Vicious Storms Leave Several Dead in Area
16 storm-related deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia; hundreds of thousands without power in area
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 30: A fallen tree rests atop a convenience store in the Shaw neighborhood after heavy storms in the Washington, DC region June 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. The storm has left more than a million people in the greater Washington, DC area without power. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
The D.C. area is struggling to recover after a massive storm that resulted in at least 16 deaths and left more than 1.5 million people without power.
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Here's the very latest.
- Comcast said Monday evening that its outages are mostly related to commercial power outages, and Comcast service should be restored as power is restored.
- A downed tree blocked the southbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway at Overlook Park in Arlington Monday evening. Traffic was diverted to VA 123 (Chain Bridge Road).
- Citing the disruption caused by the weather and the need to keep resources focused on recovery, Montgomery County canceled the Mid-County Sparkles! Fireworks display planned for Einstein High School in Kensington and the Germantown Glory fireworks scheduled at the Maryland SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park.
- A boil water advisory for Falls Church Water Utility customers in Tysons, Vienna and Dunn Loring was lifted Monday afternoon.
- Federal agencies in the D.C. area will be open Tuesday, but non-emergency employees have the option for unscheduled leave or telework.
- VDOT lifted HOV on I-66 inside the Beltway for the afternoon.
- Prince George’s County Government announces Liberal Leave Policy will be in effect for non-essential Prince George’s County Employees for Monday.
- Fairfax County Government is open Monday, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled. Fairfax County Public Schools operating status will be updated online at www.fcps.edu. The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed.
- Loudoun County Government will be open Monday but on unscheduled leave for non essential personnel. Emergency personnel and essential employees are expected to report on time.
- Prince George's County Public Schools will operate under Code Yellow on Monday, meaning schools are closed. All offices are closed. Emergency personnel only must report to work. All evening activities are canceled.
- Federal agencies will be open Monday. Employees have the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. Those eligible must notify their supervisors. They may use annual leave, earned compensatory time off, earned credit hours, or leave without pay; or as permitted by their agency's policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements, telework from home on a non-telework day, if the employee has a telework agreement in place that is approved for unscheduled telework. Emergency employees are expected to report to their worksite on time unless otherwise directed by their agencies.
- Virginia has recorded its seventh death related to Friday's storms. Spokeswoman Corinne Geller of the Virginia State Police told the Associated Press that the state medical examiner has concluded a traffic death Friday night in Montgomery County, Va., was storm related. The other deaths all resulted from falling trees.
- Falls Church will institute liberal leave for employees Monday.
- In a statement, Verizon acknowledged that a "power issue in one of our Arlington facilities" was responsible for 911 service outages in Fairfax and Prince William counties, as well as in Manassas and Manassas Park.
- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has declared liberal leave for all non-essential state employees on Monday. Employees must notify their supervisors if they intend to take liberal leave.
- All scheduled programs and activities in Montgomery County Public Schools, including summer camp programs, are canceled for Monday and Tuesday.
- Merrifield is no longer on the boil water advisory list.
- Fort Belvoir, left without power to much of its facilities, will operate with a staff of emergency-essential employees on Monday, the Associated Press reported. Those who are not emergency or essential employees should contact their supervisor regarding their duty status. The Commissary remains closed. The installation remains largely without power, with crews working around the clock to clear fallen trees and debris.
- D.C. Public Schools has canceled all summer school classes scheduled for Monday. Only essential personnel are required to report to school. Schools will also not be open for use by other community-based organizations or programs. DCPS administrative sites will remain open and administrative employees should report to work as usual.
- Residents of Tysons Corner, Dunn Loring, Vienna, and Merrifeld are advised to continue boling their water through Monday night. It is expected that the water will be properly tested by that time.
- Charles County has extended its Waldorf ice distribution until 2 p.m. Each person can receive up to two bags of ice and must show proof of county residence.
- Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett told reports Sunday afternoon that the Monday morning commute "would be a challenge." Leggett urged commuters to leave for work early and, where possible, carpool.
- WSSC lifted mandatory water restrictions at noon Sunday but encouraged customers to be conscious of their water usage. Power was restored to most pumping stations and distribution is near normal. Customers who experience discolored water or low pressure should flush cold water lines for five minutes, set single-lever faucets to fun the cold water, flush refrigerator water lines for five minutes and make sure washing machine water is running clear before washing clothing.
- Potomac Edison has announced that its customers can receive one bag of ice and two gallons of water for no charge at an Martin's food store in Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery and Washington counties.
- Ice is also being given away at area Harris Teeter stores.
- The Charles County Department of Emergency Services will be distributing free ice to county residents between 9 a.m. and noon Sunday. Distribution will take place at #7 Jay Gould Court, Unit 1 off Industrial Park Drive in Waldorf. Each person can receive up to two bags of ice and must show proof of residence in the county.
- PEPCO released a statement Sunday morning say that it had restored power to its high-voltage transmission lines and substations, as well as to all water pumping plants. The utility also said that crews from Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, and Missouri had been called in to help with the restoration work.
- Falls Church Water Utility customers are now being advised to purify tap water by boiling or adding bleach before drinking or cooking. The suggestion comes after a drop in water pressure in Tysons and Vienna, which may have led to contaminants entering the water.
- 110 members of the Virginia National Guard in Fredericksburg are preparing for possible storm recovery operations.
- Maryland has declared a state of emergency in an executive order signed by Governor Martin O'Malley: "An emergency exists in all counties and Annapolis City, Baltimore City, and Ocean City," reads the order, which also notes that 840,000 Maryland citizens are without power and additional storms and extreme temperatures are expected. The order will give O'Malley the ability to access emergency resources and activate the Maryland National Guard, if necessary.
- "It could take about a week" for all Pepco customers to have electricity again, the utility company said today. Pepco has announced a plan to restore power to more than 443,000 customers. Crews from Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma will be arriving Monday to assist area workers. Pepco has also asked for help from Canada and the Northeastern U.S.
- Water restrictions remain in place and are mandatory for all WSSC customers, residential and commercial in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties after the storms knocked out power to two water filtration plants and other facilities. Some customers are experiencing discolored water. WSSC said this is common after a powerful storm. Sediment inside the pipes can be stirred up causing the water to become discolored. While this water is safe to drink, WSSC does not recommend using discolored water to prepare baby formula. Washing machines should be used sparingly during mandatory water restrictions and WSSC does not recommend washing clothes with discolored water.
- BGE has restored service to 150,000 customers. However, BGE expects restoration activities to continue deep into next week.
- D.C. Police have confirmed that a man was electrocuted during Friday night's storm. The man was found in the 3000 block of Woodland Drive in Northwest and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. A woman who was with him also suffered burns to her body.
- The city of Alexandria has declared a local emergency due to the widespread power outages and excessive heat.
- Fairfax County officials tweeted that the county's 9-1-1 system is "partially restored." If residents can't get through, they are asked to call (703) 691-3680 or report an emergency at their police or fire station.
- The District of Columbia has declared a state of emergency in the wake of the storm and in the face of this weekend's heat wave. As of 6:00 a.m. Monday morning, over 46,000 people were still without power in the District.
- In regards to the 911 outages in Fairfax County and elsewhere, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova called it a "total failure." Officials don't know the specific cause, but believe it stems from the Verizon Command Center in Arlington, Va.
- The following is a statement from Verizon on phone outages across the area: "The severe storms that hit the Washington metropolitan area Friday night – and the resulting power outages that have affected much of the region – have also affected services for some Verizon customers. Our operations teams are working to restore services as quickly as possible, and we appreciate customers’ patience as we do so."
- Montgomery County 311 is now operational. Call 311 from land lines within the county. Use 240-777-0311 from a cell or when calling from outside the county.
- The body of a 71-year-old Silver Spring woman was discovered after a tree apparently feel through the roof of her home and onto her bed. This was the second storm-related death reported in Maryland. Kevin Alan Obrien, 25, died in Anne Arundel County after a tree fell on a car.
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency Saturday morning, saying that the result of the storms was the largest non-hurricane power outage in Virginia history.
- McDonnell also confirmed that six people had been killed by falling trees in Virginia.
- PEPCO officials said it would take at least 7 days to restore power to customers in D.C., Montgomery County, and Prince George's County.
- Power companies say that some people could be without power for days after Friday's storm system produced hurricane-force winds across the region. For the latest power outage numbers, go here.
- More than 100 homes were damaged by fallen trees in Fairfax County, according to officials there.
- The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has issued mandatory water restrictions for Montgomery and Prince George's County due to a power failure at WSSC's two water filtration plants. Customers have been asked to stop all outdoor water use and use water indoors only as necessary.
- The entire town of La Plata, Md. is expected to be without power for at least several hours.
- Power outages have closed all the campuses of Northern Virginia Community College, as well as Montgomery College in Maryland. A power failure at George Mason University has cancelled classes and closed the University's administrative offices until further notice.
- Amtrak service between Washington D.C. and Philadelphia has been suspended until at least noon Saturday.
- Spectators and volunteers were turned away from Congressional Country Club, where the third round of the AT&T National will take place with a delayed two-tee start Saturday afternoon.
- The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is closed Saturday due to storm damage.
- West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency after more than 500,000 customers were left without power in 27 counties.
- Several cooling centers will be open in D.C.
- Fairfax County's 9-1-1 system is not currently working; residents are asked to report emergencies in person at their nearest fire or police station.
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