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Posted at 5:51 AM ET, 07/26/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Mother Nature vs. D.C.

By Washington Post editors
Washington Post editors

Good morning. That was some weekend: record breaking temperatures on Saturday and a violent storm Sunday afternoon that we're still trying to clean up from this morning.

Mother Nature isn't done with us yet. Despite the snowiest winter in 100 years and the hottest spring on record, area residents were treated to a violent storm on Sunday that left at least two dead and caused the largest number of power outages since Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Thousands of people are still without power -- and both Montgomery and Prince George's counties are under mandatory water rationing after power was disrupted at a WSSC plant that supplies water to 70 percent of residents. Check out this video footage of the storms as they tore through the area Sunday.

As of 5:30 a.m. Monday morning, Montgomery County officials said more than 200 traffic lights are still out in the county and urged drivers to be alert. All activities, including summer camps, at Montgomery Public School campuses have also been canceled for the day. In Prince George's County officials have also opened cooling centers to accommodate people without power. For more information call 301-265-8450.

Some guidelines for dealing with refrigerated food after a power outage. (WTOP)

Monday's forecast. There is one bit of good news weather-wise. The Capital Weather Gang says it will feel about 20 degrees cooler today. Temperatures will be in the low 90's but there will be less humidity, so it should feel significantly cooler.

Also today: Maryland state officials are set to get their first analysis of how much the health care reform bill passed by Congress will cost the state. The NTSB is expected on Tuesday to release the findings into the cause of the June 2009 Red Line Metro crash that killed 9 people.

Other headlines.

The race for. D.C. Council Chairman. The Post's Ann Marimow profiles D.C. Council member Kwame Brown, who is running for Chair of the D.C. Council. Brown, the first council member east of the Anacostia River to be elected citywide, is praised for being a consensus builder. But privately, some have expressed concern he is focused more on popularity than policy. Tuesday's paper will feature a profile of Brown's opponent, Vincent B. Orange, Sr.

Wal-Mart in D.C.? A battle between organized labor and Wal-Mart is beginning as the Arkansas-based chain looks to open a store in Washington, D.C.

Bedbug menace. Baltimore and many cities across the country are battling an epidemic of bedbugs. Exterminators in the city who say they used to handling a dozen calls now say they're getting hundreds and Baltimore officials are trying to come up with a strategy for dealing with them. (The Baltimore Sun)

The D.C. Socialite reminds us of a special version of "Restaurant Week." From July 26th to the 30th restaurants around the D.C. area are participating in Habitat Restaurant week to benefit the Montgomery County chapter of Habitat For Humanity and their efforts to build affordable housing.

A reporting experiment. Six Post reporters will launch an unusual experiment this week. On Wednesday, they'll be fanning out to coffee shops around the D.C. region to find intriguing stories about you. They'll write up what they discover and then you -- the reader -- will have the chance to vote on which story will appear in the print edition of The Washington Post.

The Post's Mark Fisher explains: This week's experiment will take place at the coffee houses listed below -- please feel free to drop by and talk to the reporters.

Here's where the reporters will be:

St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, 2300 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA

Caribou Coffee, 11947 Grand Commons Avenue, Fairfax, VA

Starbucks, 121 Market St., Kentlands, Gaithersburg, MD

The Coffee Bar, 1203 Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Big Chair Coffee, 2122 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC

Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE, Washington, DC

Intrigued? Stop on by. Maybe they'll buy you a cup of coffee.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the weather (for a change) and have a great day.

By Washington Post editors  | July 26, 2010; 5:51 AM ET
Categories:  Loris AM Buzz  
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