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Power Companies Gearing Up for Thursday Storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Myra Oppel was sitting in her office at Pepco's Headquarters when the Derecho of 2012 hit. 

She watched as the power company's outages jumped from a few thousand to almost half a million. By the time it was all over, more than two-million people in Virginia, Maryland, and the District were in the dark, and it would take nearly two weeks before all the power was restored.

Almost a year later, Oppel met with WUSA9 to discuss what Pepco's doing to prepare for this latest round of storms. 

Avoiding the Derecho's Autumn Harvest

On June 29th, like so many in the path of the Derecho, my power went out around 10PM. For roughly two days. Almost immediately I felt an itchiness arising from my carpet. By Sunday, since my apartment faces West and catches the afternoon Sun, I sought shelter in a hotel, as the temperature in my unit was fast approaching 90 degrees. I'm originally from upstate New York. Growing up, Summer was six weeks. I don't do heat, let alone this!

When I swung by my abode Monday morning, I had power, so I checked out of my temporary digs. The A/C was on; the apartment was cooling; but the scratchiness remained.

FEMA chief: Stay at home in Irene's wake

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the nation's emergency response agency says people shouldn't underestimate the danger once Hurricane Irene passes.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Craig Fugate says flooding, weakened trees and downed power lines pose a danger even after the storm moves north up the Atlantic Coast.

Fugate is urging people not to drive around and sightsee after the storm has passed through their areas. His advice: Stay inside, stay off the roads, and let the power crews do their job.

Fugate made the round of the Sunday talk shows as the storm moved through New York City and the Northeast.

Fallen Tree From Hurricane Irene

Fallen Tree From Hurricane Irene

According to the Associated Press, The District of Columbia’s emergency management director says Washington appears to have weathered Hurricane Irene with fewer problems than other parts of the mid-Atlantic region.

Millicent West says the biggest problems in the district are power outages and downed trees. She says about 29,000 homes are without power, and there are roughly 200 trees down around the city, with new reports still coming in.

 

Thanks to Sammy Malin who took this picture of a tree downed on Wilmett Road, Bethesda Maryland.

Have storm photos you would like to share? Send them to us!

 

Local Twitter Trend Map

Local Twitter Trend Map

The D.C. Metro area is clearly thinking about the strength of Hurricane Irene...just look at this Twitter trend map of the area.