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Power Companies Gearing Up for Thursday Storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Myra Oppel was sitting in her office at Pepco's Headquarters when the Derecho of 2012 hit. 

She watched as the power company's outages jumped from a few thousand to almost half a million. By the time it was all over, more than two-million people in Virginia, Maryland, and the District were in the dark, and it would take nearly two weeks before all the power was restored.

Almost a year later, Oppel met with WUSA9 to discuss what Pepco's doing to prepare for this latest round of storms. 

Avoiding the Derecho's Autumn Harvest

On June 29th, like so many in the path of the Derecho, my power went out around 10PM. For roughly two days. Almost immediately I felt an itchiness arising from my carpet. By Sunday, since my apartment faces West and catches the afternoon Sun, I sought shelter in a hotel, as the temperature in my unit was fast approaching 90 degrees. I'm originally from upstate New York. Growing up, Summer was six weeks. I don't do heat, let alone this!

When I swung by my abode Monday morning, I had power, so I checked out of my temporary digs. The A/C was on; the apartment was cooling; but the scratchiness remained.

Prince George's County, Md. Roads Closed

UPPER MARLBORO (WUSA) -- Prince George's County has 12 roads and 2 state roads closed due to the recent rain from Tropical Depression Lee. High water and accidents were reported on Maryland roads Wednesday afternoon, and rail service was delayed.

The Prince George's County Department of Public Works & Transportation says the following County roads are closed as of 10:30 p.m. (they do not include roads where high water warning signs have been placed):

FEMA chief: Stay at home in Irene's wake

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the nation's emergency response agency says people shouldn't underestimate the danger once Hurricane Irene passes.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Craig Fugate says flooding, weakened trees and downed power lines pose a danger even after the storm moves north up the Atlantic Coast.

Fugate is urging people not to drive around and sightsee after the storm has passed through their areas. His advice: Stay inside, stay off the roads, and let the power crews do their job.

Fugate made the round of the Sunday talk shows as the storm moved through New York City and the Northeast.

Local Twitter Trend Map

Local Twitter Trend Map

The D.C. Metro area is clearly thinking about the strength of Hurricane Irene...just look at this Twitter trend map of the area.