Hurricane Sandy has brought heavy rain and damaging wind to Bethesda and the entire northeastern United States, closing schools and the federal government for at least Monday and Tuesday. Residents have already reported thousands of power outages, with more expected over the next 24 hours.
“The worst should continue Monday night into Tuesday, with increased heavy rain and damaging winds,” National Weather Service meteorologist Heather Sheffield said.
Beach towns like Ocean City, Maryland, and Rehoboth, Delaware, were evacuated Sunday. The storm has damaged coastal piers, caused threatening storm surges and flooded many major streets, according to the National Weather Service.
Over 5,000 customers in Montgomery County and close to 15,000 in Maryland are without power as of 7 p.m. Monday, according to electric service provider Pepco. This number is expected to increase as the storm continues to batter the area.
“We’ve prepared for the worst,” Pepco spokesperson Bob Hainey said.
Pepco has brought in about 1,500 electric workers from as far away as Alabama and Texas for storm repairs. But work on power outages cannot begin until the storm recedes, Hainey said.
“With such high sustained winds, its impossible to do overhead work,” he said.
In addition to power outages, the storm has already caused fallen trees, several floods and numerous street closures in the area, Montgomery County spokesperson Patrick Lacefield said.
“At this point we’re still waiting for the brunt of the storm,” he said.