Rough commutes possible on Wed.
7:40 p.m. Update: The Washington area is now under a tornado watch.
Original post: The Capital Weather Gang reports that the storms that caused flight delays and harrowing commutes in the Midwest on Tuesday will move into the Washington region overnight. The ferocity is expected to diminish -- some were calling it "Windpocalypse" in Chicago -- but it may still make for tough going for commuters in our area.
Post weather editor Jason Samenow says the most likely impacts for Washington residents will be between 3 and 8 a.m. and late afternoon Wednesday, time periods that fall into the most-likely times when many of us will be commuting. Heavy rain will be possible and there may be gusts of up to 50 mph, Jason says, particularly for suburbs in the north and west.
Commuters in Chicago faced blustery, wind-driven rain as they waited on train platforms. Another commuter described a frightening pre-dawn drive to the train station.
"It was raining really, really hard. Coming down the street I was kind of getting really nervous; even with the bright lights you couldn't see in front of you," said Delphine Thompson, 53, a telecom manager in Chicago.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said that flights were delayed early Tuesday morning at O'Hare International Airport because the airport was able to use only two runways for arrivals and one for departures. At least 125 flights were canceled. .
Mark Berman will be blogging about the a.m. commute beginning at 5:30 Wednesday. If conditions are really rough, the Post's transportation team will start providing updates even earlier. Bookmark the Dr. Gridlock blog for the latest updates. Meanwhile, here are some resources that may come in handy.
BGE outages: 877-778-2222; downed wires: 800-685-0123; outage map
Dominion outages and downed wires: 866-366-4357; outage map
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative outages and downed wires: 703-335-0500; outage reports
Pepco outages: 877-737-2662; downed wires: 202-872-343; outage map
Washington Gas: 800-752-7520
Downed trees and debris in roads
Anne Arundel County: After hours, 410-222-6120; northern district, 410-222-6120; central district, 410-222-7940; southern district; 410-222-7940; Annapolis; 410-263-7870.
Arlington County:703-228-6527; after hours, 703-558-2222.
Calvert County: 410-535-1600.
Charles County: 301-932-3450 or 301-870-2778.
The District: 311; clogged storm drains, 202-612-3400.
Fairfax County: 703-324-5033 (Public Works); 571-350-1000 (Emergency Management); 703-383-VDOT.
Howard County: 410-313-3440.
Loudoun County:703-777-0333 (Emergency Management); 703-383-VDOT.
Maryland State: 800-543-2515.
Montgomery County: 240-777-6000.
National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/state/dc/
Prince George's County: 301-499-8520; after hours, 301-499-8600.
Prince William County: 703-792-7070 or 703-383-VDOT.
Virginia State: 703-383-VDOT.
If you're flying Tuesday or Wednesday, check with your airline for how your flight might be affected. The airport you're headed to may have stopped arrival traffic, and one the storms arrive there may be departure delays at Washington-area airports. Check airport flight delays here.
-- Associated Press and staff reports