Irene Leaves Destruction in Her Wake - NBC4 Washington

Irene Leaves Destruction in Her Wake



    Irene Damage in Southern Md.

    Southern Maryland. was one of the hardest hit areas in the Washington region. At the peak of Hurricane Irene, almost two-thirds of SMECO customers were without power. (Published Monday, Aug. 29, 2011)

    Irene moved up the coast Sunday morning, but she left a wide swath of wreckage behind her. The storm transformed many area roadways into treacherous obstacle courses Sunday morning, as crews hurried to clean up after the second major natural disaster to hit the region within a week.

    The Bay Bridge and other bridges reopened Sunday after being shut down at height of storm.

    But after Irene rumbled past the Mid-Atlantic, approximately 200 roads were closed in the state of Maryland.  Gov. Martin O'Malley said that St. Mary's County was one of the state's hardest hit, and had the highest concentration of road closures. 

    In addition to numerous downed trees, roadways in St. Mary's had flooding several feet deep Sunday morning.

    Prince George's County Cleans Up

    [DC] Prince George's County Cleans Up
    People in Prince George's County spent the day on clean up duty, thanks to Hurricane Irene.
    (Published Monday, Aug. 29, 2011)

    The storm caused waters behind the dam in Calloway to fill to the brim, threatening residents downstream as the excess ran into an emergency spillway.  While many neighboring regions started to relax when the storm moved on north, the the flood warning didn't expire in St. Mary's until 2:30 p.m.

    The debris strewn in St. Mary's was extensive, but damage in Ocean City was lighter than expected -- enough though the resort town received up to 12 inches of rain.

    Gov. O'Malley visited Ocean city Sunday morning and told the Associated Press that the beaches and boardwalk there were in good condition.   The governor said Ocean City's mayor, Rick Meehan, "was almost giddy to be able to report that his city fared as well as it did."

    Ocean City had its first evacuated order since 1985. Residents and tourists were permitted to return beginning Sunday morning.

    In the District, Mayor Vincent Gray was also happy that storm damage was not heavier.  However, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the District Millicent West did say the city received nearly 200 calls for downed trees. 

    Gray said some of those reports may have been duplicates, and crews would continue to investigate all day.  He also expressed hope that schools and other city services would all be able to open on time Monday.  "Everything is a go at this stage," he told News4.

    In Georgetown, D.C. Fire and EMS reported a partial roof collapse at Georgetown University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences just after midnight on Sunday.

    Residents across the region were affected by downed power lines.  Pepco announced on Sunday morning that at the worst point of the storm, 220,000 customers lost service.  As of 10:45 p.m., crews had restored a good portion of that service, but more than 125,000 remained in the dark.  Pepco said that nearly 37,000 remained without power in Montgomery County; nearly 63,000 in Prince George's, and 22,400 in the District.  On Sunday morning, five of Pepco's substations and 131 priority feeder wires had gone out of service.

    As of 10:45 p.m. Sunday, Dominion Power had 24,500 customers affected in Northern Virginia.  Spokesperson Le-Ha Anderson warned that some Dominion customers would likely face multi-day outages as well.

    Regionally, five people died in the storm, one in Maryland and four in Virginia. 

    In Queen Anne's County, Md., a woman was killed when a tree fell on a house and caused the chimney to collapse. 

    Zahir Robinson, 11,  was killed when a large tree crashed through his apartment, Newport News, Va., authorities said. Robinson and his mother were on the second floor in their apartment building when a tree came crashing through the bedroom.  The mother was able to escape the apartment unhurt, but the boy, pinned beneath the tree, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    In Brunswick County, Va., a tree fell across a car Saturday afternoon, killing James Blackwell, 67, of Brodnax. 

    Also in the Commonwealth, Chesterfield County police say a man died at a Hopewell hospital Saturday after a tree fell on a house that he was in with six other adults.

    A King William County, Va., man was killed by a falling tree. Sheriff Jeff Walton said the victim, William P. Washington, 57, was trying to get home during the height of the storm Saturday night when a fallen tree blocked his path on Jacks Creek Road, about four miles from his home. Washington and another stranded motorist were using a chainsaw to try to clear the way when another tree fell on Washington.

    And a teenage girl who died in a Goldsboro, N.C. car accident was identified by a North Carolinanewspaper  as residing in Manassas, Va. The girl was riding with her father when they collided with another vehicle due to a blacked-out traffic light Saturday afternoon. None of the four people in that vehicle were wearing seat belts, according to Sgt. D. Foster of the Goldsboro Police Department.