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UPDATE: Hurricane Sandy Means More Closings, Cancellations, One Traffic Death in Montgomery County

Flood warning in effect; winds expected to gust to 75 mph.

Update, 8:50 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29:

A two-car crash that killed a 66-year-old woman Monday in Clarksburg was weather-related, The Washington Post reports.

Medical examiner David Fowler told The Post, "'If not for the storm' the accident would not have occurred ...."

--

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Maryland and Montgomery County are under states of emergency, a flood warning is in effect and schools, transit services and government facilities will be closed for a second day on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service reported that Rock Creek crossed its flood stage of 7 feet just after 5 p.m. and was steadily rising. A flood warning remains in effect until 8:30 p.m.

Forecasts called for increasingly strong winds, with gusts of 60 to 75 mph, but diminishing rains as Sandy made landfall on the New Jersey coast Monday evening. A flood warning remains in effect until 8:30 p.m. for the District of Columbia and  northwestern Anne Arundel, Carroll, Howard, eastern Montgomery and northern Prince George's counties, according to the National Weather Service.

"Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, highways and underpasses," the warning said. "Additionally, country roads and farmlands along the banks of creeks, streams and other low lying areas are subject to flooding."

The following closures have been announced for Tuesday:

Montgomery County Government—Closed.

Federal Government—Closed.

Montgomery County Public Schools—Closed.

Montgomery College—Closed (all campuses).

Universities at Shady Grove—Closed.

Early voting—Canceled. An additional day of early voting will be held Friday.

Metro—Service will not resume Tuesday morning. MetroAccess will be canceled all day. Officials will reevaulate conditions and could resume bus and rail service later Tuesday.

MARC—No service Tuesday.

Ride On—No service Tuesday.

Montgomery County parking garages—Open. No charge for garage or metered street parking.

Montgomery Parks—Facilities closed. Classes and programs canceled.

Interstates and US routes—Speed limits lowered to 45 mph due to conditions. Officials are advising against travel unless absolutely necessary.

Emergency shelters:

  • White Oak Community Recreation Center, 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20904. Accepting people and pets. The county’s Animal Services Division and the volunteer County Animal Response Team will staff the center, which will be open to dogs, cats and small animals, including rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring, MD  20906. Accepting people only. No pets. 
  • Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Accepting people only. No pets. 

If you are heading to a shelter, bring all medications, critical phone numbers and any comfort items such as personal pillows.  Residents taking their pets to the White Oak shelter are advised that the shelter will be capable of housing dogs, cats and small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits. The shelter will be staffed by the County Animal Services Division and the volunteer County Animal Response Team (CART). 

The following homeless shelters are open and prepared to serve homeless individuals who arrive, the county announced in a news release:

  • Gude Men’s Shelter, 600 E. Gude Drive in Rockville.
  • Progress Place, 8210 Colonial Lane in Silver Spring.

Call 311 from a land line or 240-777-0311 from a cell phone for questions about county government services during the storm.

Information is available online at http://www.MC311.com.

Original post, 2:47 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29: 

Winds and rain swept across Montgomery County Monday, the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which officials predicted could bring the worst flooding this region has seen in 40 years. More than 2,500 residents were without power by Monday afternoon.

Montgomery County police responded to a deadly crash in Clarksburg. One person was killed in an area where high water was reported but police did not give details on the cause of the two-vehicle crash.

The rainfall prediction has been upped to 5 to 10 inches for the Washington, DC, metro area, and wind gusts could reach 80 mph Monday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Interstate 270 was eerily quiet Monday, with much of the region shut down as the county advised residents to "stay indoors, stay off the roads and shelter in place as Hurricane Sandy approaches."

Roads were closed around Montgomery County due to flooding and officials urged drivers to use caution or stay off roads completely. Major closures Monday morning included Little Falls Parkway between River Road and Massachusetts Avenue, and Beach Drive between Carrol and Wayne Avenues.

Drivers were reminded that a new law requires drivers to stop at any dark intersection.

States of emergency were declared in Maryland, including in Montgomery County, Virginia and Washington, DC, closing public schools, local and federal government offices and regional transportation, including Metro and MARC train services. County Executive Isiah Leggett also declared a state of emergency in Montgomery County, making the county eligible for federal reimbursement for storm costs.

The rains started late Sunday night as Montgomery County residents hurried to prepare for the coming of what officials are calling the largest tropical system recorded in the Atlantic. The brunt was expected to hit Montgomery County and the DC Metro region late Monday afternoon, with high winds and rain continuing into Tuesday.

More than 2,500 power outages were reported in Montgomery County as of Monday afternoon, according to Pepco. Johns Hopkins University is predicating as many as 10 million people in the path of Hurricane Sandy could lose power before the storm is over.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said the state is prepared with help from federal resources.

“We are at full activation now,” O’Malley announced at a press conference at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency’s emergency operations center in Reisterstown. “This storm is a killer storm

Local businesses are closing early due to the storm, and hardware store shelves have been picked clean.

Shelters opened Monday at noon to accommodate county residents and their pets. The county has also said that parking garages and lots would remain open and free of charge Monday and Tuesday.

Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission advises residents to keep water on hand, though a commission spokesman said that the commission headquarters rarely has lost power and that back-up generators are on hand. In the event of water contamination, a boil-water advisory will be issued, the spokesman said.

Potomac River flooding could begin Wednesday and last through Friday.

This story was upated at 4:15 p.m. to add additional power outage information.

Paul Curtis October 29, 2012 at 11:30 PM
You may want to bookmark this comprehensive weather prediction page and pass the link on to others... http://www.realityisfree.com/weather.html

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