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Posted at 6:15 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

Delays around the Beltway, beyond

By Washington Post Staff Writers
Mark Berman

Report power and road problems | Capital Weather Gang | Live traffic map | Radar Map |
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6:12 p.m. Update: It's a difficult commute around the Beltway and beyond Wednesday afternoon. Slowdowns on U.S. 50 are causing widespread delays that are also affecting Beltway traffic.U.S. 50 is jammed from East-West Highway. Delays on the western portion of the Beltway are significant, with the outer loop jammed from Arena Drive to 50 and the inner loop slowing from the Greenbelt Metro station.

But the Beltway didn't need a feeder route to cause problems. The rain and occasional high water has caused delays around the area. The connection with the I-270 Spur, crossing the American Legion Bridge and at River Road have been problem spots, too.

Additional routes showing significantly slower than normal speeds this evening include the George Washington Parkway south of 395 in both directions; DC-295 in both directions; and 395 in both directions.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 would be great), how would you rate today's commute?

3:02 p.m. UPDATE:Traffic maps show the inner loop backup at River Road extending well into Virginia after two right lanes flooded out earlier.

1:55 p.m. UPDATE: I-295 northbound has reopened, according to the District Department of Transportation.

12:50 p.m. UPDATE

Two left lanes of the Inner Loop of I-495 northbound are closed due to standing water at River Road. Officials say delays stretch for about six miles.

11:10 A.M. UPDATE: I-295 Northbound at Benning Rd., NE is closed. Due to high standing water, all traffic is being diverted onto the ramp at the Benning Rd., NE exit.

A few of the ramps onto I-295 North and South, near the reconstructed
Eastern Avenue Bridge, are "mini-rivers," reports the Post's Derek Kravitz, with vehicles inching along. No stranded cars apparent, but there are some delays on arterials, namely near the RFK Stadium area.

10:30 A.M. UPDATE:

-- High water on the Outer Loop at the American Legion Bridge is blocking one Outer Loop lane and one of the shoulders.

-- High water could also cause delays on U.S. 29 South at the Beltway, in addition to still being a problem on I-270 South at the Beltway.

-- A tractor trailer accident on the Inner Loop at I-66 is blocking the left center lane.

-- An accident on I-395 North at the 14th Street Bridge is also blocking the right lane and right shoulder, so expect big delays there.

-- I-395 North still has the left lane blocked after Glebe Road. However, I-395 North traffic doesn't get too bad until after Shirlington.

10:12 A.M. UPDATE:

-- High water on the Outer Loop at the American Legion Bridge as well as on I-270 South at the Beltway could be blocking lanes and contributing to the big backups.

-- A disabled vehicle on the Inner Loop at Little River Turnpike is blocking the left center lane.

-- I-395 North is still very backed up at the 14th Street Bridge and parts leading up to it. An accident after Glebe Road is blocking the left lane and the shoulder, which isn't going to help.


Tornado warnings have been canceled for Prince George's and Charles counties.

The pounding wind and rain has essentially stopped traffic on both sides of the Beltway at the American Legion Bridge. The Inner Loop is more backed up in Virginia en route to the bridge, while the Outer Loop is slower on the Maryland side as you pass Seven Locks Road.

I-270 South has nearly ground to a halt near Montrose Road, and traffic cameras show the backups stretching north of Montgomery Avenue.

The Outer Loop is still crawling at Colesville Road, while the Inner Loop is having an easier time right now.

And the Beltway looks fairly clear on the southeastern portion in Prince George's County.

9:45 A.M. UPDATE:

A tornado warning is in effect for southern Prince George's and north central Charles county until 10 a.m. From the Capital Weather Gang: NWS indicates doppler radar indicated tornado near Waldorf moving northeast at 45 mph. Locations in possible path include Clinton. Take cover if you live in that area.

9:30 A.M. UPDATE:

-- The disabled vehicle on I-95 North after the inter-county connector has been cleared.

-- I-395 North is still a congested mess, so avoid it if you can.

-- An accident is blocking the right shoulder of the ramp from George Washington Parkway to I-495 North.

-- I-66 East is still backed up at the Beltway and Glebe Road.

POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: Dominion's outages in Northern Virginia are down to a little more than 3,500 customers. There are also fewer than 900 Pepco customers without power in the District and Prince George's and Montgomery counties.

9:20 A.M. UPDATE:

A weather update from the Capital Weather Gang: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for Howard and Baltimore counties (until 10:15 a.m.) where 60+ mph wind gusts are possible. To the south, heavy showers and storms, with gusts up to 50 mph, are impacting eastern Fairfax and Montgomery counties. This activity will push east and northeast toward the District and western Prince George's county in the next 30-45 minutes.


-- The U.S. 50 eastbound lanes have reopened at U.S 301.

8:50 A.M. UPDATE:

-- The Outer Loop lanes have reopened after Riggs Road.

-- A disabled vehicle on I-95 North after the inter-county connector is blocking one lane and one of the shoulders.

-- An accident on U.S. 50 eastbound at U.S. 301 is blocking one eastbound lane and one of the shoulders.

-- A young female, believed to be 10 or 12 years old, was struck at 14th and Upshur streets in Northwest, according to D.C. Fire and EMS.

8:35 A.M. UPDATE:

-- The accident on the Outer Loop after Riggs Road is blocking one lane and one of the shoulders.

-- I-66 East is now backed up at the Beltway.

-- I'm not going to lie to you, commuters. I-395 North is a congested mess pretty much the entire way from the Beltway to the 14th Street Bridge. It is just slow, packed and no fun for anybody. So if you don't HAVE to take it this morning, try to avoid it.

-- The Outer Loop is also all kinds of jammed up near Colesville Road.

8:12 A.M. UPDATE:

Northbound Muncaster Mill Road/MD 115 is closed between Shady Grove Road and Woodfield Road/MD 124 in Gaithersburg due to downed wires. Try taking the Midcounty Highway or heading west over to Frederick Avenue.

8:07 A.M. UPDATE:

An accident at 16th Street and Military Road in Northwest is blocking the ramp to westbound Military Road and one lane.

8:05 A.M. UPDATE:

-- I-395 North is badly congested at the 14th Street Bridge now, with backups stretching far into Virginia. Expect big delays.

-- I-95 North is also backed up around Telegraph Road.

-- I-66 East is still a mess around Sudley Road and Nutley Street.

-- There's an accident on the Outer Loop after Riggs Road, so expect delays there.

7:35 A.M. UPDATE:

-- The weather-related debris has been cleared from eastbound River Road in Potomac.

-- There's debris in the road on the Outer Loop before the exit for Branch Avenue, so there could be traffic problems there.

-- I-66 East is still very backed up at Nutley Street as well as Sudley and Glebe roads.

7:20 A.M. UPDATE:

Here's an update on power outages facing the area: Pepco has more than 5,000 customers without power. More than 2,400 of those are in Montgomery County, while more than 1,500 are in the District. Meanwhile, Dominion reports more than 11,500 without power in Northern Virginia.


-- I-395 North is even more backed up at the 14th Street Bridge.

-- I-66 East is also very backed up at Nutley Road, in addition to congestion around Sudley and Glebe roads.

-- The Inner Loop is also slow approaching Gallows Road, though the shoulder has reopened.

-- And you should still expect problems on eastbound River Road at Chapel Road in Potomac due to weather-related debris.

6:30 A.M. UPDATE:

-- Weather-related debris could disrupt eastbound traffic on River Road at Chapel Road in Potomac. We recommend avoiding the road in case lanes are blocked.

-- I-395 North is very congested around the 14th Street Bridge, so exercise caution when approaching that area.

-- An accident on the Inner Loop at Gallows Road is blocking one of the shoulders. There are delays approaching this area.

6:05 A.M. UPDATE:

-- Delays are starting early in Virginia: There's already congestion on I-66 East at Chain Bridge Road, I-95 North in Woodbridge and I-395 North at the 14th Street Bridge.

-- An accident on the westbound John Hanson Highway at the Beltway is blocking one of the shoulders.


It's likely to be a rough commute this morning due to the weather. There's a tornado watch until 10 a.m for the region, a wind advisory until 11 a.m. and a flash flood watch through the afternoon. We can expect heavy showers, thunderstorms and wind gusts this morning with the potential for flooding.

Check back here throughout the morning for updates on what to expect. Here are some resources to help you report problems. If you are aware of issues, please post a comment below and let us know.

Report problems
-- 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:
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.

Road conditions
Live traffic map | Maryland | Virginia

Here are some additional resources:

Capital Weather Gang | Radar Map |
Share your photos | NOAA Flood Safety

By Washington Post Staff Writers  | December 1, 2010; 6:15 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Congestion, Driving  
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Next: Big delays on inner loop in VA


What's with the dumpster in the curb lane of southbound North Capitol St. just before Florida Ave? Whose bright idea was this? Traffic backed up to Michigan Avenue. Come on DC, get it out of there!

Posted by: donh1 | December 1, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

DC is a dumpster.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 1, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Free Bernard Madoff!

Posted by: blasmaic | December 1, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

This is pretty worthless since he posts the time but NOT WHAT DAY!

Posted by: snowbucks | December 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

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