Tuesday, October 30, 2012

what's up the pike: hurricane sandy edition (updated)

I spent yesterday nervously watching the lights flicker on and off, so I was relieved to wake up today and find that the lights were still on. Thankfully, it seems like the D.C. area, was relatively unharmed by Hurricane Sandy. However, all is not well in East County as the cleanup begins, so here's a look at what's happening Up the Pike:

Photo by Reemberto Rodriguez, director of the Silver Spring Regional Services Center.
- A tree fell into an apartment building on Manchester Place in Long Branch last night. Nobody was injured, but as many as 20 people were displaced.

- About 1200 Pepco customers and maybe a few hundred BG&E customers are without power today, making just a small fraction of the over 100,000 people across the region in the dark.

- USA Today's hotel reporter seems to have spent the night at the Hampton Inn-Homewood Suites in downtown Silver Spring, where glowing light sticks are available to guests in case of a power outage.

Westfield Wheaton Mall Wheaton Plaza (seriously, will someone give me $100 million so I can buy it and change the name back?) will open at 11am today, along with all of its stores.

- Some stores and restaurants in big-D Downtown Silver Spring are open today.

- But good luck getting there: the bridge carrying Route 29 over Northwest Branch (that's just south of Lockwood Drive, by Trader Joe's) is closed due to flooding and "may remain so as long as the rain continues," according to Patrick Lacefield, spokesperson for County Executive Ike Leggett. UPDATE: Route 29 is now open. Here's a list of other closed roads around Montgomery County, though most of them aren't on the east side. 35 traffic signals throughout the county remain out, however, so be careful.

- However, Metro will open at 2pm today and run on a Sunday schedule, while Ride On will open at 4pm, also running on a Sunday schedule.

- Most public buildings, schools and parks are closed today, but should reopen tomorrow, along with early voting. In addition, your trash will be picked up two days late - so if the garbage truck normally comes on Tuesday, now it'll come on Thursday.

- A few months ago, I wrote about Hang Out DC, a social network being built by local resident Peng Wu as a way for busy professionals to make friends. "I'm taking advantage of the bad weather for Hang out DC HURRICANE LAUNCH!" he wrote me yesterday. Peng calls it "a match.com for people who want to make new friends in their neighborhood or share similar interests" and notes that a few Silver Spring-area members have already joined.

- You've probably already heard about the "horse head jogger" in D.C., but in case you haven't, I wanted to make sure since this made my day, week, and year.

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