25 July, 2010

Emergency Response to Storm

DDOT and Emergency Response Crews Respond Quickly
Fast and Furious Storm Downs Trees and Large Branches
Traffic Signals Out Due to Power Outages
Roadway Closures Reported Throughout the City

A storm burst that came through the Washington region in the early evening has felled over approximately 70 trees and large limbs throughout the District. Power outages are also being reported in a number of neighborhoods with traffic signals out along some major routes.

The District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA), along with DDOT’s Traffic Operations and Safety Inspector and Oversight Division are working with the Metropolitan Police Department, Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) and the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) to coordinate emergency response, secure areas with downed electrical wires, and to remove large trees that have fallen and are blocking roadways.

Residents and travelers are advised of the following:

• STAY AWAY from downed wires. Pepco or other electrical experts will be dispatched as soon as possible. Also, if traveling do not drive over downed wires, drive around or go another way.

• Call 311 for any downed trees or large limbs causing damage or blocking roadways or sidewalks. Please provide a specific address including building number and street name, if available, so crews can quickly identify the location.

• If you have to travel on the roadways, please treat any signals that are dark as a 4-way stop. This means the first vehicle to the intersection stops and then proceeds first. Please wait your turn.

• If you have to travel on the roadways, please be alert for possible blocked streets due to downed trees and be prepared to turn around or detour around an area.

• If you can, please clear sidewalks of any small fallen tree branches and debris. Place the debris at the curb so DDOT UFA crews can pick it up later in the week.

Trees are removed from roads first, followed by trees on houses and then those that have fallen on sidewalks. Removal of trees that have fallen near or on power lines requires coordination with Pepco. Citizens should note that it can take up to two to three weeks to get all debris and limbs cleared from public space.

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