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Sandy: The Latest

By Potomac Local October 28, 2012 4:00 pm

1 Comment

Get breaking news as it happens overnight from PotomacLocal.com first on Twitter!

10 p.m. Monday

Power outages

Power outages are increasing. In Prince William County, we’re hearing customers are out in the Occoquan area. We’re seeing outages all along the U.S. 1 corridor.

In Stafford, Dominion Virginia Power is also reporting a large number of outages.

Dominion Virginia Power customers affected

Prince William County – 8,102

Stafford County – 1,219

Northern Virginia total – 126,809

NOVEC customers affected

Prince William County – 11,251

Stafford County – 1,102

Northern Virginia total – 20666

Eastern Prince William County road conditions

Things are getting worse this hour on roads in Prince William County. Here’s a look at what’s impacting thoroughfares in eastern Prince William: 

Fox Hound Dr / Owls Nest Rd — Power lines down **NOT Passable**

14992 Alaska Rd — Wires down **NOT Passable**

Jefferson Davis Hy/Featherstone Rd — Traffic light spun around – facing wrong way and gangling ready to fall

13822 Botts Av — Tree & lines down  **NOT Passable**

Flood warning extended 

Rising water will continue to be a hallmark of this storm, and a flood warning issued for our area has been extended until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Scroll down to read an earlier update where the NWS warns of flooding at levels not seen on the Potomac River since the aftermath of the Blizzard of 1996.

HOV restrictions

HOV restrictions on Interstates 95, 395, and 66 are lifted on Tuesday.

8 p.m. Monday 

Hurricane Sandy is now “Superstorm Sandy” as it has made landfall near Cape May, N.J.

The worst of the storm will impact the Potomac Communities tonight between now and dawn Tuesday. Residents are warned to expected some of the worst flooding on the Potomac River since the Blizzard of 1996.

——

THE MOST SEVERE PORTION OF SANDY WILL IMPACT THE REGION BETWEEN 6 PM THIS EVENING AND DAWN ON TUESDAY. THERE WILL BE AN INCREASE IN DAMAGE FROM DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES ALONG WITH AN INCREASE IN FLOODING AS THE NIGHT WEARS ON.

* WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE IN INTENSITY THROUGH THE TUESDAY PRE-DAWN HOURS.

* RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES ALONG THE POTOMAC RIVER FROM HANCOCK DOWNSTREAM TO AND INCLUDING WASHINGTON DC SHOULD PREPARE FOR A FLOOD NOT SEEN SINCE THE FLOODS OF 1996. THE ONLY LIMITING FACTOR IN NOT REACHING THE AGNES FLOOD OF 1972 IS THE LIMITING CONTRIBUTION OF THE SHENANDOAH RIVER FOR THIS EVENT…AS THE GREATEST RAINFALL HAS FALLEN NORTH OF THE SHENANDOAH BASIN.

 - National Weather Service statement

——

Downed trees 

Downed trees and wires are being reported across the region at this hour. Police and rescue will have a long night ahead of them as winds increase.

——

The increased wind speeds and the saturated ground create significant risk of trees being uprooted and falling. Therefore, people are encouraged to remain indoors and away from trees as much as possible during the storm.

In the morning, residents should assess any damage on their property and contact licensed professionals to remove any fallen trees or debris and schedule necessary repairs to the property.

Downed power lines should be avoided and reported immediately by contacting the Prince William County non-emergency line (703-792-6500).

-Emergency notice from Prince William County 

——

Occoquan dam water level

Since most of the rainfall has occurred north and east of the Potomac Communities, it appears water levels at the Occoquan High Dam do not appear to be as high as initially anticipated.

“The latest information we have, however, indicates that as the evening progresses winds are expected to increase substantially, peaking between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. Additionally, water levels associated with tidal forces are expected to increase by 2-3 feet above normal astronomical predictions on Tuesday,” stated Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta.

Early voting

The storm comes as early voting for the November General Election is underway.

The Voter Registrar’s Office in the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, located at 1300 Courthouse Road in Stafford will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for early voting.

——

The voter registrar’s office in Prince William County  notes they are watching storm conditions and have not posted any closing information.

6:30 p.m. Monday

The latest numbers on power outages

Dominion Virginia Power

Prince William County – 357

Stafford County – 1,146

NOVEC

Prince William County – 1,120

Stafford County – 104

6:10 p.m. Monday

Trees fall on houses in Dale City: 

A tree at the 3800 block of Dalebrook in Dale City, VA was uprooted and caused damage to two homes. One of the homes had the tree fall through the front door and is being classified as a “building collapse” by Fire & Rescue. No injuries occurred, but the residents have been displaced.

Residents are reminded that the increased wind speeds and the saturated ground create significant risk of trees being uprooted and falling. Therefore, people are encouraged to remain indoors and away from trees as much as possible during the storm. In the morning, residents should assess any damage on their property and contact licensed professionals to remove any fallen trees or debris and schedule necessary repairs to the property.

Downed power lines should avoided and reported immediately by contacting the Prince William County non-emergency line (703-792-6500).

-Press release 

6 p.m. Monday 

Stafford County officials’ best advice: stay home tonight, and if you choose to go out you can bring your pets to a shelter.

——

Both Stafford’s Fire and Rescue Department (career and volunteers) and the Sheriff’s Office will continue with their enhanced staffing plan for this evening and through the night.

The Sheriff’s Office has upped staffing numbers to target three specific areas: regular calls; areas with power outages; and roadway issues. A combination of Fire and Rescue career and volunteer personnel will be staffing additional fire apparatus and medic units.

Stafford’s Emergency Operations Center is fully staffed and will continue to remain open for the duration of the County’s response and recovery efforts.

Residents are strongly encouraged to remain home because of high winds, continued rain, standing water and falling trees.

An emergency shelter will be open through the night at Gayle Middle School, located at 100 Panther Drive in Stafford. Individuals should bring critical items that they will need over the next several days including sleeping bags, pillows, food, bottled water, change of clothes, medication, glasses, and books and games for children. The shelter will stay open for as long as needed by the community.

Individuals can bring their pets to the shelter. All animals will be transported by the Animal Control staff to the County’s Animal Shelter.

-Press release 

Utility crews staged at Spotsylvania Mall in advance of anticipated power outages. (Mary Davidson)

5:30 p.m. Monday 

Latest from Virginia State Police: 

-Statewide from midnight Sunday, Oct. 28, through 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, troopers have responded to 377 traffic crashes, 438 disabled vehicles, and received a total of 3,154 calls for service. During this same time period in the Virginia State Police Fairfax Division, troopers have investigated 310 disabled vehicles and traffic crashes, and received a total of 642 calls for service.

-All available troopers will be on the highways statewide responding to crashes and storm-related incidents. Motorists are advised to limit or avoid traveling during the storm – as high winds, driving rains, and saturated roadways make for hazardous road conditions.

-Virginia State Police are advising motorists to limit their travels and avoid being on the roads, if/when possible, as Hurricane Sandy continues to make its inland path. NO ONE is being told they have to be off the roads by 3 p.m. Monday, as is incorrectly circulating on social media.

5 p.m. Monday

-The Potomac Communities in Prince William and Stafford counties are now under a flood watch.

-Winds are expected to gust up to 65 mph into the evening and overnight hours.

-Sandy expected to make landfall this evening bringing hurricane-force winds and strong storm surge.

-Much like Monday, many schools and government offices, transit systems have closed Tuesday. Find a complete listing of them here.

-Manassas opens a pet friendly shelter at Osbourn High School, located at 9005 Tudor Lane in Manassas, beginning at 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 for residents who may be displaced during Hurricane Sandy. This is a pet friendly shelter.

Manassas Emergency Operations Center. (Submitted)

2:25 p.m. Monday 

Mary Washington Healthcare announces some closures of their outpatient centers. Patients are being referred to Stafford Hospital Center. 

-Diabetes Management is closed today

-The Wound Clinic will be closing at 3:00 pm today

-Medical Center of Stafford closed

-Virginia Breast Health Center closed

-Outreach Laboratory closed at noon today and will be closed tomorrow – all locations.

-Stafford Hospital Imaging at Woodbridge has now closed for today.

2 p.m. Monday

WIND GUSTS GETTING STRONGER 

The center of Sandy is off the coast of Maryland nearly laterally located near Ocean City, Md. The storm is expected to make landfall this evening in New Jersey.

The storm is packing winds of 90 mph hour and those winds extend outward 175 from the storm center. The latest forecast shows in increase in winds for the area — 80 to 90 mph winds up from 60 mph to impact the area late tonight and into the early hours of Tuesday.

Winds in the Potomac Communities are also picking up. A wind gust of 41 mph was recorded at Quantico just before 1 p.m., and in Manassas a gust of 33 mph was recorded at the regional airport.

Several trees have been reported to be down along roadways. With those down trees come power outages and the use of generators. Officials urge you to use them wisely and keep them outdoors to prevent carbon dioxide exposure.

Some schools are also closing for Tuesday. Prince William and Loudoun counties announced their systems will be closed tomorrow.

Prince William County officials gather inside of their emergency command center to monitor Sandy’s storm impacts. (Submitted)

12:45 p.m. Monday

TRACTOR TRAILER CRASHES, HOSPITALS READY 

As Sandy’s winds increase the staff at hospitals in the Potomac Communities are ready to respond.

At Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg and Stafford Hospital Center, those who are working today have been asked to bring with them a change of clothes as well as other items that may be needed in the event they get stuck at the hospital.

“Just like everyone else, were waiting to see what kind of damage we’re going to see,” said spokeswoman Debbie McInnis.

Patients in serious cases, like a jackknifed tractor trailer that crashed about noon on Interstate 95 on Monday, will go to level one trauma center Mary Washington Hospital. We’re still awaiting details on the tractor trailer crash, but initial reports indicate the driver of the truck was extricated and suffered serious injuries.

They’re also preparing at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

——

We are following our emergency management plan to ensure that we provide medical care in an efficient and safe manner to our community. Our staff is well-trained in emergency preparedness and we will continue to follow our emergency plan to make sure our patients, their families and our employees are taken care of. We will work with federal, regional, state and local public-health agencies to coordinate efforts if needed.

-Charlene Wilkins, Sentara spokeswoman

——

12:30 p.m. Monday

HOV RESTRICTIONS LIFTED TODAY 

VDOT press release:

HOV restrictions are lifted this afternoon on interstates 395, 95, 66, and the Dulles Toll Road, according to VDOT.

VDOT reminds drivers:

· Make every effort to be off the road during heavy rains and tropical-storm force winds.

· Treat intersections where traffic signals are out as four-way stops.

· Do not attempt to drive through high water.

· Slow down on wet roads to avoid hydroplaning.

· Ensure vehicles have adequate fuel to complete trips during power outages.

Get the latest road conditions at www.511virginia.org or by downloading the 511 mobile app.

View the entire list of roads closed due to the storm, sortable by county, at http://www.511virginia.org/mobile/?menu_id=conditions.

12:15  p.m. Monday

Developing: New details from the National Weather Service:

THE TIMING OF THE PEAK WINDS FROM SANDY ARE NOW EXPECTED FROM LATE THIS AFTERNOON TO DAYBREAK ON WEDNESDAY.

* RAINFALL AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN INCREASED. THE GREATER BALTIMORE METRO AREA IS NOW FORECAST TO RECEIVE 8 TO 12 INCHES OF RAIN…WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS.

* THE POTOMAC RIVER IS LIKELY TO GO INTO FLOOD STAGE BEGINNING AROUND WEDNESDAY AND LASTING THROUGH FRIDAY.

Tiki bar at Tim Rivershore on the Potomac River near Dumfries.

Noon Monday 

STAFFORD SAYS CONDITIONS GETTING WORSE, POWER OUTAGES OCCURRING 

Stafford County officials state conditions are worsening in the county, and that more power outages are popping up in the eastern portion of the county nearest the Potomac River.

______

Weather conditions in Stafford are expected to deteriorate as the day progresses, becoming worse toward the evening and overnight hours.

Some power outages are already occurring in the eastern section of the county. Winds are expected to reach at least 50 mph later today and, combined with the heavy rainfall, are anticipated to cause more outages and impact roads. VDOT crews are monitoring road conditions and report no flooded roads in the county at this time.

Stafford’s Emergency Operations Center is fully staffed and will continue to remain open for the duration of the County’s response and recovery efforts.

________

Dominion Virginia Power reports 11 customers out in Stafford County and one customer in Prince William County without power. 

New closures for today and tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 are coming in now. Click here to view them

-Sandy is getting stronger and officials at the National Weather Service are keeping a close eye on the strom: 

AT 11 AM EDT…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE SANDY WAS LOCATED NEAR

LATITUDE 37.5N…LONGITUDE 71.5W. THIS WAS ABOUT 315 MILES EAST

OF WASHINGTON DC. SANDY WAS MOVING NORTHWEST AT 18 MPH…WITH

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS OF 90 MPH. SANDY IS FORECAST TO MAKE

LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY COAST EARLY TONIGHT…WITH

A LITTLE STRENGTHENING POSSIBLE BEFORE LANDFALL. SANDY WILL

SEVERELY IMPACT THE REGION WELL BEFORE IT COMES ASHORE.

Click here to read the latest special advisory from the weather service

 11:30 a.m. Monday

UPDATES ON SHELTERS, COURTS, QUANTICO 

-Prince William County will open two shelters for residents to weather the storm:

The County will open two shelters today at noon – Stonewall Jackson High School at 8820 Rixlew Lane, Manassas and at the Dr. AJ Ferlazzo Building at 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge. The Ferlazzo shelter is a pet-friendly shelter. People who cannot make it to the Ferlazzo shelter, but need temporary shelter for their pets may take their pets to the Animal Shelter. However, there is limited space available at the Animal Shelter.

-Prince William officials announced changes to the early voting schedule:  

Also, all absentee voting locations will close at 3 p.m. today. Libraries will close at 5 p.m. today. As of now, Prince William County government remains open with unscheduled leave. The Courts remain open. The Prince William Health District is closed today.

-Prince William County courts will close at 1 p.m. 

-Quantico Marine Corps Base issued a code red condition closing the facility at noon

At 1200 Monday 29 Oct through Tuesday 30 Oct 2012, MCB Quantico is Code RED. The Base is closed. Only emergency and essential personnel are required to be at work. Personnel should contact their chain of command for tenant command/activity specific guidance or direction.

DoD Schools will be closed Tuesday.

JUST IN VIDEO

10:30 a.m. Monday 

Where will water rise in Woodbridge? Leesylvania State Park on the banks of the Potomac River could be one of those places, and park manager Karen Lambey said she is prepared to weather the storm.

As a precaution, the park is closed to the public and will remain closed until 8 a.m. Wednesday, well after the storm is expected to have passed. Nearby Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge is also closed, she added.

The 8 a.m. high tide at Leesylvania was an “exceptionally” high one. The breakwater on the river is above normal, she added.

Just like everyone else, Lambey is worried about the possibility of downed trees and power outages.

MANASSAS SANDBAGS AVAILABLE 

Sandbags are for City of Manassas residents and businesses only. Supplies are limited. They can be picked up at the public works building – 8500 Public Works Drive, Manassas, Va.

9 a.m. Monday 

The power outage numbers:

DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER

County/City Customers Served Customers Out
Fairfax 378,528 / 80 out
Fauquier 20,304 / 28 out
Prince William 75,882 /  44 out
Stafford 44,633 14 / out

NOVEC

Clarke 0 / 100% 32
Fauquier 0 / 100% 5820
Fairfax 0 / 100% 26306
Loudoun 898 / 96.174% 23468
Manassas Park 0 / 100% 5224
Prince William 0 / 100% 76664
Stafford 0 / 100% 4835
Total Customers 898 99.369% 142349

7:30 a.m. Monday 

Winds are picking up. The latest wind gusts are below:

Manassas Regional Airport at 5:55 a.m.

Winds 15 mph, gusts 22 mph

Dulles at 6:52 a.m.

Winds at 17 mph, gusts 24 mph

7 a.m. Monday 

Brown and muddy water at Tim’s Rivershore restaurant on the Potomac River near Dumfries.

STORM GROWS, TURNS TOWARD COAST

Here’s the latest on Sandy from the National Hurricane Center 5 a.m. update:

-Sandy strengthened overnight, now with winds 85 mph.

-Storm expected to bring life-threatening storm surge.

-Storm beginning to turn toward coast.

-Should be converted from tropical cyclone to winter storm system by landfall tonight.

Happening now in our area:

-A high wind warning has been issued – expect high wind gust 50 mph or more this afternoon through Tuesday morning.

-A flood watch remains in effect for the area.

-At least 5 inches of rain expected to fall with Sandy

10:30 p.m. Sunday 

STAFFORD COUNTY DECLARES LOCAL STATE OF EMERGENCY 

-County officials anticipate that Sandy could cause significant damage from high winds and flooding, producing power outages and transportation disruptions. The County’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated tonight and will remain open for as long as required.

-An emergency shelter will open at 10 a.m. Monday at Gayle Middle School, located at 100 Panther Drive in Stafford.

Individuals should bring critical items that they will need over the next several days including:

Sleeping bags

Pillows

Food

Bottled water

Change of clothes

Medication

Glasses

Books and games for children

The shelter will stay open for as long as needed by the community. Individuals can bring their pets to the shelter. All animals will be transported by the Animal Control staff to the County’s Animal Shelter.

-Stafford County Government offices and the Regional Landfill on Eskimo Hill Road will be closed tomorrow. However, County employees from several departments including Fire and Rescue, the Sheriff’s Office, Utilities, Parks and Recreation and County Administration will be working in the Emergency Operations Center and throughout the community tomorrow in response to the storm.

The Voter Registrar’s Office in the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, located at 1300 Courthouse Road in Stafford will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for early voting.

-The emergency declaration will allow the County to rapidly implement emergency response actions and to be eligible for federal assistance in the storm’s aftermath.

-Press release 

10:15 p.m. Sunday

- PRTC buses (OmniLink, OmniRide) will not operate on Monday due to Sandy.

-Fredericksburg Regional Transit has canceled all bus feeder service to Virginia Railway Express, and service on its D6 bus route servicing north and south commuter lots for Monday.

10 p.m. Sunday

CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO WORSEN 

A statement from the National Weather Service released at 8:42 p.m. shows things are going to get much worse before they get better. The statement is below, and the weather service plans to issues special statements like these for the Washington and Baltimore regions every six hours or sooner.

Sandy is expected to make landfall Monday night somewhere along the New Jersey coast. At 8 p.m. Sunday, the storm was about 475 miles from Washington still churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

The storm will impact the region well before it comes ashore. The worst affects of the storm are expected here between midday Monday through early Tuesday.

——-

SUMMARY OF THREATS

——————

THE MAIN THREATS FOR SANDY WILL BE STRONG WINDS RESULTING IN WIDESPREAD TREE DAMAGE AND HEAVY RAINS WHICH WILL RESULT IN EXTENSIVE FLOODING OF LOCAL CREEKS…STREAMS AND SMALL RIVERS. BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST IN THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS AT ELEVATIONS ABOVE 2500 FEET.

HIGH WINDS

———-

* WINDS WILL INCREASE STEADILY DURING THE DAY ON MONDAY…WITH THE MAXIMUM WIND GUSTS OCCURRING BETWEEN MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING. GENERALLY…SUSTAINED WINDS OF 30 TO 50 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 60 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA.

* HURRICANE FORCE WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH ARE EXPECTED TO IMPACT A REGION LOCATED BETWEEN BEL AIR MD…PT LOOKOUT MD…AND FREDERICK MD. THIS INCLUDES THE GREATER BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREAS.

* COUPLED WITH HEAVY RAINS FROM SANDY…THE HIGH WINDS WILL RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE AND POWER LINE DAMAGE.

RAINFALL AND FLOODING

———————

* 6 TO 10 INCHES OF RAIN JUST WEST OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY INCLUDING THE BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREA.

* 4 TO 8 INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED ALONG THE INTERSTATE 270 CORRIDOR INCLUDING THE WASHINGTON DC METROPOLITAN AREA.

* 3 TO 6 INCHES OF RAIN FOR THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS AND RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER BASIN INCLUDING CUMBERLAND MD.

* 1 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN FOR THE NORTHERN SHENANDOAH VALLEY AND

 NORTH CENTRAL PIEDMONT OF VIRGINIA SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 66 INCLUDING CHARLOTTESVILLE VA.

* THIS AMOUNT OF RAIN WILL LIKELY RESULT IN EXTENSIVE FLOODING OF LOCAL STREAMS…CREEKS AND SMALL RIVERS STARTING ON MONDAY AFTERNOON AND LASTING THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING.

COASTAL FLOODING

—————-

* WITH THE FULL MOON ON MONDAY…ASTRONOMICAL TIDES ARE ALREADY

HIGHER THAN NORMAL. COUNTER TO THE HIGHER THAN NORMAL

ASTRONOMICAL TIDES…STRONG NORTH AND NORTHWESTERLY WINDS ON MONDAY WILL CAUSE A BLOW-OUT TIDE ALONG THE WESTERN SHORE OF THE

CHESAPEAKE AND THE TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER. EAST FACING BEACHES ALONG THE TIDAL POTOMAC WILL EXPERIENCE WIND-DRIVEN WAVES THAT WILL GIVE THE APPEARANCE OF TIDAL FLOODING AND RESULT IN SIMILAR IMPACTS.

* AS WINDS BECOME SOUTHWESTERLY AROUND DAWN ON TUESDAY…WATER WILL RETURN BACK INTO THE BAY AND TIDAL POTOMAC AND BEING TO PILE UP IN THE BAY NORTH OF POOLES ISLAND AND IN THE UPPER REACHES OF THE TIDAL POTOMAC AND ALONG SOUTH FACING SHORES.

SNOWFALL

——–

* IN THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS ABOVE 2500 FEET THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY WET SNOW.

* THE COMBINATION OF STRONG WIND AND HEAVY WET SNOW WOULD DOWN

TREE LIMBS AND POWER LINES. NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST

WITH VISIBILITY NEAR ZERO IN PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

———————————-

 * BE PREPARED FOR EXTENDED POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGES.

* IF YOU LIVE NEAR LARGE TREES…REMAIN IN THE LOWER LEVEL OF YOUR HOME OR SEEK SHELTER ELSEWHERE IF POSSIBLE AND RIDE SANDY OUT.

* REFRAIN FROM ANY UNNECESSARY TRAVEL.

 * ENSURE LOOSE ITEMS ON YOUR PROPERTY ARE SECURED.

* IF POWER LINES ARE DOWN…STAY AWAY FROM THEM AND REPORT IT TO YOUR LOCAL ELECTRICAL UTILITY COMPANY.

* IF YOU SHOULD HAVE EMERGENCY TRAVEL…IF YOU COME UPON FLOODED ROADWAYS DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS SUBMERGED ROADWAYS. TURN AROUND AND DONT DROWN.

* IF YOU USE A PORTABLE POWER GENERATOR…PLEASE FOLLOW MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS AND ENSURE THAT IT IS PROPERLY VENTILATED.

* DO NOT USE CHARCOAL GRILLS IN ENCLOSED AREAS.

* MARINERS SHOULD ENSURE THAT THERE IS ENOUGH SLACK LINE IN THEIR BOAT`S MOORINGS TO ACCEPT A BLOW OUT TIDE ON MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT.

* PERIODICALLY CHECK ON YOUR ELDERLY NEIGHBORS AND FAMILY MEMBERS TO ENSURE THEY ARE SAFE.

* PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE ALREADY HAVE FILLED THEIR PRESCRIPTIONS AND

HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS. IF NOT THESE PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE

RUSHED TO COMPLETION THIS SUNDAY EVENING.

——

7:15 p.m. Sunday 

METRO CLOSED MONDAY 

First Virginia Railway Express, now Metro will suspend all service for Monday.

——

In light of updated forecast information from the National Weather Service projecting higher wind speeds, as well as the closure of Federal Government offices in the Washington area and the possibility of widespread commercial power outages, Metro has announced the following service changes for Monday, October 29, 2012:

• The Metrorail system will be closed on Monday. Rail service on Sunday night will continue operate as scheduled until its normal closing time (midnight). No decision has yet been made on when Metrorail service will be restored after Monday.

• All Metrobus service will be suspended as of the end of the service day on Sunday and remain suspended until further notice.

• All MetroAccess service has been cancelled on Monday.

Metro service will only be restored when it is safe to do so. Following the storm, Metro personnel will need to perform a comprehensive damage assessment, including inspections of track, bridges, aerial structures, stations and facilities. Service restoration also will be contingent on adequate commercial power to support operations and repair of any storm-related damage.

——

 

7 p.m. Sunday

POWER OUTAGES ALREADY REPORTED IN VA

Dominion Virginia Power reports outages related to Sandy are already occurring. Please note (write them down!) these phone numbers in the event your power goes out.

Power companies urge you to call these numbers to report power outages even if you think someone else already has reported an outage. The utility reports additional power restoration crews are in the state and ready to respond to power outages.

Virginia Robert F. McDonnell today reminded residents affected by power outages to keep any on site generators outside of their homes or offices, and to keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to keep persihible goods on hand longer.

Dominion Virginia Power

1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357)

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC)

703-335-0500

Manassas City Utilities

703-257-8353

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

540-898-8500 – Fredericksburg

 

KAINE URGES YARD SIGNS COME DOWN FOR STORM

Sandy is getting political. Tim Kaine’s camp has urged supporters to take down yard signs for the U.S. Senate candidate in hopes they won’t become projectiles in the storm.

The campaign issued a press release. Here’s a portion of it:

——

We’re so glad that so many of Tim’s supporters have placed yard signs in their lawns — but due to the potential for strong winds in this storm, the last thing we want is for yard signs to become projectiles. Please take down all of your yard signs as soon as you can — not only for your safety, but also for the safety of your neighbors.

——

6:30 p.m. Sunday

School closings are in. See if yours is on the list

6 p.m. Sunday

-Government offices in the Washington, D.C. area will be closed Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, according to the Office of Personnel Management. 

-Virginia Railway Express will not operate on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. The commuter railroad is concerned about high winds forecasted for the region.

VRE will hold a conference call at 5 p.m. Monday in anticipation of service for Tuesday. An update for Tuesday service is expected by 6 p.m. Monday, said spokesman Mark Roeber.

5:30 p.m. Sunday

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (OmniRide, OmniLink) is expected to make a call on Monday service this evening. Check back here as we’ll post the announcement as soon as we have it. 

5 p.m. Sunday 

Fairfax County Public Schools closed Monday. A statement was posted to the school division’s website.

——

Sunday, October 28 – 2 p.m. – All Fairfax County public schools will be closed on Monday, October 29, and Tuesday, October 30. All Fairfax County public schools offices will be closed on Monday, October 29. An assessment for office re-opening will be made on Monday afternoon.

——

4:30 p.m. Sunday

Hurricane Sandy, or Sandy as we’ll call it as the storm loses its tropical characteristics the further north it travels in the Atlantic Ocean, is expected to begin making her presence felt in the Potomac Communities tonight.

The massive storm was centered 440 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. with sustained winds of 75 mph at 2 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Sandy will be a multi-day event, and the storm is expected to make landfall Monday somewhere between Maryland’s Eastern Shore and New York City. Sandy will bring wind gusts of 50 mph or higher to the Potomac Communities Monday and Tuesday, as tropical storm force winds had already reached the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday afternoon.

– National Weather Service issued high wind warning for Washington, D.C. area noon Sunday through 8 p.m. Tuesday.

– Send photos, videos, and your storm reports here.

– Message us on Twitter!

– Find us on Facebook!

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The counties in brown are under a high wind warning issued by the National Weather Service. (Photo: NWS)

 Anticipating power outages

A power crew from Georgia was spotted this afternoon driving on Prince William Parkway. Utilities promised to call in additional crews from other states to assist in the event power goes out.

Dominion Virginia, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, and City of Manassas Utilities have all issued statements about the coming storm and tips on how to prepare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flood concerns
Officials warn flooding could be an issue with this storm as five to 10 inches of rain is expected to fall. A flood watch remains in effect for the area until 8 p.m. Tuesday. 

Occoquan impacts

No stranger to flooding, residents and business owners in Occoquan have been told to prepare for the worst. Mayor Earnie Porta encouraged business owners to bring in all loose items on town sidewalks as well as removing hanging shop signs.

If flooding from the Occoquan River or nearby Ballwhack Creek occurs, Police Chief Sheldon Levi is expected to close Tanyard Hill Road, as well as other affected streets, and direct traffic onto Commerce Street.

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