Mayor Vincent C. Gray

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August 28, 2011

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Says District Fared Relatively Well During Hurricane Irene 

The Mayor assesses damage to trees, buildings and infrastructure in a tour of each ward.

Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray said the District of Columbia largely fared well during the onslaught of Hurricane Irene, with no deaths, minor damages and less than 10 percent of the city losing power.

“I am thankful the District of Columbia was spared the brunt of Hurricane Irene, and that our city agencies and federal and regional partners have worked together according to our disaster-preparedness plans” said Mayor Gray. “While we don’t have all problems rectified yet, we fared much better than we could have.”

Mayor Gray and members of his administration and regional partners provided updates on the status of infrastructure, city services and those displaced by the storm at a press briefing at Kennedy Recreation Center, one of the emergency shelters run by the D.C. Department of Human Services.

As of the most recent reports:

  • Pepco is reporting more than 31,000 D.C. customers without power as of 1:30 p.m. Safety regulations do not allow overhead work to be performed in sustained winds of 35 mph or more. Consequently, Pepco had to suspend utility work in some areas.
  • Pepco will continue to have crews work to remove downed wires. Residents are encouraged to report power outages and other damage to 1-877-pepco-62.
  • 13 D.C. Public Schools facilities were without power – Anacostia High School, Beers Elementary School, Burroughs Education Campus, Coolidge High School, Mann Elementary School, Orr Elementary School, Oyster-Adams Bilingual School (Adams), Savoy Elementary School, Stanton Elementary School, Thomas Elementary School, Turner Elementary School at Green, Whittier Education Campus and Winston Education Campus.
  • The Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization is addressing schools with damage, flooding or trees. Work to repair is in progress and this should not impede the opening of schools.
  • DDOT reports that more than two dozen traffic signals have been repaired and are now working.
  • 14 roads are closed; 22 roadways have reopened; more than 100 roads are being assessed for problems.
  • The right lane of northbound I-295 at Benning Road has been closed due to standing water
  • Southbound 16th Street NW is closed and all traffic is being diverted to eastbound Whittier Place NW because of downed tree, which was in process of being removed.
  • Sections of Broad Branch Road (Brandywine Street to Riggs Road NW) and Kalmia Road (East Beach to West Beach Drive) are closed
  • Canal road is being monitored
  • Crews have been sent to all the wards to pick up trees and debris and support arborists.
  • DPW’s debris team continues to work in tandem with DDOT. DPW crews are towing when necessary to give utility workers access to downed trees and lines.
  • DPW says if residents and businesses hire contractors to remove trees and debris, please make sure they take all debris with them.
  • Between August 29th and September 2nd ONLY, DPW will remove branches cut into 4-foot lengths and tied into 2-foot bundles in diameter from tree plots in front of residents’ homes.
  • After that, crews will collect debris on regular trash collection days from tree plot space (bagged or loose).
  • Do not put debris in gutters and streets because this can cause flooding during rain and impede mechanical street sweepers from clearing curb lanes.