Councilmember Cheh would like all District residents to receive the most up-to-date information from city agencies on their plans and response to Hurricane Sandy, which the National Weather Service predicts will begin to affect D.C. on Sunday evening. Here you can keep up with The Weather Channel's latest news on the storm.
Below, you will find a compilation of notices from various agencies in preparation.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, October 26, 2012
CONTACT: Doxie McCoy (EOM) 202.727.9691;
Linda Grant (DPW) 202.671.2375;
John Lisle (DDOT) 202.671.2004;
Alan Heymann (DC Water) 202.787.2616;
District Government Prepares for Hurricane Sandy’s Effects
Mayor Gray Declares State of Emergency as Workers Clear Storm Drains, Distribute Sandbags, Prep to Remove Debris; Multiple Agencies Will Work through Weekend to Ready District
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray has declared a state of emergency in the District in anticipation of the effects of Hurricane Sandy and a simultaneous Nor’easter, which are expected to rake the region beginning late this weekend and continuing through the early part of next week. He and other District officials have been meeting to coordinate preparations for the storm, and multiple agencies are working to mitigate its potential effects on the District.
Officials will work through the weekend to ensure the District’s residents, businesses and infrastructure are as ready as possible for the effects of the storm, which could include heavy rain and street flooding, strong winds and power outages, and storm-surge flooding along the Potomac River and its tributaries. Forecasters are predicting 4” to 8” of rain to fall between Sunday night and Wednesday, with bursts of rain falling at a rate of 2” per hour. Sustained tropical-storm-force winds of 40-60 miles per hour with gusts up to hurricane strength (75 miles per hour or more) are possible, and duration of the storm’s peak impact may be several hours.
“Meteorologists are sounding increasingly dire warnings about the magnitude and historic nature of this combined storm, and the District is preparing in earnest,” Mayor Gray said. “We are working hard to ensure that we minimize any of this storm’s negative effects in the District.”
The D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW) is coordinating the District government’s advance preparations. “Crucial District government agencies are already implementing their storm-response plans,” said City Administrator Allen Y. Lew. “We will be ready for this storm.”
Lew highlighted responses already underway:
· DC Water is clearing storm drains citywide.
· DPW will distribute sandbags tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 27) between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. at RFK Stadium, Lot 7.
· The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is assigning staff and contractors to be ready to collect storm debris starting Monday, October 29, and DPW crews will assist.
· DPW tow trucks will be deployed as necessary to remove vehicles blocking roadways.
· DDOT has generators in place at major intersections. If power is disrupted, traffic signals will continue to work, and DDOT traffic control officers will be deployed to direct traffic where necessary.
DPW is postponing Monday’s bulk garbage collections and notifying residents of the new day. Also, residents are asked to bag their leaves so they don’t collect in the storm drains and cause flooding.
Residents may go to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency website to get tips to help them prepare their homes and families for the storm. To receive important text messages about the latest information on weather, traffic, closings and more, sign up for ALERT DC at textalert.ema.dc.gov.
D.C. government agencies will maintain a constant presence throughout the storm on Twitter and other social-media outlets and provide crucial information as conditions develop. Please follow the Mayor (@MayorVinceGray), DPW (@dcdpw), DDOT (@ddotdc) and DC Water (@dcwater) on Twitter for information on Hurricane Sandy response, using #SandyDC as a hashtag.
Tips to Prepare
Dealing with Downed Trees
- Residents are reminded to stay clear of broken and hanging tree branches, which can fall at any time.
· Please report any downed tree branches by calling 311.
- Residents are also reminded to stay away from downed wires, as they could be energized and electrical contact could be fatal. Report downed wires to Pepco by calling 1.877.PEPCO62
Power and Water Outages
- To report a power outage, please call Pepco at 1.877.PEPCO62. Customers may report outages online at pepco.com or download Pepco’s smart phone app, pepco.com/mobileapp to report and track outages. To report a water outage, residents can call DC Water at 202.612.3400
- Motorists are reminded to treat dark intersections as four-way stops and to avoid driving through standing water.
# # #
Pepco Preparing for Potentially Devastating Hurricane
Extensive Outages, Devastating Damage Possible; Restoration Could Take Days
Pepco is closely monitoring the approach of Hurricane Sandy, which has the potential to cause devastating damage to our service territory. Pepco has initiated its Incident Response Plan to prepare for the storm and is strongly urging customers to get ready now for the possibility of multi-day outages.
Weather services are predicting that the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area will experience heavy rain and high winds over a sustained period, which could cause widespread and extended power outages.
"Our emergency teams are active, regional storm teams are communicating and operational teams are preparing for potentially devastating damage to the region's infrastructure," said Thomas H. Graham, president, Pepco region.
The company is warning that tens or even hundreds of thousands of customers could lose power during this potentially catastrophic event. The company is committed to restoring power as quickly and safely as possible, although customer and crew safety remains the top priority. Crews will begin working as soon as winds subside to below 35 mph, which is maximum safe wind for workers to go up in bucket trucks per safety regulations.
"We're hearing forecasts that we could see heavy sustained winds for up to 48 hours as this storm makes an agonizingly slow track across our overall system," Graham said. "If winds are too high, we will not be able to start restoration work until they die down so it could be as long as even a day or two before our crews could safely start working to restore power."
In anticipation of the storm, the company has mobilized all employees and is locking in availability of the more than 400 contractors already here working on our system. Pepco Holdings Inc., parent company of Pepco, is requesting an additional 2,500 line personnel through mutual assistance groups. The allocation of those crews who will be available will be determined when we have more detailed projections of where damage is expected to occur on our system.
Customers Urged to Prepare and Be Safe
Pepco urges its customers to prepare for potential power outages and act to ensure their safety. Here are some tips:
•• Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
•• If you or someone you know uses life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate, identify a location with emergency power capabilities and make plans to go there during a prolonged outage.
•• Assemble an emergency storm kit. Include a battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, special needs items, an insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
•• Keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods and bottled water and have a hand-operated can opener available.
•• Have a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as a backup. Cordless telephones require electricity to operate, and won't work if there is an outage.
•• Protect your electronic equipment. Unplug sensitive electronics or plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge suppressors, and consider a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for temporary battery backup power.
•• Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electrically operated sump pump, you should not turn off your power.
•• Fill your gas tank so you can run your automobile to charge mobile devices. Be sure to open garage doors using manual controls to run the vehicle safely.
•• Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
•• Follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
•• Take cover if necessary.
•• Stay away from downed wires. Assume any downed wire is energized.
•• Call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) to report a downed wire.
•• To report an outage, call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) or report through our mobile app or our website, pepco.com.
For more information and updates, visit www.pepco.com and follow Pepco at www.twitter.com/PepcoConnect.
DC Public Schools:
Dear DCPS Parents and Families:
Today, DC Public Schools are bracing for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to hit the Washington, D.C. area late this weekend or early Monday morning with expected strong winds and heavy rain that could impact school operations early next week.
While it is difficult to predict with certainty the impact the storm will have on our schools, we want you to know that we are taking every precaution to prepare our schools for the storm and respond quickly in the aftermath to make any necessary repairs.
DCPS central office staff has been working with the Department of General Services (DGS) and school-based staff to prepare our schools, inside and outside, for the anticipated wind and rain. Schools that have experienced flooding in the past are receiving additional support.
Essential school personnel will be reporting to schools early Monday morning to take inventory and assess the schools. DCPS, along with DGS, will deploy staff and contractors to address any damage and make repairs as necessary.
As long as conditions allow and we can ensure the safety of our students, our priority is to open schools on Monday October 29, 2012. We are taking every step necessary to ensure that our buildings are protected throughout the storm and ready to open on time. Please continue to refer to our website, our social media channels and check local news programs for any updates on Monday's school opening as the progress of the storm may advance it into the area over the weekend.
Please visit the emergency closures and delays page on the DCPS website (dcps.dc.gov) for more information and resources, and text NEWS to 91990 to receive breaking news updates from DCPS.
WMATA & Metro:
Preparations are already underway -- both on Metrobus and Metrorail -- for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, including the following:
• Metro is planning to place sandbags around locations where water can infiltrate the Metrorail system.
• All drainage pumping stations are being checked in advance of the storm and will be monitored throughout the storm.
• Metro's plant maintenance staff is clearing drainage areas near stations and yards.
• Additional support personnel have been scheduled to be on duty throughout the storm to respond to any situations that may arise.
• Chainsaws will be deployed in Metro motor vehicles for use in the event of downed trees.
• Supervisors will monitor critical locations, such as bus garages, parking garages, and flood-prone areas throughout the storm.
• Metro is coordinating with local jurisdictions and the Federal Government through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
CUSTOMER TRAVEL ADVICE
• The best advice for Metro customers before the storm is to sign up for MetroAlerts. Metro will provide the latets bus and rail service information throughout the storm via MetroAlerts (sign up at wmata.com/metroalerts), online at wmata.com/sandy and via Twitter @wmata.
• Metrobuses and MetroAccess vehicles will detour around downed trees and flooded streets, as necessary. Please allow additional travel time.
• Use caution on wet surfaces, including platforms and escalators.
• Do not carry open umbrellas within the Metrorail system.
• Customers are reminded to stand back from platform edges or curbs - especially given the potential for high winds during the storm.
Please forward this information along to others who may be affected in your organization so that they may plan appropriately. Updated information will continue to be posted on Metro's website (wmata.com).