By Mary Morgan
Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Atlantic coast this week, and left behind a stream of unparalleled northeastern wreckage. Sandy wreaked havoc in DC, Philly, New Jersey, New York City and Boston, and left some in historic states of emergency.
On Sunday night, the Federal offices of D.C. officially closed for Monday, and the majority of other companies followed suit. The metro and bus systems were also closed. The same occurred the next day, extending the closure through Tuesday. Most residents of Washington, D.C. worked from home, and waited for Sandy’s rude arrival, and her aftermath.
While it had been inevitable for DC to be effected by the storm, the degree of what the damage would be was unknown.
Due to the location that Hurricane Sandy ended up hitting shore, the storm sideswiped Washington instead of delivering a direct landing. Residents awoke Tuesday to find that even a dampened blow was enough to make its mark.
Massive power outages and extensive damage swept across the greater D.C. area. Trees fell into homes; roads were closed due to flooding. By 4 p.m. Tuesday, around 238,000 people in the Washington-Baltimore area had lost their power. Most power outages were concentrated in Northern Virginia, Bethesda and Rockville. The rising Potomac River gained six inches, and hovered inches away from its banks.
DC residents felt the storm in an additional way: This hurricane extended its reach into politics. Gallup suspended its nightly polling of the presidential race. State officials asked residents to bring political lawn signs inside, as to avoid them becoming projectiles. The presidential candidates suspended campaign appearances. Former governors George Allen and Timothy Kaine took breaks from their Senate race. Allen rested at home, and Kaine carved pumpkins with his children.
Much of the damage to the capital is being repaired swiftly. Work resumed Wednesday, and the metro lines returned to normal. Power is being restored, and trees are being removed.
While D.C. residents marvel at how their city was spared, their hearts and thoughts reach out to their northern neighbors. To the residents of New York and New Jersey, we at Focus Washington give you our deepest thoughts and sympathy, and hope that your lives are restored to normal as quickly as possible.