Tuesday Storm Update: Winds, Rain Expected to Diminish

Temperatures could feel as cold as 40 degrees. More than 180,000 without power Tuesday morning.

Update - 2:53 p.m. Tuesday 

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday afternoon that the commonwealth was "spared a significant event" with Hurricane Sandy.

The brunt of the damage was north of Virginia along the New Jersey coast.

Power outages from Sandy will not last nearly as long as they did during this past summer's derecho.

“It is our intention to have all our customers restored to service by Thursday night,” said Rodney Blevins, vice president of distribution operations for Dominion. Northern Virginia sustained the most damage, Blevins said.

In Northern Virgina, where the bulk of Dominion’s efforts are being focused, 92,000 customers are without power as of 1:33 p.m., Blevins said.

Blevins said to continue to report 1-866-DOM-HELP for downed lines or power outages.

Read more about Gov. McDonnell's 1 p.m. update here.

Update - 11 a.m. Tuesday

The National Weather Service in Sterling reported Fort Belvoir experienced a wind gust of 63 mph Monday night at 9:29 p.m. Reagan National Airport had a wind gust of 60 mph at 9:51 p.m. Monday.  Wind gusts of 70 mph and above were reported in multiple locations in Maryland.

Update - 10:25 a.m. Tuesday

Lingering rain showers and breezy conditions will continue through Wednesday morning as the last remnants of Hurricane-turned-Post-Tropical Storm Sandy exit the area.

The biggest change from before Sandy is the temperature, which will struggle to get into the low 40s today. Temperatures will rise into middle and upper 50s Wednesday and beyond under partly to mostly cloudy skies, but our warm autumn weather is a luxury of the past.

Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia are under a flood warning. The National Weather Service is predicting flooding along the Potomac River between Harpers Ferry and Washington, D.C.

 that "residents and businesses along the Potomac River in...Washington should prepare for a flood not seen since the floods of 1996." Potomac River estimates Tuesday morning are slightly lower than they were Monday, but flooding is still expected to be a serious problem. The next high tide is just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The Washington Metropolitian Area Transportation Authority says Metro (rail and bus) will re-open at 2 p.m. Tuesday. 

Residents of the Huntington neighborhood just south of Alexandria were evacuated Monday night. 

Sandy made landfall Monday around 8 p.m. over central and southern New Jersey and left more than 3 million people without power up and down the eastern United States.

At its peak more than 200,000 were without power in Northern Virginia and the District. By 10:30 a.m., Dominion Virginia Power reported fewer than 100,000 without power in Northern Virginia. Pepco had 3,300 without power in the District and about 15,000 without power in Montgomery and Prince George's County, Md.

How long will your refrigerated food stay safe if you've lost power? Learn more here.

Original post - 5:59 a.m. Tuesday

The bulk of Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy's wrath has left Virginia, but winds, rain and cold weather are expected to linger Tuesday as more than 180,000 Virginians wait for electricity to be restored.  

The National Weather Service said in a Tuesday forecast, "New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible." NWS canceled a high wind warning early Tuesday morning and issued a wind advisory in its place until 2 p.m. Tuesday.

"A wind advisory means that wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph are expected," according to NWS. 

As Capital Weather Gang's Matt Rogers put it in a 4 a.m. blog Tuesday morning, "Sandy showed us her worst yesterday through last night and now she is left to spin out a slow death pretty close by."

Virginia Department of Transportation announced Monday night restrictions will be lifted on high occupancy vehicle lanes on interstates 66, 95, 395, and the Dulles Toll Road Tuesday. 

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued a landslide alert for Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and southern Pennsylvania. "The most likely type of landslide triggered by this event will be shallow landslides on coastal bluffs in the Chesapeake Bay area and adjoining estuaries. In addition, some areas in the forecast area contain landslides that were caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 that have not yet been stabilized." 

"Power outages peaked statewide at around midnight with 204,663 power outages," Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller said in an email. "By 5 a.m., reported power outages were at 183,721 statewide."

According to the interactive outage reporter on Dominion Virginia Power's Web site, 109,978 Northern Virginians are without power Tuesday morning as of 5:30 a.m. For individual area updates, call 866-366-4357. 

  • Pepco reported 25,034 customers without power in the District and Maryland as of 5 a.m. (updates available here).
  • Novec reported 21,445 customers without power as of 5 a.m. (updates available here).
  • Rappahannock Electric Cooperative reported approximately 17,511 ustomers without power as of 5 a.m. (updates available here).

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a statement encouraging Virginians to use the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund to help fellow citizens recover from Sandy. The fund is a state-managed relief vehicle allowing individual Virginians and businesses to assist in recovery efforts following major natural disasters in the Commonwealth: https://payments.vi.virginia.gov/donatenow

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority has closed Metrorail, Metrobus and other services for Tuesday. VRE trains are canceled for Tuesday, as are most local bus services. Schools across Northern Virginia and D.C. are closed Tuesday.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reported Tuesday morning, "About 143 secondary roads in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties remain closed due to either high water, downed trees and/or power lines. The majority of these roads are in Fairfax County. The complete list of road closures and advisories, sortable by county, is updated continually and is available at www.511virginia.org/mobile/?menu_id=conditions."

If you come to an intersection where traffic signals are not working, treat the intersection as if it were a four-way stop.

For complete local coverage of Sandy, click on the news menu above and go to our Hurricane Sandy section. 

See also: 

Lower Huntington Residents Ordered to Evacuate

Food Safety Tips During Power Outages

Hurricane Sandy Pet Safety Tips

Nanci Chartier October 30, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Found it most interesting that we found out about the loss of electricity from this site late last night after watching news all day.We live in California,our son lives in Herndon. Thankyou!
Erica R. Hendry October 30, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Thanks for reading! Hope your son is doing OK.
Carolo October 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Gov Christie tells Romney what he thinks http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/christie-praises-obama-doesnt-give-damn-abou
Sally Spangler October 31, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Except for a shower or so, the storm is messing up NYC, NJ and some in DEL. We missed 90% of it. NYC closed the tunnels in and out of the city. the subway tunnels were likewise closed and just as well as water from lower Manhattan and Wall Street were flooded. Not to mention a construction crane losing its top half down into the street from some 50 or more floors off the pavement. Dumb New Yorkers! An apartment house some 65 stories high? NOOOOOO, "not I said the little red hen!"
ron gird November 01, 2012 at 12:39 AM
The power of nature is just awesome, we are meager specks of sand on a beach. This was perhaps a once in a lifetime event..for most of us. i have never seen such a massive storm in my 40 years as a meteorologist. simply awesome power, feeling small and humble for a while.
Ann H Csonka November 08, 2012 at 09:20 AM
I don't know why this thread popped up in our email, but noticed your ",,,perhaps once in a lifetime event..." Then the "meteorologist" registered, so you know better than I. However, even NY Gov. Cuomo said major storms were increasing and probably associated with climate change (he has guts to say that among most politicians). He said he was seeing 100-year storms every 2 years or more frequently...so perhaps he is not entirely science-illiterate. You're probably 65 or so, my husband and i are both older. He's an "earth scientist", i.e., geology and geophysics, seismology ...ARPA ...morphed into satellite program exec NASA and USGS... Dir of USGS EROS program/first of the Landsat series and established EDC in South Dakota. I do science info/exhibits. both retired 20+ yrs. THAT is why we've been concerned about the controversies, ifnorance and politics re climate change. In retirement we did informal outdoor education We are VERY RELIEVED that the election is decided. Why? In all of the debates and endless run-up to this election, there's been hardly ANY environmental discussion except as related to energy. Pres. Obama is not perfect and drives us crazy on a couple of subjects like touting clean coal (there is no such thing) and gas is NOT being handled well at all...especially fracking. Romney AND the Republ. platform called for opening all public lands for gas and oil drilling, ...any exploitation possible. so much for National Park system--he has no concept!
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