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 “I was surprised with me coming so late,” the 62-year-old said, noting her other supplies included “mostly sandwich meat, bread, milk and creamer for my coffee.”

George Hawkins, general manager of D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, said the city’s tap water will be safe to drink if the power goes out.

In the “highly unlikely” event that residents lose water pressure — the pumping stations have backup power — D.C. residents should save water in pitchers and fill their tubs with water so they could use it to flush their toilets, Mr. Hawkins said.

Election effects

The storm is especially bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard’s voters, with little more than a week to go before the Nov. 6 presidential election.

The D.C. Board of Elections said it is monitoring the storm and would decide late Sunday whether to close early-voting stations Monday.

In Maryland, Mr. O’Malley canceled previously scheduled early voting on Monday and will make an announcement later on early voting scheduled for Tuesday. Hundreds of Marylanders lined up across the state to cast their ballots Saturday and Sunday, and Mr. O’Malley said it was important to keep that trend going.

Mr. McDonnell, whose state has much more limited pre-Election Day options, said he would work with local voter registrars to make sure that people who have permission to vote early in person have the chance to cast their ballots.

Asked whether the storm would have an impact on voting, Mr. Obama said, “We don’t anticipate that at this point, but we’re obviously going to have to take a look.”

⦁ Meredith Somers contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.