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tv   9 News Now at 6pm  CBS  August 5, 2010 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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your news at 5:00. 9 news now at 6:00 starts right now. and what a night. this is the scene above the dulles area, this video was shot a short time ago. >> people ran for cover in northwest d.c. as the heavy rain came down. looking at the strength of the storm, high winds whipped trees around and again brought some of them down on major roadways. and low visibility forced drivers to slow down or pull off to the side of the road and trees came down on cars, including the gw parkway. this is the scene in bethesda as crews work to remove a massive tree that came down there and our storm team alert coverage begins in the weather center. howard, give us the latest. >> we have a severe watch until 10:00. a storm in fairfax county that is eve -- severe and that is heading toward the district. and let's start with titan doppler and want to show you the lightning. we'll go to doppler in a
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second. the lightning in southern maryland is unbelievable right now coming over to the eastern shore. this thing is popping big time. there is a lot of lightning with the storm system coming through southern parts of fairfax, up prince william and into northwestern charles county as it crosses the river. and now for the warnings for the district. this one until 6:15. this storm is moving over the american legion bridge and moving toward the east and crossing the river into eastern fairfax. this one to the south, toward woodbridge, this is a monster too with plenty of lightning, potential winds gusting 50 mile- per-hour plus here. now crossing the river into marbury, along 210, bryans road, waldorf, just about 20 minutes away from you. la plata and white plains maybe half an hour. we're watching that one. and then in southern maryland they've been hit hard as well. a lot of people have been hit hard. calvert county, we may have had a tornado earlier in northern calvert county. but this is where the lightning
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was at vienna and parts of the northern neck and they are being hammered from st. mary's city south to leonardtown and about to hit the naval station over there and look at how bubbly the atmosphere here. right around newberg, to the north of dahlgren and a new cell is just popping up, so we have a unstable of the -- atmosphere. and we have flood warning in virginia until 8:00 p.m. from fairfax west through fauquier county north and south of 66 for 20 miles. to luckett and lovettsville and into montgomery and southern frederick. and one hefty cell just about to move in on top of culpeper at 30 miles per hour. devon lucie joins me. we've had a busy afternoon and a lot of storm reports and we're not done just yet. >> notiest. we were talking about george washington parkway has been
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shut down on the our viewer was right on the scene. he sent us this photo of the trees down and that have closed the prince george's parkway. and 70 mile-per-hour winds have come through vienna and burke chiming through with storms. you can put in the storm track and show you where it's headed. so to northwest d.c. and southern montgomery county and extreme western parts of prince george's county. that severe thunderstorm will roll through right now. still do have a severe thunderstorm watch here until 10:00, but it looks like the leading edge or the last eng of the storm is -- edge of the storm is coming through and that's our strip around the i- 66 corridor, the flash flood warning until 8:00. ladies. >> thank you. firefighters confirm that a lightning strike sparked a house fire on old hunt way in herndon. no one was hurt. the owner heard the explosion in the house and got out just as soon as he heard it.
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>> joining us again on the phone, mark brady from prince george's county fire and ems. at last check pepco was telling us 50,000 people without power and how are things there for you and how is that effecting emergency service? >> i'm sure the majority of the 50,000 people are in the upper marlboro area. at about 4:15 that storm came through with high winds and heavy rains, brought down a lot of trees, a lot of power lines and caused a lot of disruption through the area. >> you were talking about problems in the south lawn development, have your crews been able to get in there and get to anybody that needs help. >> south lawn development in oxon hill certainly sustained the most serious damages by far. and that caused a lot of downed trees and power lines. some houses were damaged by falling trees and we've actually transported a couple from their homes on ottawa street. we checked them for injuries
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but they appear to be okay. >> you talked about having to call in back-up crews from other areas to help you. what are they doing at this point? >> well, you know, when the storm first came through, we received up towards 100 calls all at one time from citizens or residents requesting some type of assistance. we called in firefighters from bladensberg and college park and kentland and other communities to assist the firefighters in dealing with a large number of calls that we had. at some point during the height of the storm we did have a back- log of calls. we started to prioritize the calls and at this point we are caught up. we still respond to calls now into the community. as we speak right now we're responding to a couple of fires down calls and wires burning. and we are going to remain in
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the oxon hill area as we do anticipate more calls coming in. >> and that is good news. when you last gave us a briefing, you said there were no major accidents in prince george's county and hopefully that's still the case? >> yes. indeed, it's very important for everybody to stay informed and stay safe. so listen to your radio and listen to your television broadcast, take notice when an approaching storm is coming, because another round is getting ready to hit prince george's county now. >> okay. and again we're talking about as far as on the roadways, do you have downed trees and power lines to deal with, but any major traffic accidents or tie- ups for people to watch out for. >> well from what i've heard, starting with the capital beltway, the inner loop of the capital beltway, as you come in from montgomery county, all wait through oxon hill through the wilson bridge area is backed up and moving extremely slow. a lot of volume. i understand there are some trees down in the roadway and a
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motor vehicle crash in the area of the wilson bridge. so everybody needs to be extremely careful. up and down route 210 extremely busy and the route 301 corridor in marlboro, a heavy volume of traffic and there is no traffic control devices to help people get home. >> mark brady, thank you for that update. and we were hearing from pepco, a big chunk of outages there. 50,000 at this point. and mark was saying the oxon hill area hit hard at 4:15 with the severe thunderstorm there. let's check in with howard bernstein because you've been telling us about the rolling severe thunderstorm watches and warnings coming in sort of back to back. where are we now? >> we are still looking at the severe thunderstorm warning in effect for d.c. and southern montgomery for fairfax county. this storm is moving east at 50 miles per hour. want to show you in the live doppler 9000 hd, just about to cross the american legion
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bridge. it is crossing the american legion bridge into bethesda and about to move into arlington. this is the core of it here. there is another heavy cell down to the south, but this storm is booking. so if it's moving at 50 miles per hour, any wind it's puts out can be more than that. this could have gusts 60 or more as it will be in silver spring in the next two or three minutes, moving into northwest or northeast d.c. in the next 5- 10. a little piece near falls church. mclean is getting pounded on the bridge. out of macarthur into northern fairfax county, northeastern fairfax county. so this will plow through the northern part of the district, southern montgomery county. that is one storm. another storm that i don't believe has been warned on, very strong thunderstorm as well, which is coming out of woodbridge and dumfries, crossing the potomac into western charles county, accokeek, marbury, about 210 now, st. charles, waldorf, maybe even brandywine will have
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to watch out. talking to mark brady in prince george's county, they'll have to watch that. and another cell, pretty hefty one here. this one north of dunkirk and we believe there may have been a tornado here. and andrea mccarran has been watching -- well no picture, but bad weather. she's watching trees down there. and in southern maryland, i'm going to get down south, i promise you, you also have a severe thunderstorm warning until 6:15. this storm out of hollywood to solomon, lusby, down to southern st. mary's county, lexington park. this one is severe. it's about to pull into the bay and cross the bay over to the eastern shore so a very active afternoon and we've got those severe thunderstorm watches until 10:00. at 8:00 still a flash flood warning across the i-66 corridor from fairfax to fauquier county. we're going to be right back with more of our continuing storm coverage in just a moment.
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we continue our storm alert coverage and firefighters tell us that a lightning strike sparked a house fire on old hunt way in herndon. no one was hurt. the owner rushed out of the house as soon as he heard an explosion. and that was a good thing that he got out and everybody got out. >> absolutely. now talk about a horrendous rush hour haul with backed up traffic and trees down and thunderstorms that continue to roll through. dave calhoon is here with the latest. just keep telling yourself the weekend is only a day away. george washington parkway is closed in both directions near reagan national. accident there, downed trees, just a mess. also in virginia, southbound 395 in delays at about glebe to duke. we have a lot of cameras out so i say about glebe. so bear with us out there. 95 at virginia, at least an
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extra half an hour from dale city down to pass triangle. and into maryland, folks on i- 270, from shady grove to middle brook and again from route 21 up to and beyond the weigh station. and let's check back in to clay anderson. he's been a steady part of the show. we've talked to you several times from pepco. bring us up to date on the latest. >> the latest is the crews continue to restore power. numbers in prince george's county continue to change as the storms come in. 53,000 customers out in prince george's county. about 3800 in the district of columbia. montgomery county about 2400 customers out. at the hight of the storm, we had over 70,000 customers out. we're down to about 62,000 so the restoration effort does continue in the midst of the storm. >> where are your crews able to target some of these and where
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are they held back by the severe weather? you can give us a break-down. >> we have reaching out to areas that have the largest number of the customers which we call feeders and we're working in those areas. we are in prince george's county and looking at substations as far as the oak grove substation and the perrywood area. also along crane highway, surats road and we're looking at those areas in prince george's county that were hard- hit. also in the district of columbia, certain areas in northwest washington, again near the border of montgomery county, heavily treed areas, we're looking at those areas. shepherd park, crestwood, those areas as well. so we have over 100 crews that are working now as we speak. so we're all over the place. >> you're heading back to some of the same neighborhoods that you had to visit with that last storm that came through. but prince george's county really seemed to have gotten the brunt of this one. are you concerned about the same kind of outage problem
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where there were people out of power for a week in montgomery county and that same thing could happen in prince george's county or is there a difference in the geography and the terrain that may change that? >> well it's both. and also the severity of the storm. in montgomery county, we had a large number of customers that were out because of course of trees in that area. in prince george's county, we're looking at some of our substations that have gone down, causing some of our theaters or large circuits to lock out. so it's a different scenario from last week and we're being more pro-active, having crews out early on top of the situation. we want our folks to call 877- pepco 62 to report down wires. downs wires are a concern because under the trees are possible live wires and we do want our customers to take a look at that. so the situation as far as weather is concerned is a bit different today than it was last week. >> clay, i'm going to let you
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go, but is this a situation where wall be calling in for back-up crews from other areas or is it too soon to know that? >> we're in that discussion right now. we're watching our numbers and the crews and the ability to fight through the traffic. there is a lot of traffic jams to get our trucks in position to deal with the wires and some of our downed poles right now. so we are making that determination as we speak. if we make that determination, that we need to call for outside assistance that, will depend on how the storms have affected other jurisdictions as well. so once we get that information -- because when mother nature moves across the area, as you see, this is a widespread severe event. so we are looking at that as well. >> well fingers crossed that your crews get to the places they need to be as quickly as possible. clay, thank you for the update. >> absolutely. and let's get an over view of the power outages. latest numbers throughout our
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region, if we can take a look. popeco total outages, 60840. and down to 53,000 in prince george's county. d.c., the latest numbers just given, 3800. and montgomery county 2400. so obviously, again, this is a rapidly-changing situation as storms roll through. dominion, virginia, 63453. i don't know if we have numbers from the other utilities in our area at this point. but again, we've been hearing from both pepco and dominion about the numbers of outages and the severe storms that have continued to roll through and the waves that hinder the crews and how different this time is we're dealing with a sunday afternoon storm before, this is one during rush hour. >> it sure is. and this one really impacted the city of alexandria. mayor bill ule is on the phone with us. you've seen a lot of stuff and when you tell us your city looks worse than it did when hurricane isabel came through,
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that has to be significant. >> it's very significant. i've actually been describing it as a war zone. i've lived in this city my entire life and i've never seen the devastation like this before. and the winds came through and just ripped trees to shreds, tree limbs, heavy limbs have fell. whole trees have fallen and blocked major thoroughfares and power lines are down and we have 23,000 residents who have -- homes throughout the city without power as we speak. i'm sure that number will grow. and it's just a mess. and streetlights are out. we have emergency operation command center opened up about an hour ago with calls in of additional emergency crews. we have folks out trying to help remove trees and get them off any thoroughfares. we have the power trucks out and about doing their jobs and we're just asking our residents to stay home and be safe and stay off the street and let the crews do their job and so we
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can get things back to normal. but when snow-mageddon game, it took weeks to clear everything and i think it's going to take months because we just haven't seen damage like this ever, ever, in my entire life. >> and mayor, to be more specific, when you talk about the downed trees, are they on homes or cars? >> all of the above. any homes, roofs and garages are knocked down, they are on cars, fallen on cars. and i've driven through the entire city. i'm in del ray right now where i live, del ray suffered the most damage and the largest number of power outages. but i did old town an hour and a half ago, again, total devastation. and no party of the city was left untouched. >> mayor, you're sort of our eyes on the ground right now as it is. you just happen to be riding
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around. when you say 22,000 homes without power, for people who don't know alexandria, what percentage of this city is in the dark at this point? >> we probably have about 80,000 residental properties and that's about 20%. >> yeah, 20%. >> yeah. >> that is significant. >> yes. >> and i know that you are going to be telling your residents and you'll tell them right here, that people have got to be patient. >> right. >> all right. mayor, thank you for talking to us. and again, our eyes on the ground there in alexandria, one of the hardest hit in this round of thunderstorms and that severe weather continues. let's go back over to howard. good news. no severe warnings. from fairfax to fauquier county, live doppler 9000 hd is showing that we still have some strong thunderstorms. we'll go to montgomery county, the northern half of the county, this is sort of the
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end. once this passes you'll be in much better shape. but from poolesville, seneca, this is coming through you. here in the district, we've got a strong thunderstorm, which is pushing through d.c. over to college park now. and lanham and into northeast, coming through northwest now, clearing arlington. but back towards chantilly, along route 50. still a pretty hefty cell down there. now the cell we were watching down in prince william county, its majority of that has moved into western charles county, west of 301, moving east at 30 miles per hour in the southern prince george's accokeek over to brandywine, waldorf, white plains, la plata, next ten minutes it's coming to you. had to report damage in cobb island from the earlier storm and now we're watching moisture here, heavy thunderstorm here in faulkner. and there has been a ton of lightning with this. the storm in maryland no longer under a warning as that has moved over toward the eastern shore. and as i show you the big picture, if there is any good news, we see the back edge of
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the storms along route 15 and 29 back toward culpeper. i think we're going back to the desk. >> we are. and we are going to go back out and give you the view from arlington, virginia. our lindsey mastis is standing there live. >> reporter: we understand park hill and the traffic is a mess. i'm right here overlooking 395. a take a look at how much it is backed up. it is traffic going inbound into the district. it's virtually not moving. the traffic going southbound, it looks like it's moving but i have to tell you, we left two hours ago from the district. and it took us that long just to get to this point. you can still hear the thunder going on. as the storm continues, it seems that people are driving slower and slower and of course it's taking people a long time. now this back-up is in part due to the gw parkway being shut down. it is shut down in both directions because there have
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been so many trees that have fallen on to the roadway. so we have the park police out there, we have local police out there, keeping motorists going in that direction. people trying to get to the airport, there is a way around. you can take route one but you can see how backed up it is. so people that need to leave town tonight will have to give themself extra time. and if you are waiting for somebody to get home, you might want to keep your tv tuned because it will take them a long time to get there. reporting live in arlington, i'm lindsey mastis. 9 news now. >> it took her two hours to go what would be a 25-30 minute drive. >> and again we're seeing that around the beltway and then some other key arteries for the rush are blocked off with the trees, creating a bottleneck. and again on macarthur we saw just hardly a place for cars to turn around to get back. >> right. we need to take a break. we'll see you on the other side.
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andrea mccarran is live in bethesda where a tree has toppled and blocking the roadway. any progress to good the tree out of the way? >> reporter: yes. behind me you can see a utility crew feverishly working. fire and ems crews are on the scene. it looks like they are doing things old-fashioned way, a lot of them with chainsaws. we again are in the 5900 block of macarthur boulevard. i am able to stand in the middle of this busy thoroughfare, normally busy, because of that tree. >> winds picked up and very gusty, sheets of rain. and that probablery hinders reopening mac. >> you are. i'm joined live by lt. shawn egan. tell us the information you
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have. >> well we're working with pepco to coordinate with pepco. we just got word that they deenergized this tree and so we're going to move in and start taking the tree out of the roadway. that will be another project in itself, but pepco is going to be on-site along with us. we also have true crews from pepco responding, urban forestry here in the district is also responding. >> reporter: and people want to know when. any sense when this road will be open later tonight? >> will be. i guarantee it. i can't give you an eta at this point. >> reporter: that's the latest from here. major tree down. the power lines have been dehyphen earthized. deenergized. andrea mccarran, 9 news now into hopefully some of the worst stuff has moved through. howard, can you give us an update? it is looking better. as we look at live doppler 9000
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hd. we don't have any warnings effecting the immediate metro and toward fredericksberg, that is the back edge, passing culpeper and going through southern fauquier county, montgomery county, charles county. once we get that left side, the west side, past us, we're done for the evening and we can start the clean-up and recovery. >> it is going to be a long, long night for many communities. howard, thank you for that. that's it for us. we're going to take a quick break. the cbs evening news with katie curic is coming up and we'll see you at 7:00. >> we'll be back at 7:00 with an update with power outages, downed trees and the clean-up continues ab any traffic situations that develop. in the meantime, we'll see you back here at 7:00.

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