Government of the District of Columbia
Executive Office of the Mayor
Office of Communications
Tony Bullock, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2003 – 8 am Update
Jo’Ellen Countee (EMA)
DC Government Media Information Center for Hurricane Isabel
District of Columbia Government
Hurricane Isabel Status Report
General Information: Mayor Williams strongly encourages everyone to use public transportation today as DC is expecting serious traffic problems due to inoperable traffic signals and some blocked lanes on our roads. Concerns remain for flooding over the next several days along the Potomac River and its tributaries. Widespread power outages, downed wires and downed trees have caused severe damage to streets and sidewalks throughout the city. Food distribution centers will be operating throughout the District and will open at 12 noon for lunch and 5 pm for dinner.
Local and Federal Declaration of Emergency: The District’s Declaration of Emergency remains in effect. On Saturday, September 20, President Bush authorized the use of federal disaster funds and emergency resources for the District to help families and business recover from the effects of Isabel.
The declaration covers damage to private property from Isabel beginning on September 18. Affected residents and business owners in the District may begin the disaster application process by calling (800) 621-FEMA or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free numbers will be available beginning Sunday, September 21 from 7 a.m. – midnight seven days a week until further notice.
Government Status: On Monday, the District Government will be open with liberal leave.
School Status: DCPS has announced that schools in DC will not open today, Monday, September 22.
Metro: On Monday, Metrorail will operate on a regular schedule and Metrobus is utilizing snow emergency routes in areas where trees are down. Visit www.wmata.com.
PEPCO: As of 6:00 am, Monday, 56,149 customers were without power in the District and crews remain working. Residents are encouraged to report downed electric wires and power outages at the following numbers:
Number to call for downed wires: (202) 872-3432
Number to call for power outages: (877) PEPCO-62
Mayor Williams is urging residents to take extreme caution when encountering downed power wires. District government work crews are working with PEPCO to make the streets passable and to restore power. It will likely take several days to bring all PEPCO customers back on line.
Utilities: The DC Water and Sewer Authority reports that the pumping station at Nannie Helen Burroughs and Minnesota Avenue, NE is operating but not at full capacity.
Food Distribution: The following facilities will be food distribution sites:
. Drew Elementary School, 5600 Eads St., NE
. Spingarn High School, 2500 Benning Rd., NE
. H.D. Cooke Elementary School, 2525 17th Street, NW
. Brightwood Elementary School, 1300 Nicholson St., NW
. Birney Elementary School, 2501 MLK Ave., SE
. Ron Brown Middle School, 4800 Meade St., SE
. Douglas Junior High School, 2600 Douglas Pl. SE
. Hart Middle School, 601 Mississippi Ave., SE
. Green Elementary School 1500 Mississippi Ave., SE
. Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St., NE
. Sousa Middle School, 3650 Ely Pl., SE
. Nalle Elementary School, 219 50th St., SE
Food distribution will begin at two times, 12 noon for lunch and 5 pm for dinner. Note: If you are picking up certificates or meals for an elderly or homebound neighbor, please bring that resident’s identification with you to the distribution site.
Ice: Beginning again at 9 am, Monday, bulk ice will be available at four locations while supplies last. Residents should bring coolers to:
. DC General, 19th St. and Massachusetts Ave., SE (doctor’s parking lot)
. Backus Junior High School, 5171 South Dakota Ave., NE
. Turner Elementary School, 3264 Stanton Rd., SE
. Murch Elementary School, 4810 36th St., NW
The ice is packaged in 5-pound bags for ease of transport. Residents will be limited to one bag of ice per person. If you are picking up ice for an elderly or homebound neighbor, please bring that resident’s identification with you to the distribution site. More than 466,000 lbs of liquid ice has been distributed to residents.
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD): Residents are encouraged to reserve 911 for life threatening or other extremely serious emergencies. Please do not call 911 for non-emergencies.
District Department of Transportation (DDOT): Most major highways, primary and secondary roads have been cleared for traffic. Many roads or portions of roads remain impassable at this time due to downed trees. Residents should call (202) 727-1000 to report road damage.
Approximately 168 traffic lights are reported down. MPD is directing traffic at 47 major intersections and temporary STOP signs have been installed at two dozen other intersections. Residents must use extreme caution at intersections. All intersections with disabled traffic lights should be treated as four-way stops.
Department of Public Works (DPW):
Normal parking enforcement has resumed, including rush hour and metered parking restrictions. Emergency parking restrictions have been lifted.
Trash collection will resume Monday, pending access to the area of collection. Street sweeping will resume pending access to streets. If power lines or trees block a street or alley, trucks will not be able to get to those areas. Bulk collections are suspended. Customers will be contacted to reschedule appointments. Nighttime littercan collection is on schedule. Citizens should call (202) 727-1000 if their cars have been towed.
Residents are asked to rake small debris, like leaves and twigs, and set them out at the regular point of collection. Flood debris and larger limbs and branches should be carried to the curb for collection. Large debris resulting from major tree removal done by District work crews will be picked up as soon as possible.
Food safety is a critical issue for residents who have been without power since the storm, many refrigerated and frozen foods should now be discarded. Food from refrigerators should be emptied into heavy garbage bags, tied and put into trash containers with tight-fitting lids.
Shelters: Johnson Junior High School is open and operating as a shelter.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): All DMV facilities will be open except the Penn Branch Service Center (no power) and C Street (normally closed on Mondays). Penalties resulting from failure to transact business on days that DMV offices close due to weather will be waived. Previously scheduled hearings and road test appointments will be rescheduled. Booted and towed vehicles not retrieved already can be retrieved on Monday, September 22. Vehicles due for inspection or registration renewal will be granted a three-day extension and will not be liable for tickets issued for failure to report for inspection and/or failure to display current license plates during the closure or extension period.
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA): DCRA encourages residents to ensure that contractors performing work at or around their homes are properly licensed in DC. On Monday, call (202) 442-4311.
Department of Mental Health (DMH): Residents needing mental health services to help cope with the effects of the storm can call (888) 7-WE-HELP.
Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR): Free-standing recreation centers in communities with power will operate from 11:30 am – 8 pm.
Volunteers: DC is looking for volunteers to help elderly and homebound residents cope with the storm, and assist in medical transports, etc. If you would like to volunteer, please visit www.dc.gov or call (202) 727-1000.
Additional Information: Additional information can be obtained at www.dc.gov