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Outages remain a traffic problem

Mark Berman

The region is still recovering from Sunday's storms, which caused massive power outages throughout the area yesterday. The outages aren't going away any time soon, with many estimated to last through Thursday. Many traffic lights are still out, and drivers should remember to treat any intersections with nonfunctional signals as four-way stops. Here's a look at what commuters face on the roads today:

10:15 A.M. UPDATE: 103 traffic signals are still dark in Montgomery County, according to officials. Fifty-five county roads remain block by fallen trees or downed wires.

Officials expect trash and recycling pickups to operate on a normal schedule.

8:50 A.M. UPDATE:

-- Latest numbers from Pepco, showing some slight improvements: 107,000 customers without power in Montgomery County, 18,000 in Prince George's County and 6,500 in the District.

8:35 A.M. UPDATE:

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

-- The earlier accident is no longer blocking the left lane of the I-495 North exit ramp to U.S. 50., but is blocking the right shoulder of the ramp.

-- A pedestrian was struck at the intersection of New York and Florida avenues in Northeast, according to the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services. They are on the scene now, but expect some traffic backups and delays in that area.

8:10 A.M. UPDATE:

-- A pair of delays impacting ART buses: ART 87, 84 and 74 are delayed due to heavy traffic on Glebe Road. Separately, an accident on North Fairfax Drive and Utah Street is delaying ART 51.

8:05 A.M. UPDATE:

-- An accident is blocking the left lane of the I-495 North exit ramp to U.S. 50.

7:40 A.M. UPDATE:

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

-- The I-270 South lanes are clear.

-- There still might be Outer Loop delays at Connecticut Avenue.

7:15 A.M. UPDATE:

-- An accident on the Outer Loop before Connecticut Avenue might slow traffic.

-- Similarly, a disabled vehicle on I-270 South before Middlebrook Road could cause problems for southbound traffic.

6:50 A.M. UPDATE:

-- There are currently 29 intersections without power in the District. Of those, 16 are operating with generators, while the rest have portable stop signs.

-- Traffic signals are out along Military Road in Northwest, for instance. And there's no power at the intersection of Kansas and Missouri avenues, so avoid that area.

6:25 A.M. UPDATE:

-- In non-storm news, I-395 North is backed up at the 14th Street Bridge and Duke Street.

-- I-66 East is also very sluggish at Nutley Street.


-- There are still 142,000 Pepco customers without power. There are 115,000 impacted in Montgomery County, 19,000 in Prince George's County and more than 6,000 in the District. (In Virginia, there are about 300 without power, according to Dominion Virginia Power.)

-- According to their most recent update, Montgomery County still has 203 non-working traffic signals.

-- More than 20 signals are still out in the District, according to the District Department of Transportation's most recent announcement.

-- Here are some numbers for reporting outages:
* Pepco 877-737-2662
* Allegheny Power 800-255-3443
* Baltimore Gas & Electric 877-778-2222
* Dominion Virginia Power 866.366.4357
* Washington Gas 703-750-1000
* Virginia American Water Company 800-452-6863

-- Here are two relief centers in the District that are open overnight:
* Emery Recreation Center - Georgia Ave in Northwest, 202-576-3211
* Harry Thomas Senior Recreation Center - 1743 Lincoln Rd in Northeast, DC 202-576-5642

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

By Mark Berman  | July 27, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  power outages  
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I wonder if the folks who oppose cutting the tops off of trees alongside power lines will ever consider the adverse impacts these tree tops have whenever we have a wind storm.

Where I grew up in Kansas, storms like this one were not uncommon. There are so many trees hanging over power lines here that a really big storm like Isabelle, or a series of thunderstorms, could black out our communities over and over again.

Maybe those who love the tree tops so much would be willing to pay the extra utility bills to bury the power lines.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | July 27, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

If you bury power lines, they might hurt a tree root.

Why do you hate trees?

Posted by: jiji1 | July 27, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Just curious ... has anyone actually SEEN a Pepco truck? Unlike other events, they seem to be invisible, making me doubt the level of effort they claim to be applying to the problem. Last night I drove across 108, down to Rockville Town Center, and then out to Gaithersburg. One Pepco flatbed with a couple of transformers on the back. Neighbors also say they haven't seen any Pepco presence anywhere in the center of Rockville.

Understand it's a big emergency, but it certainly seems Pepco is not operating at full speed. PR is one thing, results another.

Posted by: rstalick | July 27, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious to hear to what degree drivers are obeying the law that requires them to behave as though there were a four-way stop. We all know that a lot of people in the DC area think that sort of law doesn't apply to them.

Posted by: 1995hoo | July 27, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Laws? We don't need no stinkin laws.

Posted by: jiji1 | July 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

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