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Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 08/12/2010

Storm knocks out power, downs trees

By Washington Post editors

UPDATE:

Metro says its no longer single tracking at the Silver Spring station.


Pepco expects power restoration to take multiple days for some customers, according to a tweet from Andre Frances (@PepcoConnect), the social media spokesman. There was no indication of how many customers may be affected by that estimate.


10:04 a.m.
D.C. Fire and EMS is reporting that they received over 250 calls in two hours following a severe thunderstorm that moved through the region Thursday morning. Numerous closed roads, downed trees and power lines, and accidents because of the storms.

-- Major damage reported in the 16th Street area: N. Portal Street, Primrose Street, Parkside NW. Trees down and some streets closed

-- 1700 block of Kalmia Road is closed because of undermined road structure.

-- Tree down in the 2100 block of Sudbury Place NW.

-- Cars in the water at Canal Road, Rhode Island Avenue between 5th and 9th streets NE.

-- A car hit a utility pole on Georgia Avenue NW. Wires were down.

RADAR: Overview of conditions in D.C., Md. and Va.

OUTAGES: Pepco: 99,000+ | Dom.: 1,400+ | BG&E: 13,000+

COMMUTE: Delays on Canal Rd., I-270 SB, more | LIVE MAP

YOUR TAKE: Tell us what you're seeing | Share your photos

9:50 a.m.
Airports in the Washington region and throughout the Northeast are experiencing delays as severe thunderstorms affect air travel. The Federal Aviation Administration is reporting increasing departure delays between 31 and 45 minutes at Reagan National. Delays at Dulles are increasing and running at 46 minutes to an hour. Departure delays at BWI are running more than an hour. Similar problems are being experienced at Philadelphia, Newark, JFK and LaGuardia. The airports urge travelers to check with their airlines for the latest information on how individual flights are affected.
-- Michael Bolden

9:44 a.m.
The Forest Glen Metro rail station has reopened, but the Cleveland Park station remains closed due to power outages and flooding caused by the storm, and a Metro official said when Cleveland Park station will reopen remains uncertain.

"Right now we haven't set a time on it," said Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff. "It's going to be dependent on them getting power back on, understanding there are other power issues around the city they have to address." Also uncertain was whether generators could be used to supply electricity before normal power is returned.

Cleveland Park station is flooded, which would further complicate reopening, he said. "At Cleveland once the power comes back up the flooding may be an issue as well and I am not sure how quickly we can get the water out of the station," he said.

Trains are moving through the station, indicating the tracks are not flooded, he said.

In another disruption, debris and a tree on the tracks has forced the single-tracking of trains between Silver Spring and Takoma stations on the Red Line, he said.

Shuttle buses have been running to ferry customers between the closed stations.

Metrobus and MetroAccess vehicles are also moving slowly this morning due to traffic congestion caused by debris and flooding in some areas, he said.

--Ann Scott Tyson


9:36 a.m.
Metro says the Forest Glen Station has reopened. Cleveland Park remains closed. Trains are single tracking at Silver Spring.

******
Trains are running in both directions at the Red Line's Woodley Park station as of 9:34 a.m.

"We hope to have the situation resolved as soon as possible," says an announcement on the station's public address system. "We do regret any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience."
-- Ed O'Keefe

9:31 a.m.
Flooding and power outages are complicating travel through the D.C. region. Here are some of the main problem areas: 200 traffic signals out in Montgomery County; Canal Road reported closed at Arizona; high water on Outer Loop at Colesville Road; road debris blocking three lanes of I-270 North at Democracy Boulevard; S. Capitol Street closed heading north between Virginia Avenue and I Street in Southwest.

Also, MARC Penn Line and Brunswick Line trains running late;Red Line trains not stopping at Cleveland Park, which could be closed through 11 a.m. due to power outage and flooding; Red Line trains sharing track between Silver Spring and Takoma.

*******
Traffic signals at 24 intersections in the District are out this morning following the severe thunderstorms that passed through the region, according to the District Department of Transportation. Signals at 22 intersections are in flash mode. Officials said traffic control officers, generators and portable stop signs are being deployed.
-- Mark Berman

Numerous stoplights were out and tree limbs down along East-West Highway in Silver Spring, although traffic was moving. A parking garage and lobby were flooded in a downtown Silver Spring building that includes medical offices.
-- Robert McCartney

9:22 a.m.

The fast moving storms that moved through the Washington region Thursday morning knocked out power, downed trees, left some motorists stranded and damaged buildings and cars.

U.S. Parks Police spokesman Dave Schlosser said a driver dove out of a silver mini-van and was left clinging to a homeowner's fence on Broad Branch Road near Beach Drive after seeing a "15-foot wall of water" surging down the roadway towards him shortly before 8 a.m. The wall of water swamped the van, Schlosser said, and washed it into Rock Creek where it floated for about a quarter of a mile before coming to a stop.

The driver "was hanging on for dear life", Schlosser said, but escaped injury. No one else was in the van, Schlosser said.

"I told the guy it was his day to go buy a lottery ticket," said Schlosser.

-- Mary Pat Flaherty


Fire authorities in Prince George's County are reporting that a roof has partially collapsed on a structure at 4949 Allentown Road, and natural gas is leaking.

Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, Tweeted the incident about five minutes ago. The building is in the Camp Springs area of the county.

Updates will be provided as they become available.

-- Matt Zapotosky


A WMATA official at the Cleveland Park Metro said the station could be closed another "one to two hours."
clevelandparkA.jpg
Cleveland Park entrance closed after severe storms. (Ed O'Keefe/Post)

At least some of the flooding at the Cleveland Park station appeared to have occurred on the mezzanine level, at the bottom of the escalators that take passengers into the station. Yellow caution tape blocked the entrances to the station.


--Ed O'Keefe

Motorists stranded by flood waters were said to be perched on hoods and roofs of cars at Connecticut Avenue and Viers Mill Road.

-- Michael E. Ruane

Heavy rains flooded two rooms in the Small Savers daycare center, located across the street from the White House in the Office of Thrift Supervision building. As a result the center closed Thursday, leaving dozens of parents stranded without childcare for the day.

--Juliet Eilperin


9:07 a.m.

Military Road in Northwest Washington was closed due to flooding. Flooding was reported on Canal Road, also in the District. Motorists were reported stranded in cars
along Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park.

The storms struck shortly after 7 a.m., darkening skies and then unleashing torrents of rain, from Frederick south to the district.

By 9 a.m., skies were starting to clear, but many problems continue.

Metro Red Line trains were not stopping at the Cleveland Park Station due to a power problem. Metro advised commuters to use the L2 Metro bus as a free alternative.

Trains were slowed by downed limbs at the Silver Spring Metro Station, Trains are sharing the same track between Silver Spring and Takoma Park.

The Forest Glen station was closed due to a power problem. Metro advised using the Y8 Metrobus on Georgia Avenue as a free alternative.

--Michael E. Ruane,

8:51 a.m.

Rescue workers responded to a report of a tree that had fallen through the roof of an apartment building in the 500 block of Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg about 7 a.m. Thursday. Workers found that the tree had damaged a common stairway, so they used 24-foot ladders to rescue residents.

No serious injuries were reported, but two people were taken to an area hospital with what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to initial reports from Capt. Oscar Garcia, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

A search for trapped residents was undertaken, but authorities believe everyone is out of the building.

Elsewhere, fire and rescue workers were busy throughout the county responding to reports of storm-related damage, Garcia said. Some people’s cars were caught as they tried to drive through standing water, and they called 911. In some instances, the water had receded by the time workers arrived and the drivers freed themselves.

Rescue workers responded to a report of a tree that had fallen through the roof of an apartment building in the 500 block of Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg at about 7 a.m. Thursday. Workers found that the tree had damaged a common stairway, so they used 24-foot ladders to rescue residents.

No serious injuries were reported, but two people were taken to an area hospital with what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to initial reports from Cpt. Oscar Garcia, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

A search for trapped residents was undertaken, but authorities believe everybody is out of the building.

Elsewhere, fire and rescue workers were busy throughout the county responding to reports of storm-related damage, Garcia said. Some people’s cars were caught as they tried to drive through standing water, and they called 911. In some instances, the water had receded by the time workers arrived and the drivers freed themselves.

--Dan Morse

8:41 a.m.

A line of fast moving thunderstorms rolled across the Washington region Thursday morning deluging streets with flash flood waters, stranding motorists, knocking out power, and hampering mass transit service.

The sudden monsoon-like downpours tore down trees and limbs, flooded parts of Shady Grove Hospital, and caught motorists near the height of the morning rush.

Flash flooding was reported near Connecticut Avenue and Viers Mill Rroad in Montgomery County, Rhode Island Avenue and 5th Street in Northeast Washington, and Route 1 in Beltsville.

There were several reports of motorists being rescued from cars on flooded roads, and trees fallen onto buildings.

Pepco reported 60,000 power outages, and hundreds of traffic lights were reported out across the region.

-- Michael E. Ruane

By Washington Post editors  | August 12, 2010; 10:08 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia  
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Comments

DAMN!!

Posted by: hmorrisjr | August 12, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The nation's capital is always good for laughs. Like some third world country, with every thunderstorm thousands lose electricity.

Posted by: checkered1 | August 12, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope that Pepco gets its act together this time. One good sign - the Web site and the outage maps are actually working.

It would do them well to over communicate, let us know where the crews are, give us an idea about prioritization.

By example - we're in the neighborhood that is around the Dennis Ave tree fall in Silver Spring. Does Pepco need to wait for Montgomery County to remove the tree? Does Mongomery County need Pepco to do something? Does a tree fall in the neighborhood mean that we're more likely or less likely to get power back in short order?

With this being the third major power outage of the year in MC we're getting a good education on the fragility of the power grid in the area.

The best thing Pepco can do right now is impress the heck out of us all by showing that they are right on top of things.

Posted by: mikeintheusa | August 12, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the power company bury electric lines, like they do in other developed countries, so that storms do not create power outages? Things have moved on since the 1930s, but America, it seems, has not.

Posted by: AnonymousBE1 | August 12, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Goldsboro Road closed at Massachusetts Avenue by fallen tree. Tree is immediately east of Massachusetts Avenue.

Posted by: FrankIBC | August 12, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

HMMMMm!

Think the Good Man Upstairs is displeased with what is going on in Washington, DC.

Get the message President Obama??

Posted by: wheeljc | August 12, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Brave new climate.

http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/13/pakistan-flood-global-warming-helicopters/#more-31647

Posted by: mike_midwest | August 13, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Trees all over the world are weakened by exposure to toxic fuel emissions. Ozone from nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxides, and acetaldehydes has been shown in many scientific studies to damage stomata in the foliage and needles of vegetation, interfering with the ability to photosynthesize and produce chlorophyll.

Plants are losing their ability to withstand naturally occurring insects, diseases, fungus, and weather events. All you have to do is take a real look at trees and you can see that their leaves are wilted, singed, stippled, and shriveled - their branches are falling off - their bark is splitting - and many are totally dead already.

Whether you accept climate change from CO2 or not, ozone is an existential threat to humans because plants are at the bottom of the food chain. Every other species is dependent upon them for nourishment and habitat.

We need to switch to clean energy on an emergency basis - ration fuel and restrict its use to only the most essential purposes.

www.witsendnj.blogspot.com, photographs and links to published reserach

Posted by: witsendnj | August 13, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

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