GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Executive Office of the Mayor
Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, October 29, 2012
CONTACT: Doxie McCoy (EOM) 202.664.9862; firstname.lastname@example.org
Robyn Johnson (HSEMA) 202.506.0355; email@example.com
Linda Grant (DPW) 202.671.2375; firstname.lastname@example.org
John Lisle (DDOT) 202.486.5838; email@example.com
Alan Heymann (DC Water) 202.787.2616; Alan.Heymann@dcwater.com
Mayor Gray Closes District Government Tuesday
All Government Offices and D.C. Public Schools Will Remain Closed for Day
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced that the District government and D.C. Public Schools will be closed again Tuesday, October 30 due to the expected negative effects of Hurricane Sandy.
“Because this storm is expected to continue affecting the region with strong winds for the rest of the night and into tomorrow morning, we think it’s in the best interest of public safety to close our government offices and public schools again tomorrow,” Mayor Gray said. “This is also prudent move because we do not yet know how power outages will affect facilities across the District.”
As of 2:00 p.m., only minor street flooding had been reported, although heavy rain – which may total up to a foot or more in the District before the storm ends – has already been falling. The peak winds are expected though this evening and into tomorrow morning. 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 will likely be several hours – with conditions expected to deteriorate rapidly the rest of this afternoon and the peak of the extreme winds expected between Monday evening and the early hours of Tuesday morning, with high winds extending well into the day on Tuesday.
“District residents need to shelter in place during the peak of this storm, preferably on the lowest level of their home and as far away as possible from windows and potential falling trees,” Mayor Gray said.
District officials and federal, regional and utility partners worked through the weekend to ensure the District’s residents, businesses and infrastructure are as ready as possible for the effects of the storm.
· For constant updates about the District’s response to Hurricane Sandy, visit this website: http://hsema.dc.gov/page/hurricane-sandy
- · Mayor Gray has declared a state of emergency in the District and has sent President Obama a pre-landfall request for a presidential disaster declaration, which would provide federal assistance to help the District defray the extra costs the storm will impose on the city. President Obama agreed to the declaration last night.
- · A list of shelters is available on the D.C. Government’s Hurricane Sandy website. Rides to shelters are available until conditions are too dangerous. Call 311 for a ride. The shelters provide for basic human needs for those exposed to dangerous conditions (such as homeless people) or in the event homes are not habitable. Shelters provide cots, blankets and water.
- · 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 has suspended street cleaning through Wednesday. Bulk garbage collections for Monday and Tuesday will be rescheduled. Also, residents are asked to bag their leaves so they don’t collect in the storm drains and cause flooding.
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 are maintaining 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 for Residents
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.
Follow Mayor Gray on Facebook and Twitter!