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tv   9 News Now at 11pm  CBS  July 1, 2012 11:00pm-11:35pm EDT

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will you be able to get to work tomorrow, and will the power be coming back on? two questions on just about everybody's mind tonight in the aftermath of that epic storm. while the enter states are clear there are still some major trouble spots. we are going to have a live traffic update in just a minute with everything you need to know for your morning commute. and attorney is tracking yet another line of storms.
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first, the latest numbers on those massive power outages. pepco, 65,000 people are still in the dark in d.c., 164,000 in montgomery county, 72,000 in prince george's county. nearly 215,000 dominion power customers still in dark in northern virginia. and 267,000 bge customers are still without power. your boss probably wants to have you in to work tomorrow but maryland state highway department is urging people to stay home if they can. bruce leshan is out there to show wlaws the problem is. bruce. >> reporter: yeah, bruce, check this out. this is a major commuter route. take a look. there's a pole down theerks crown of a pole. there is another pole that's down back here. there's a huge tree back there.
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then a quarter or half mile back up there's several more trees. look, there's no sign of anybody doing any kind of work here at all. no promise of anybody coming here any time soon to do any work, and all the traffic is being pushed from the inbound lanes to the outbound lanes. it is a scary situation. >> nobody is getting through, not this. and they've got sang gal lane going up that way? i wouldn't want to be going this way in the morning. >> so this is really going to be crazy on monday morning, because you are going to have three lanes of traffic coming down from olney, coming down from ashton hill, and look at this. i mean, these people are all trying to get over, i'm trying to get over. everybody's got get on the wrong side of the median right here, then drive down through oncoming traffic, and the really scary thing, there arrest handful of little cones here, but this is not well
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marked at all. and so you're kind of driving down the wrong way on the street, and oncoming traffic is coming right at you, and there's just a dotted white line. it is terrifying, and here's somebody in our lane. i mean, imagine what this is going to be like during rush hour. it is going to be a disaster, an absolute disaster. >> just think about people going work in the city. how are you going to get to work? >> reporter: i talked to state highway. a spokesman says they are well aware of the situation here on connecticut avenue but he says they cannot put their crews in danger by sending them out here until pepco gives the all clear, says these lines are dead. >> reporter: how did you feel about driving on the wrong side of the road? >> it's a little dangerous. >> reporter: pretty scary. i'm driving down here. it is scary, it is really scary to be over here. now, one of the state delegates
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for this area tells me that he talked to pepco a couple of hours ago, and pepco told him that it was unaware there was even a pole down here. and he said, come on, i'm looking at it, there is a pole down here, there's a pole down there, you need to get out here and get this fixed. but all of that doesn't really explain why the state highway administration hasn't put more cones, more signs, more stuff going on down here. we've heard a lot of squealing of brakes, a lot of people in near misses, and let's just hope that nobody gets hurt out here tomorrow. i tell you, it is going to be a serious backup. >> thanks a lot, bruce. we've been warned. we're going to keep an eye on that tomorrow. downed trees and non working signals will no doubt have an impact tomorrow. robert altman is here with your time saver traffic. >> reporter: bruce it is definitely going to be a challenge tomorrow. a couple things to remember.
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a lot of the roads that you used on friday, a lot of the roads that you used even this weekend, those traffic patterns may have changed. we are going to talk about the main routes that are going to be problematic tomorrow. first of all, over toward the reservoir hill area, canal road near arizona avenue that is shut down and most likely will be for the next few days. you can imagine as you travel canal road every day, you just know the damage that was done with the trees that are lining the highway. where bruce leshan was, connecticut avenue and university, that is also going to be closed throughout the morning hours. so you want to plan your detour around that area. one thing bruce said is about the single line of cones. there's only so many cones to go around, and state highway true hall been out in force, as well as bge. over to bethesda. a main commuter route into the bethesda area, old georgetown at woodmont, that will also be closed and most likely will be
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for the next few days. also, lorton road and ox road moving in from the south of virginia, you are also going to find closures. once again be very patient. i've seen a lot of people giving way this weekend, and that's something that may start to burn out soon but it's something definitely to keep in mind throughout tomorrow morning's rush and the next couple days. bruce, back to you. >> if you are thinking about ditching the car and take mass transit, as of now the transit agency will operate on a normal schedule on monday, but telling customers to allow additional time for their commutes. metro still has about two dozen bus routes with detours because of storm damage that could create big delays. as for the trains, metro has enough power to run all of its lines but more power outages could lead to restriction. several stations are still on
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backup power. that means riders might find escalators out of service. as bad as things have been out there, we are looking at the possibility of more storms coming our way, i believe, top. >> they're in the mountains. we talked about them earlier. they were out in ohio, and now they're marching east. they're not as strong as friday. let me show you radar. we have a severe thunderstorm watch in effect from hagerstown west, essential along the i-81 corridor until 2:00 a.m. the storm right now is moving through elkton. the dangerous line is south of charleston, already severe thunderstorm warnings there. this is a weaker part of the system but it is going to roll through as we go through the night. especially west of town, warrenton, fredericksburg, you have a much better chance of seeing a shower or thunderstorm. i-81, this is the corridor. harrisonburg and points west under a severe thunderstorm watch until 2:00 a.m. for us in terms of wake-up
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weather, it will be out of here by morning. maybe a few clouds to start, 66 to 76. by 9:00, getting warm again, 78 to 84. we will come back, talk more about those thunderstorms, take you all the way through the week, see what the 4th of july will bring. >> thank you,ton. it may be a full week before pepco customers have their power restored. that bleak as cements offered by the utility itself. andrew mckaren has more from northwest d.c. >> reporter: another tough day for pepco and its customers. even pepco's website crashed today, and anger toward the utility company grows with each hot, dark, passing day. power lines are down. temperatures and tempers are up. >> it's disgraceful. >> reporter: pepco may have returned power to its more than 20 substations knocked off-line
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on friday, but it has not restored the faith of its customers. >> i'm not surprised from pepco. incompetent people with antiquated infrastructure that have never, ever stepped up to the plate. >> it seems really sad in that 2012, the nation's capitol takes a week to recover from a bad storm. >> reporter: there is extraordinary anger on the part of your customers. we pressed pepco and asked tough questions. how do you deal with this potentially catastrophic public relations issue right now that profits are ahead of service for pepco? its president offered a bleak assessment of the restoration plan. 90% of its customers should have electricity by friday, july 6th at 11:00 p.m. >> we didn't bring down all the wires. we didn't bring down all the trees. what our responsibility is, is to restore service to our customers. >> as rates go up, certainly we expect better service. >> it's an event outside of our control. if there was a neglect issue, a maintenance issue, but
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certainly we cannot control mother nature. >> reporter: tonight, even maryland's governor was stepping up the pressure, pushing for at least the majority of pepco's customers to have power. >> and nobody will have their boot further up pepco's back side than i will to make sure that we get there. >> reporter: again, pepco says it will have power restored to most of its customers by friday night at 11:00 p.m. the company's next restoration update is expected on wednesday. in northwest washington, andrea mccarren, 9news now. >> we're told that crews from all over the country are pouring into the washington area to help pepco get the power back on. workers from oklahoma, florida, georgia, missouri, canada, and parts of the northeast all in town to help with those efforts. one thing a lot of our viewers want to know tonight, where are the pepco crews. ken molestina live in landover, maryland with some answers. >> reporter: yeah, bruce, many people that you talk to out here, they will tell you that they have yet to see a pepco crew on their streets.
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we did see a couple of them out there today. i will tell you something, they are slowly but surely starting to make their presence. here is what is making a big presence. take a look at this. the trucks from across the country, crews who have come to help us all arriving. this is the cavalry, the first group that has showed up here to help us out with this problem. they're expected to go to their hotel rooms, get some rest, and start the work tomorrow morning. it's been more than 48 hours since the storms devastated our area. and now pepco crews are starting to pop up in neighborhoods. >> and our street, they've been very visible today. >> reporter: off breach avenue in montgomery crews have been working since early sunday morning. over in potomac a similar sight. pepco president tom graham says until now their fleet of trucks and crews have been working on critical infrastructure. in other words, electrical substations, hospitals, fair houses and police stations. >> at least 16 of our substations were out of
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service, and we had to work on the supply line going into them, because a tree had knocked them out of service. >> reporter: despite that explanation pepco is taking heat from angry customers who believe the utility is dragging its feet in response to this unprecedented power outage. >> i think they should have been prepared for this more than they have. it's been going on for a long time. we've lived here 30 years. we've had a lot of outages. every time they said they were going to do something about it they got it wrong. what's ironic, they're going in front of a commission this week to ask for a rate increase, and i can't even imagine that they're going to get one. if they do, i think people are going to be incredibly upset. >> reporter: pepco argues they're doing everything they can. out of up to crews have already filing into staging areas in landover. >> we're waiting for crews to come in at this point. oklahoma, florida, missouri, georgia. we've also received a commitment from some crews in canada. so we're doing everything we
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can right now. >> reporter: back out live here, another look at the parking lot here in landover at capital plaza where these trucks are staging until tomorrow morning. these are trucks coming in from all parts of the country. you heard also pepco president tom graham say they even after commitment from canada. so when you see how large of a response we're getting from places out of our region, from across the country, you really get an idea of how much help we need out here. of course, this work they're saying will begin tomorrow morning. live in landover, ken molestina. we're gipped on the phone by marcus steele, a spokesperson for pepco. marcus, thanks for joining us. within the past 24 hours how many pepco customers have been brought back on line? do you have that number? >> i don't have the number for the last 24 hours but i can say we've restored over 169,000 customers. even from the top of this story i saw the numbers drop significantly. we're down to about 274,000. >> mar corks couple of
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questions for you. 90% of people should have their power back by 11:00 friday night. a lot of people not impressed with that, marcus, given that the neighbor, virginia power, is saying that 85% of its customers will have power back by tuesday. why are they able to get people back on line by tuesday and it is going to take until 11:00 friday night? >> i can't speak for our neighboring utilities, but i can tell what you we're doing. we've pulled in external crews to assist with the restoration effort. again, that 90% target, that's an estimated restoration point. the farther that we get into? restoration process, the more accurate that our data is going to be. so wednesday we should have an updated estimated restoration time for our customers. and we'll wait until then. >> right. this is going to be ironed out politically and all other kinds of ways later on but let me ask you this. a lot of people are looking for transparency, trying to understand what makes pepco tick and what's your strategy.
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is it not the strategy of pepco to not have a lot of crews sitting around throughout the year, and should that major storm come up, you're relying on outside help? these crews that are coming from texas, canada, and everywhere else? is that not a factor? that's your strategy, you roll the die, sometimes you just get caught, like in this occasions right? >> no, in this situation, this storm was unprecedented. this was a massive event. it's not uncommon in our industry to have mutual assistance. that goes for actual line crews, even call centers to actually take customer calls. so when you have major events like this that do not happen every day, you certainly do rely on your partner utilities to help you out. >> okay, gottia. no appear -- got ya. so no apologies necessary, people are going to be upset this is just the way it is, we live in washington, we love it, but this is what's going to happen when we get a big storm. that what we're hearing?
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>> no, we do feel their pain, it's hot, no one likes to be without power but we are working extremely hard. we've pulled in all of our resources is all of our phi employees have been activated. we're literally bringing in as many people and as many resources as we can to attack this restoration process. >> marcus, thanks a lot. derek, i think it's fair to say that all those trucks that were sitting idle there, people want to see those trucks in the neighborhood. we're going to break. we'll be back in a couple of minutes.
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welcome back. we are going to get an update from the northern virginia power outage restoration effort. we are joined on the phone by dominion power spokesperson dan. good evening. >> good evening. >> aus assess the job ahead is there anything we as residents can do to help you gets get the lights on any faster? >> well, you can keep calling our customer service center and letting us know your lights are off. especially do that if you see the people across the street get their lights and yours don't come on, or if you are the only house in the neighborhood that doesn't have
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your lights on. we will be getting into the neighborhoods tomorrow so people in the subdivisions are going to start seeing some of our trucks. >> how are you prioritizing things like traffic signals, et cetera, which people need, but are not the same as power to a home? >> that is part of the -- a lot of those traffic lights are along the busy streets like glieb road, little river turnpike, and we have to get those streets back on first before we can get into the subdivisions. so as we finish up on those main streets like that, the streetlights are going to come back, then that's going to allow us to start getting back into the neighborhoods. >> so you think in the next day or so most of those lights will be back on? >> yes. >> look, i grew up here. i do not recall losing power nearly as often as we have in the last couple of years. is that something you've looked at, studied empirically, and if it's true do we need to begin to change our expectations as to the reliability of our power
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grid? >> that may be something that 134body needs to look. a i'm not the kind of person that can make that decision. i can tell that you a storm like this is something we have never seen before. when a hurricane comes, they are bad, but we can track those for 10 days before they come ashore, and we can get our materials built up and get our crews in place. this storm just blew in, and you had to deal with it. >> so you had a few hours warning, then hurricane-force winds. >> right. >> dan, thank you for your time. we will look forward to seeing those lights come back on. >> oh, thank you very much. >> dan from virginia dominion power. >> much more to come. stay with us. back in a minute. [ male announcer ] olympic tennis players bob and mike bryan
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sending...and receiving. sending...and receiving. sending...and receiving. [ bob ] i got the tickets. [ male announcer ] and with citibank popmoney, it's even easier to keep sending...and receiving. let me get you back. no, it's on me. i insist. no way. yes way. well let me chip in. [ male announcer ] send money from one bank account to another, with citibank popmoney. easier banking. every step of the way. it's a tough night out there. in fact, many are facing their third night in a row with to electricity. >> the concern is focused on the elderly. surae chinn went to a high-rise in reston, virginia, where they're trying to coast. >> reporter: we are on the 7th floor off north shore drive in reston. it is hot, it is stuffy, and for some seniors, unbearable. >> well, i have asthma. >> reporter: murray lives on the 7th floor. >> i'm okay. >> reporter: some of the
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residents have decided to go outside for relief in 90-degree temperatures. 88-year-old henrietta suffered a heart attack a few weeks ago. >> i can't live here. i'll be dead. >> reporter: 260 residents are in the dark. >> it's inexcusable. >> reporter: facing another night in the unbearable heat. >> reporter: i see sweat just dripping off you. >> and i'm pretty cool right now. >> reporter: some complain that management isn't doing enough to help these low-income seniors. others suffer health problems and may not come outside. >> too many people here have heart problems, 80%, and the last thing they should be doing, myself included, is getting overheated. >> it's a mess. >> reporter: good samaritans are bringing food and water. >> i'm fortunate. i've had power and air conditioning, so i'm glad to help out. >> reporter: what are you going to do tonight? >> stay here.
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what do we do? cool off. >> reporter: the property manager says that residents were offered another place to stay but a lot of them have no way of getting there. in reston, surae chinn, 9news now. there is good news and bad news. there may be some cooling rains coming our way. sadly, they're connected to some thunderstorms that could make things worse, power-wise. >> the good news is, the heaviest area of thunderstorms look like it's going to dive to the south. a live look outside is brought to you by michael & son. dew points in the 60s is a good thing, but they're starting to come up. humidity 4 3. here's the severe thunderstorm watch. it covers hagerstown, winchester, essential along the i-81 corridor and points west. now, the good news is, this is nasty. this is a nasty area of thunderstorms that's going to stay south of us, go just south
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of harrisonburg. but there's thunderstorms up toward morgan town, storms developing just south of cumberland that are also rather hefty. so these storms just coming into your frame, headed towards cross junction and winchester, those are heavy, and those could actually affect places south of town, especially if you draw a triangle towards warrenton and fredericksburg. records today, brand-new one for dulles, 96. 102 downtown. we hit 99. 97 in baltimore, that was say. their record high 103 still stands. 89 downtown, 73 in culpeper, still 70s out in the west. 78 in martinsburg. here's the deal. not quite as hot tomorrow. 99, heat index still 100 to 105. even though we don't have an advisory, you still have to take it easy if you're outside working.
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grab your shades. will you need those after the morning clouds burn off. no change on tuesday. we are kind of in a rinse and repeat forecast. overnight partly cloudy and warm, heavy thunderstorms possible, especially south of town and lows 66 to 76, winds northwest at 10. by morgue, returning partly cloudy, very warm, 70 to 90. winds out of the north at 10. air quality unhealthy tomorrow but that's not crazy bad. by afternoon, partly cloudy. any thunderstorm that develops could be severe. high temperature 82 to 96. next three days the code is going to stay yellow. 94, 94, 95 on the 4th. storms are always possible on the 4th. thursday stays hot, mid-90s, storm possible. friday, mid-90s, storm possible. upper 90s on saturday, maybe a storm, then a little better chance for storms next sunday
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with highs still in the lower 90s. we'll be back with more news right after this. stay tuned. ♪
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thanks for staying up with us. >> the at&t clubhouse report coming up next. have a great week.
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