Irene Bruises Sleeping Montgomery

About 66,000 lack power as hurricane heads for New York.

Update, 8:45 p.m.: Montgomery County schools that have power will open on time Monday, MCPS said.

There are 22 schools that remain without power and MCPS will monitor those schools overnight and make a final decision by 6 a.m. about the opening of those schools. Each school community without power will receive an automated telephone call updating them about the power restoration efforts, MCPS said.
The schools without power include:

  • Benjamin Banneker Middle School
  • Briggs Chaney Middle School
  • Broad Acres Elementary School 
  • Burtonsville Elementary School
  • Emory Grove Center 
  • Fairland Elementary School
  • Fairland Holding Center
  • Flower Hill Elementary School
  • Forest Knolls Elementary School
  • Galway Elementary School
  • Glen Haven Elementary School
  • Greencastle Elementary School
  • Highland View Elementary School
  • Francis Scott Key Middle School
  • Col. Brooke Lee Middle School
  • Neelsville Middle School
  • Paint Branch High School
  • Piney Branch Elementary School
  • Takoma Park Elementary School
  • Takoma Park Middle School
  • Westland Middle School
  • Woodlin Elementary School

Update, 3:30 p.m.: Montgomery County Public Schools staff is assessing the damage done by Hurricane Irene and will make an announcement this evening regarding school operations tomorrow, MCPS said in a press release.

Numerous schools remain without power and MCPS is working with Pepco to get those school back up and running.

Update, 11:50 a.m.: More than 800,000 Maryland residents were without power Sunday, almost 4,000 fled to shelters and two people were killed in a lashing overnight by Hurricane Irene, .

Two deaths have been reported in the state, one in an Owings Mills apartment complex and another in Queen Anne’s County in which a tree fell on a woman’s house, causing her chimney to collapse.

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, the Port of Baltimore and interstate highways were open, as the state regrouped in the wake of the Category 1 storm. About 200 roads were closed.

Update, 11:43 a.m.: Restaurants throughout the area are taking to social media to tell patrons that they are open for business.

Let us know if you see other restaurants open in your area and whether they are serving up and hurricane- or Irene-related specials.

Update, 10:52 a.m.: It's going to be a long effort to restore power to the more than 800,000 Maryland residents who have been affected by Hurricane Irene, Gov. Martin O'Malley said in an interview on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.

The state is seeing a record number of families without power, O'Malley said.

To compare it to other natural events in recent memory, Snowmaggedon, the February 2010 blizzard that hit the D.C. Metro region, left 300,000 Maryland customers without power, O'Malley said.

Update, 10:23 a.m.: The No. 1 reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant had to be taken offline overnight, Sunday morning.

The nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs in Lusby had to be shut down after a piece of siding from the building knocked out the wire feeding it electricity, officials said.

"The facility had to declare an unusual event, which is the lowest of emergency postures," said Quentin Banks, spokesman for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

He said the No. 2 reactor is still online and no power outages resulted from the incident and there was no danger to residents.

“No. 1 will stay offline until they have folks that will crawl over every inch of it,” Banks said.

The reactor event was one of several overnight as Maryland was hammered by Hurricane Irene's wind and rain. In Queen Anne’s County, a woman died early Sunday when the chimney in her house collapsed, Banks said.

Officials also reported that Ocean City's boardwalk was intact and was not submerged as feared. It may re-open by noon.

“Officials have just finished an assessment and the city is in really good shape,” Banks said.

Officials were still on the lookout for localized flooding, roads closed due to debris and damage from continuing stiff winds.

At 9 a.m., Irene was 150 miles east-northeast of Baltimore, the National Weather Service reported.

Update, 9:46 a.m.: Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to be a guest on "Meet the Press" this morning to talk about Hurricane Irene. The show starts at 10:30 a.m.

Earlier this morning, O'Malley announced via Twitter that Ocean City will reopen today.

The mayor of the city said that property owners, tenants, business owners and employees in Ocean City can return to town immediately, with proper identification. The town will open to the general public at noon.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge has also been reopened to all vehicles beside tractor trailers, Anne Arundel County Emergency Management announced via Twitter.

Update, 8:45 a.m.: Pepco will address public heath and safety issues first, Pepco President Thomas Graham said at a press conference held in Upper Marlboro Sunday morning.

“This is an all hands event,” Graham said.

Pepco has 2,500 workers involved, with 1,700 out in the field and 440 staffing the call centers, he said. But even with these numbers, getting power back on will be a multi-day event.

With more than 200,000 Pepco homes without power, Hurricane Irene was not as devastating as Hurricane Isabel, which affected about 500,000 customers in 2003, Graham said.

Original Story: Montgomery County remained under a Tropical Storm Warning on Sunday morning as Hurricane Irene thundered past the region heading toward New York and Long Island.

The storm caused 66,666 out of 308,086 Pepco customers in Montgomery County to lose power, according to the Pepco outage map. Pepco strike teams are currently headed to priority locations.

From midnight to about 5:30 a.m. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue has responded to approximately 177 calls for service, most of which were wires down on roadways and trees.

Almost two dozen calls for trees damaging homes and town homes in the Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Kensington, MCFRS said Sunday morning.

The storm was centered about 140 miles east of Washington, D.C., heading northeastward, the National Weather Service reported at about 6 a.m.

The Tropical Storm Warning extended to the District of Columbia, as well as Prince George's, Howard, Harford, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert counties in Maryland, and Northern Virginia. 

Gusty winds expected this afternoon, the weather service said. A half inch of more rain expected. The weather station at Reagan National Airport recorded 3.66 inches of rain as of about 6 a.m.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission reported Sunday that power outages caused an undetermined amount of diluted sewage to overflow wastewater treatment plants in Upper Marlboro and Accokeek. Backup generators have restored some power, a WSSC release said, halting the overflow in the Accokeek plant. However, at 6 a.m., WSSC was reporting the overflows were continuing at the Western Treatment Plant, at 6600 Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro. 

The WSSC provides drinking water and treats wastewater for Montgomery and Prince George's counties. 

The release said the bi-county utility had notified the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Prince George’s County Health Department. WSSC crews will post signs in the area once it is safe to be outside.

WSSC's two water filtration plants continue to operate, the release said.

Patch will continue to live-blog on Sunday to report on the damage, continuing power outages and clean-up efforts.

Frank August 30, 2011 at 12:12 AM
The leaves are proportionate to the size of the car. Look at the leaves that are right next to the car. If it were a toy car, the leaves would have to be about 1/4-1/8" big. There is some kind of weird foreshortening in the foreground, but that's the only thing unusual about the photo.
Sharon August 30, 2011 at 12:19 AM
Now I know where that lost Matchbox car went? LOL!
Kathleen Bryan August 30, 2011 at 12:37 AM
Hello Gail, I assure you the blue Toyota Prius is not a Matchbox car. I took the photo early Sunday morning. I used a Nikon D7000 w/a Tamron 17-50 mm f2.8 lens. The beech tree obliterated the car – very unfortunate.
Frank August 30, 2011 at 03:57 PM
One thing that catches the eye is the extremely smooth bark of the tree - maybe that's why it looks like a twig to some.
Ryan McDermott August 30, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Beech trees tend to have very smooth bark.


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