Friday, July 30, 2010
On Sunday, July 25, the County was struck by a sudden and violent summer storm that knocked out power to almost 220,000 Pepco customers (out of a total of 302,000). Food safety tips
and tips for disposing of spoiled food
are on the County’s website. The power loss impacted some 330 traffic signals (out of a total of 750). More than 250 roads were closed due to downed trees. The Potomac Water Treatment Plant, which provides about 70 percent of Montgomery County’s water, lost power, requiring an immediate ban on outdoor water use. Rockville City’s water system was impacted and Shady Grove Hospital lost power. Many County facilities also lost power. The Aspen Hill, Kensington, Silver Spring and Bethesda areas were hardest hit.
The County sprang into action, activating the Emergency Operations Center, opening the 3-1-1 Call Center to work around the clock, opening shelters for those without power, and responding to critical needs and damage immediately.
Police officers directed traffic at main intersections and the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Traffic Engineering Division deployed temporary stop signs to other locations. MCDOT Highway Services crews mobilized to remove downed trees and branches from public right-of-ways. Because MCDOT cannot touch trees entangled in power lines, County crews waited for Pepco to clear the power lines and make sure it was safe.
Residents were urged to treat all intersections without working traffic signals as four-way stops. Stop – then proceed cautiously. Visit the County’s website for information on the disposal of trees and branches
from residents’ private property.
An emergency like this one further highlights how important communication is during a crisis. Residents are urged to register for Alert Montgomery, which sends messages about severe weather, traffic problems or emergencies directly to cell phones, PDAs and emails. It will take less than five minutes to sign up for this critical service on the County’s website
. News and the most recent updates are also available on the County’s Facebook page and through Twitter. Go to the County’s website
to sign up.
POSTED AT: 4:00:00 PM