE

- Michigan Avenue NE

- Minnesota Avenue NE

- Nannie Helen Borroughs NE

- South Dakota NE

- Connecticut Avenue NW

- Missouri Avenue NW

- Military Road NW

- Wisconsin Avenue NW

6:45 A.M. UPDATE:

-- East-West Highway at Cypress Place in Chevy Chase is clear for traffic.

-- Debris on River Road might slow traffic in both directions at Springridge Road.

6:20 A.M. UPDATE:

-- There are widespread power outages throughout the region, so be very careful as you head out. Expect to hit delays caused by flashing lights.


-- New York Avenue is blocked in both directions from First Street in Northwest to First Street in Northeast, due to an accident at New York Avenue and North Capitol Street. It's expected to last through rush hour, so avoid this area.

-- Debris could slow westbound traffic on East-West Highway at Cypress Place in Chevy Chase.

-- Debris is blocking Massachusetts Avenue southbound at Goldsboro Road in Bethesda.

-- Debris is also blocking Riggs Road in both directions at Metzerott Road in Adelphi.

-- And debris is blocking Baltimore Avenue/U.S. 1 southbound at Southard Drive in Beltsville.

By Mark Berman  | July 26, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  
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The traffic lights are out at the North Capitol and Michigan Ave intersection when I drove through there at about 7:30 am. There are stop signs on the road, but the majority of drivers are not paying any attention to them and multiple cars try to get through on the "stop" of the car ahead of them.

But a few blocks north of the intersection, there's a police officer sitting in an unmarked car with a radar gun next to him. When I drove by, he was reading the newspaper.

I get to the office, and call 311 to complain. The guy tells me that he'll request traffic control officers at the intersection. He then asks me if I want to file a complaint and when I say yes, he connects me to the MPD Fifth District. I tell the woman who answers the phone that the cop reading the newspaper should get out of his car and start dealing with the traffic mess at the intersection. She tells me, well, he's assigned to do speeding enforcement, not traffic control, so he's not doing anything wrong, and do I want to talk to the sergeant?. At that point, I just gave up and said no.

So, folks, if you were in a car accident or a near-mess today at that intersection, be aware that the MPD was on the job looking out for speeders a few yards north!

Posted by: WashingtonDame | July 26, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I set out early this morning expecting Metro to be a nightmare, but my Orange Line commute surprisingly was better than average -- no delays or problems.

Posted by: Washington Post Editors | July 26, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Leave the pig alone, he might be saving up energy for a doughnut run.

Posted by: jiji1 | July 26, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame: you're blaming MPD because drivers were ignoring a 4 way stop?

Last night there were 3 cops at that intersection (Michigan/N Capitol), 1 at Michigan/Franklin, and 3 at Michigan/4th. MPD was doing a fine job under the circumstances.

If drivers are too stupid to figure out what to do at an intersection, where the traffic signals aren't functioning and there is a helpful red and white octagonal reminder on how to behave, then there's not much hope for those people. They shouldn't even be driving.

Posted by: bikes-everywhere | July 26, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

We go from Clarendon-ish to Silver Spring, via the Key Bridge and DC.

We could really see today how hard the areas north of the city got smacked, though. A whole series of lights on Military Rd were out, the lights at Foxhall & Nebraska were out, and a whole series of lights on 16th, heading towards Colesville / the Maryland border were out. They had folks directing the traffic at the worst intersections (like that rotary where 16th and Colesville meet, right at the DC / MD border). Mostly our commute wasn't bad but I think that was due to low volume.

Posted by: EtoilePB | July 26, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I drive down GA from Glenmont. Most traffic lights were out. There were MoCo police cars sitting at a few signals but they weren't directing traffic - they were sitting in their cars. I don't get it - it was like a demolition derby out there and they sat and watched.

Posted by: jackdmom | July 26, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"WashingtonDame: you're blaming MPD because drivers were ignoring a 4 way stop?"

No, I'm blaming MPD for wasting resources on something less important than making sure that nobody gets killed or hurt at a major intersection during the morning rush hour. Let me remind you that ambulances use Michigan to get to National Children's Medical Center.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | July 26, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Let me remind you that ambulances use Michigan to get to National Children's Medical Center."

What does that have to do with anything? EMS still approaches that intersection under lights and siren in the case of an emergency--whether it's a four way stop or a signalized intersection.

And DC drivers will act as they always do: they will drive right in front of the emergency vehicle.

Posted by: bikes-everywhere | July 26, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Didn't see this listed, but as of 10 AM this morning Rockville Pike/355 between the Beltway and Montrose, all traffic signals are out. There are Montgomery County police officers directing traffic at most of the major intersections, but smaller intersections are four-way stops/honor system.

Posted by: maraparker1 | July 26, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

traffic lights out this morning as of 10am on georgia ave conn ave and viers mill rd near wheaton plaza and no police in sight..i could not go to work who is going pay my lost wages...i believe pepco turned off the ligts on purpose...most motorized do not understand what to do when traffic lights go was a total nightmare..i turned around best i could and went home...wasted day..pepco is worthless ....cut down those trees on regular basis please...i will help them signed out of work...

Posted by: wmnatzakanian | July 26, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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