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Sandy Wreaks Havoc in Alexandria

City officials have received reports of power lines and trees down, flooding and power outages.

City of Alexandria officials are urging people to stay indoors Tuesday as downed trees are removed, downed power lines are restored and emergency responders monitor flooding in the city following Hurricane Sandy.

City spokesman Craig Fifer said Monday night that the city was receiving a steady stream of emergency reports and had major road closures at Janneys Lane at East and West Taylor Run parkways, Seminary Road at Pickett Street, the 2500 block of North Van Dorn Street and the 5000 block of Taney Avenue.

“There are some other partial road closures on neighborhood streets, but we strongly encourage people to stay off of the streets,” Fifer said. “So, at this point, rather than being concerned about what roads are closed, we encourage people to stay inside.”

He continued: “Many area business will also be closed, so we just encourage people to stay inside in the morning. Do not go out and look around the neighborhood. There will be downed trees, there will be downed power lines, and it’s just not safe to be out right now.”

The city had received a “few dozen” reports of downed trees Monday night and was monitoring streams, creeks and runs where flooding it is likely to occur first. They were also keeping an eye on the Potomac River for potential flooding, Fifer said.

Fifer urged people not to walk or drive through flooded areas. The city has established a 24-hour help line at 703-746-HELP for residents reporting non-emergency concerns.

Fifer also said Alexandria residents should notify Dominion Power if they lose power and not assume the company knows about the outage. Outages can be reported to 866-DOM-HELP. He also urged city residents not to call 911 unless they had a life-threatening emergency.

Compared to the June 29 derecho, Hurricane Sandy has been much longer in duration and brought much more rain to the area, Fifer said.

“There is a potential for flooding during the week that we’ll be keeping an eye on,” he said. “…They’re completely different storms. This one is much worse.”

Power outages were low throughout the day Monday but climbed steeply as the night wore on. As of 8:30 p.m., Dominion reported 6,613 customers without power in the city. By about 10 p.m., Dominion reported that more than one in five city of Alexandria customers — 12,675 out of 57,410 — were without power.

The storm led the city to close or cancel all government facilities, public schools, courts and non-emergency services Tuesday. All trash collection services, including refuse, recycling and leaves, also was suspended Tuesday, as was in-person absentee voting.

DASH announced it would not operate on Tuesday, as did the King Street Trolley. Metrorail and Metrobus announced it would not resume service Tuesday morning until the system could be assessed for any damage. MetroAccess service will remain suspended all day Tuesday.

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