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Posted at 5:45 AM ET, 08/ 6/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Picking up the pieces

By Washington Post editors
Washington Post editors

Good morning. Friday at last. Another rough storm left more than 100,000 households and businesses in the dark and toppled as many as 50 trees in one Virginia neighborhood. This morning, utility officials said power had been restored to the vast majority of customers, but about 35,000 were still in the dark, mostly in Prince George's. Here's hoping the lights will be back on soon for everyone.

No storms in the forecast. Compared to yesterday, today will be a breeze (and will be slightly breezy.) It'll be in the 90's, but it'll feel better because the humidity will be down. Capital Weather Gang says it'll be nice enough this evening for an evening stroll -- or perhaps, dining al fresco?

On the agenda.

It's a good weekend to get a jump on back-to-school shopping (sorry, kids.) Virginia kicks off its sales tax holiday for three days starting today (Friday). Shoppers won't pay sales tax on clothing sales under $100 and school supplies purchases under $20. Maryland kicks off a week-long sales tax holiday starting Sunday. It's the first time in four years that Maryland is offering tax-free shopping on purchases of clothing under $100.

This weekend, we'll have a story about a new report on commuting in the region by the Council of Governments that will explore why your commute isn't improving.

Today's headlines.

Storm damage. The skies grew dark and reports of downed trees were coming into our newsroom via Twitter as the storm moved through the area late yesterday afternoon. In the aftermath, it looks like Montgomery County residents were spared this time around, but there were reports of winds of up to 69 mph in Arlington and 59 mph near National Airport. About 50 trees were knocked down in the Fairlington neighborhood in Arlington. Take a look at some of the photos other Post readers shared with us and submit your own to our seemingly no-end-in-sight gallery storm gallery. WUSA reports that a woman was killed in Western Maryland during Wednesday night's storm when a tree fell on her as she rode her bike.

Hurricane forecast. Given the weather we've had this year, you may not be shocked to hear that forecasters are saying we've got a strong hurricane season on the horizon. (No word yet on when the locusts arrive.) The National Weather Service said there will be fewer possible storms than earlier predicted -- 20 instead of 23 -- and a least 12 of those could be full fledged hurricanes.

What will Fenty do? He lost a straw poll on his home turf, Ward 4, but advisors say don't count Adrian Fenty out. He lost in several straw polls back in 2006 before sweeping every precinct in his victory that year. But even the most optimistic of advisors can't believe that his loss Wednesday night to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray was a good thing. The Post's Nikita Stewart and Tim Craig explore.

A new Post app. For area commuters, we've introduced a free new app for the iPhone called DC Rider. It offers you the latest transit headline as well tools to navigate the Metro system. Did I mention it's free? We've already gotten some great feedback. @kevin_reiss wanted to know why there's no bus info? (Good question; I'm a bus rider too, so I'll ask) and @ethanklapper wants a version for the Android. I'll pass both these along to the powers that be and see if I can get you all some answers. In any case, let us know what you think of the app. Suggestions are welcome.

Finally, some Friday fun. In case you were curious, WTOP explains the story behind its highly touted "glass enclosed nerve center."

That's it for now. Thanks for reading. Hope your Friday goes well (and that you've got electricity.) Have a great weekend and remember: you can post suggestions for what you'd like to see in this column below or send them to me directly at aratanil@washpost.com.

By Washington Post editors  | August 6, 2010; 5:45 AM ET
Categories:  Loris AM Buzz  
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