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Firefighters Expect Flooded Potomac River By Friday

POTOMAC, Md. (WUSA) --- With the nonstop rain, it's just a matter of time before the Potomac River at Great Falls reaches over ten feet, the flood stage, according to Joseph Bell, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Captain at Station 30.

Right now the river is around eight feet. Bell expects the river to be overflowing by tomorrow morning.

"At that point all the islands you see out here will be underwater," Bell says. The river is normally at four feet during this time, he adds.

Firefighters in Montgomery County are prepared to respond to any flood-related emergencies. Firefighter Doug Bernardo says the county has staffed more personnel.

Wind Knocks Out Power, Causes Serious Damage

Wind Knocks Out Power, Causes Serious Damage

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) -- Wind gusts knocked down trees and wires, knocked out power, and blew roofs off in the DC metro area Friday.

O'Malley Supports Fines Against Utilities for Extended Outages

O'Malley Supports Fines Against Utilities for Extended Outages

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA) -- In the wake of a winter storm that left many Pepco customers in the dark for up to five days, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said he will support legislation to fine utilities and rebate money to customers in the future.

"You'd think by this point they'd have better systems in place," O'Malley said. "It really underscores why it is we need reliability legislation so that there are some financial incentives and financial penalties in place."

Meanwhile, Pepco crews and contractors continued work Monday to restore power to the last of the customers without electricity.

"We have people here now who watch the weather and start making hotel reservations," said North Bethesda resident Bob Schultz whose condo development saw outages that continued into Monday morning. "We have no expectation that we're going to have good electric service."

Montgomery County Map of Snow Plow Process

DOT crews worked overnight clearing Emergency Roads. At present all Emergency Roads are open and cleared full-width with exception of isolated areas of abandoned vehicles. Even though Emergency Roads are cleared, many areas exhibit isolated icy spots; therefore extreme caution must be exercised.

Crews mobilized to Secondary neighborhood streets and are clearing Secondary streets best characterized as snow covered and hard packed. This phase of the snow clearing operation can be tracked on the Snow Map. Plow crews will immediately move into neighborhood plowing operations immediately following plowing of Secondary roads.

Dangerous Weather to Impact Washington Area

Local forecasters and the National Weather Service are forecasting a significant rainfall event across the Washington D.C. Metro area beginning right now and continuing through tomorrow. Rainfall amounts of over 5 inches are possible in some areas with the vast majority of locations totalling in with 3-5 inches.

All of this rainfall is streaming northward from the south and is already making the afternoon damp in the metro area. Tropical Storm Nicole will handoff some of her energy to another low pressure center that is expected to develop over portions of the east coast. As this second low pressure area develops, copious amounts of rainfall will stream in.

In addition to the rainfall threat, there is a very small chance of isolated tornadoes to the east of the low pressure track. However, this chance is low. Even so, it is a threat that will need to be monitored in case it develops further.

Stink Bugs: Invaders from The North

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) --  They're here, especially those suburbs north of Washington closer to Pennsylvania.  I'm talking about 'Stink Bugs'. 

First noticed in the Allentown, Pennsylvania region in the late 1990s, these Asian natives probably hitched a ride on a shipping container.   They have been spreading out ever since and their numbers are also increasing. 

Web Link: Dr. Raupp's Bug Of The Week

University of Maryland Entomologist Mike Raupp has been tracking these pesky bugs.  They've been eating crops and even some trees bark.  There is very little they won't eat except for people and animals.  Also, they have no natural predators in North America, so their growth has gone unchecked.

When the weather turns cold, they'll start coming indoors and that could mean an infestation of 'Stink Bugs' in your home.

Montgomery County Council Members Meet Head-On with Pepco

Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, Vice President Valerie Ervin and Council members Phil Andrews, Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro and Duchy Trachtenberg are set to meet in Baltimore on August 17 with Pepco’s chief operating officer and senior officials as the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) performs “a proceeding to investigate the reliability of Potomac Electric Power Company’s (Pepco) electric distribution system and the quality of electric distribution service that Pepco is providing its customers.”

According to the Commission, Pepco’s response to power outages and their communication with customers has been far from superior with the recent summer thunderstorms that have occurred in the area.

The continual year-round power outages that occur in Montgomery County have made the need for a more trustworthy electric company a “top priority”, says President Floreen.