IRENE LIVE: Strong Winds, Outages Continue Into Sunday
Live updates of Hurricane Irene as it approaches Maryland.
7 a.m. The loss of power at two wastewater pumping stations caused overflow problems in Prince George’s County, two trees fell on homes in Howard County but damage in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area appeared minimal. There were no reports of major injuries.
Loss of power at the Broad Creek Wastewater Pumping Station in Fort Washington and the Piscataway Wastewater Treatment Plant in Accokeek meant sewage overflow until pumps could be restored.
Trees fell on two Howard County homes Sunday morning, according to Jackie Culter, spokeswoman for Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. A Columbia family was displaced to a shelter, many of which went unused in the area.
“So far, we have not had reports of any injuries," Culter said.
Government officials were working on clearing roadways, particularly on Route 40 in Ellicott City, where debris had become a significant issue, Culter said.
In Baltimore County, the toll from Hurricane Irene seemed to be limited.
“It appears that residents are taking our advice—stay at home and keep off the streets," said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County police spokeswoman.
4 a.m. The worst may be over but the storm is still being felt across Maryland. More customers are without power as strong winds continue.
About 381,461 BGE customers and 188,641 Pepco customers have no electric as of about 4 a.m.
2:50 a.m. Power outages continue to climb early Sunday as Hurricane Irene makes its way out of Maryland.
About 325,700 BGE customers and 189,600 Pepco customers have no electric as of about 2:50 a.m.
Almost 200,000 of those outages are confined about Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties.
Reporting from Ocean City, Berk told Patch there was "not much of a storm surge," though there are power outages in the area.
"It should actually, when most people start waking up, [improve]," Berk said. "In the afternoon it may be nice."
2:01 a.m. Hurricane Irene is still a Category 1 storm producing sustained winds around 79 mph, according to Weather Underground. The storm is moving north-northeast at about 15 mph.
1:42 a.m. The District of Columbia Fire and EMS said it responded to about 550 calls in the last 15 hours. A typical 24-hour period yields 450 calls.
More updates below.
Charlotte Observer: Irene triggers flooding along N.C. coast
Richmond Times Dispatch: UPDATE: Virginia coast could face 8-foot storm surge
Washington Post: Hurricane Irene churns up East Coast
Maryland Counties: Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, Worcester.
TROPICAL STORM WARNING
Maryland Counties: Baltimore, Harford, Montgomery, Howard, Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Charles and Calvert
Virginia: Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Stafford, Spotsylvania and King George counties and Falls Church and Alexandria
FLASH FLOOD WARNING UNTIL SUNDAY MORNING
Maryland Areas: Baltimore City, Harford County, southern Baltimore County, north-central Anne Arundel County
FLASH FLOOD WATCH UNTIL 9 A.M.
Maryland Areas: Anne Arundel, northern Baltimore Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's counties, Westminster, Columbia, Baltimore, Annapolis, Waldorf and St. Mary's City
Virginia: Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Stafford, Spotsylvania and King George counties and Manassas, Manassas Park, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Falls Church and Alexandria
|Baltimore County||Eastern Technical High School|
|Harford County||Patterson Mill High School|
|Montgomery County||Richard Montgomery High School|
|Prince George's County||Brandywine Fire and EMS Station|
|Prince George's County||Bunker Hill Fire Station|
|Cecil County||Rising Sun High School|
|Anne Arundel County||Annapolis High School|
|2:50 a.m.||98,100||Anne Arundel County|
|2:50 a.m.||89,600||Baltimore County|
|2:50 a.m.||112,900||Prince George's County|
EMERGENCY INFORMATION PHONE NUMBERS
|Chesapeake Bay Bridge||877-BAYSPAN|
|Prince George's County||
REPORTED DEATHS: 9
1:38 a.m. Winds could gust up to 70 mph overnight, the Weather Channel reported. Rainfall could also total as much as 10 inches in parts of southern Maryland.
Dozens of downed trees are being reported throughout Maryland.
1:15 a.m. A woman has died in Queen Anne's County after a tree fell on the house she was in, causing the chimney to collapse, according to the Associated Press.
About 410,000 Maryland BGE and Pepco customers are without power early Sunday, including nearly 100,000 in Anne Arundel County and about 90,000 in Prince George's County.
12:17 a.m. Harford County government said 10 houses have been struck by falling trees, though no injuries have been suffered.
11:08 p.m. About 158,000 people in Maryland are without power, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced at Maryland Emergency Management Agency headquarters Saturday night in Reisterstown.
“We’re just now heading into the worst part of the storm,” O'Malley said.
O’Malley denied rumors about the possibility of tornadoes, saying he has no verified reports of any twisters.
10:20 p.m. WJZ is reporting that the Key Bridge in Baltimore has been closed.
9:35 p.m. A tornado has been spotted on Maryland's lower eastern shore, according to the Associate Press via Breaking News.
9:15 p.m. Prince George's County could receive up to 6 inches of rain from Hurricane Irene, according to Topper Shutt, chief meteorologist for Washington D.C.'s WUSA9.
But areas like Loudoun County (VA) could only receive 1 inch of rain, Shutt said.
"I don’t see it anymore than 30–50 [mph winds]" Shutt added. "Although there has been a 50 mph wind [gust] already."
Shutt expects the hurricane to reach Ocean City around 2 a.m.
9:03 p.m. A tornado may have touched down in Lewes, DE, according to the Philadelphia CBS station. More than a dozen homes were damaged in the incident.
8:53 p.m. More than 100,000 Marylanders are without power, according to The Weather Channel.
About 14,000 people have already lost power in New Jersey and 700,000 are without power in Virginia.
8:44 p.m. Sustained winds have reached 40–49 mph at the Key Bridge in Baltimore, the Maryland Department of Transportation reported.
8:41 p.m. More than 68,000 Maryland BGE and Pepco customers are without power, more than 42,000 of them in Anne Arundel County.
8:24 p.m. Gusts at the Chespeake Bridge are reaching 80 mph, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.
Anne Arundel County emergency services are reporting many trees down and roads closed. More than 40,000 BGE customers are without power in Anne Arundel County.
7:41 p.m. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is closed due to high winds, the Maryland Department of Transportation Tweeted.
7:25 p.m. The waves were crashing deep onto the Ocean City shore within the last hour, according to ABC2News' Justin Berk, who is working from the beach.
This despite the worst part of the storm being about five hours from Maryland. Southern Maryland has received about six inches of rain—a total that could double by the end of the night, Berk said.
The Baltimore meteorologist does not expect the eye wall to make landfall in Maryland, though winds have already reached 45 mph.
Capital Weather reported storm surges as high as 4 feet in the Chesapeake Bay.
7:14 p.m. Wind gusts reached 71 mph in Richmond during the 6 p.m. hour, The Weather Channel reported.
7:01 p.m. The Weather Channel is reporting that Hurricane Irene is moving north-northeast at 16 mph. Winds are as high as 80 mph.
6:55 p.m. Nearly 40,000 BGE and Pepco customers in Maryland are without power, including about 12,000 in Prince George's County and more than 10,000 in Anne Arundel County.
6:29 p.m. Washington EMS is reporting via Twitter "several dozen wires and/or trees down."
6:28 p.m. Beaufort, NC, received more than 14 inches of rain, Weather Underground reported.
6:21 p.m. The Maryland Transit Administration has announced it will temporarily suspended all light rail service beginning at 9 p.m.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency Twitter: "We expect widespread power outages."
5:33 p.m. Capital Weather reported via Twitter that about 600,000 people are without power in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.
5:25 p.m. “We do anticipate widespread damage," Gov. Martin O'Malley said at a press conference Saturday evening.
The heaviest rain and winds are anticipated to arrive around midnight.
As conditions worsen, the State Highway Administration issued the following caution.
“The best plan for tonight is staying home allowing emergency crews from transportation agencies and utility companies to respond to the storm,” SHA Acting Administrator Darrell B. Mobley said. “SHA crews will work throughout the night reacting to Irene’s effects.”
5:02 p.m. Hurricane Irene has sustained winds of 79 mph, according to Weather Undergound. The storm is moving north-northeast at 11–13 mph.
"This is full-on tropical storm," Justin Berk of ABC2News said in this video from Ocean City.
4:58 p.m. Wind gusts have reached 60 mph in Ocean City—at least seven hours before the eye of the storm passes, according to a tweet from ABC2News' meteorologist Justin Berk.
4:51 p.m. Most of the heavy rain will be east of Interstate 95, but meteorologist Howard Bernstein of WUSA9 in Washington D.C. said that won't slow down the wind.
"We’re going to be getting into the heart of the storm and highest winds here [soon]," Bernstein told Patch. "[I'm] still expecting the storm to pull away early Sunday morning, maybe by sunrise."
Bernstein said there are already reports of trees down in the District of Columbia with even more in southern Maryland and Virginia. He still expects winds to sustain at 30 to 40 mph during the storm, with gusts as high as 50 mph.
4:42 p.m. BGE and Pepco are reporting more than 20,000 statewide power outages.
4:36 p.m. Tractor trailers are now prohibited from crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Key Bridge in Baltimore and Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (Route 301) have been placed under a "wind warning."
Gusts are as strong as 39 mph, according to MDOT.
4:28 p.m. Six deaths are now being reported by MSNBC as a result of Hurricane Irene.
The latest two involved an 11-year-old Virginia boy and a Florida surfer.
4:18 p.m. Water is as high as 20 inches on roads in Columbia, NC., according to The Weather Channel.
FOX News reported that about 438,000 people are without power in North Carolina.
4 p.m. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III declared a “local state of emergency” just before 3 p.m. The move makes the county eligible for state and federal aid.
“Due to the potential impact of Hurricane Irene on Prince George’s County, I signed a ‘Local State of Emergency’ allowing the County to be eligible for State and federal aid,” Baker said in a statement. “I ask all citizens to stay inside, pay attention to the news, and have an emergency kit in case the power fails
There was already been one water main break in the area, but the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission , serving Montgomery and Prince George’s counties has, completed preparations for the storm.
The commission has filled its water and chemical storage tanks, prepped generators at necessary locations and brought extra staff into its control center and emergency dispatch center.
3:23 p.m. In Ocean City, ABC2News' Justin Berk said winds are
sustaining at 35–40 mph.
"The wind was so strong, the carousel and the Ferris wheel were actually turning by themselves," Berk said. "It was just eerie to hear the metal kind of squeaking by itself."
The meteorologist said he still expects most of Maryland to receive 2–6 inches of rain.
"It almost looks like the eye might be [moving] a little bit east," said Berk, who is working from the Hilton hotel in Ocean City. "The biggest [storm surge] will be in the lower portion of the Chesapeake."
Berk said to expect water to rise by as much as 4 feet in Annapolis.
"Winds are going to start increasing up there," he said. "You’re going to start seeing some pretty heavy stuff roll through up there at 5 p.m."
Wind gusts are reported as high as 62 mph in Virginia Beach, according to Weather Underground.
3:11 p.m. Four people in North Carolina died Saturday as a result of Hurricane Irene, according to MSNBC, and President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Maryland some nine hours before the eye of the storm is scheduled to reach Ocean City.
Obama’s declaration “authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts” for Baltimore, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties and Baltimore City.
In an interview with The Weather Channel, Gov. Martin O’Malley praised the federal aid to Maryland.
“This is a massive undertaking and people are really doing their jobs and doing it well,” O’Malley said on The Weather Channel. “Everything in the preparation phase of this has gone very well. … Now we’re awaiting landfall ourselves.”
A tornado watch is in effect for parts of southern Maryland.
In Newport News, VA, one child died after a tree fell on a home, according to RVANews.com.