- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2012

A handful of roads were closed due to high water or downed trees Monday afternoon as Hurricane Sandy moved into the D.C. area, though the storm was expected to wreak far more havoc on the region into Tuesday.

Call volumes for emergency services around the area were at or below average levels as people appeared to heed officials warnings to stay off the roads, officials said.

“Certainly, the fact that everyone is staying home from work and school has something to do with that,” said Prince George’s County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady.

Calls for vehicle crashes appeared to make up the most of the emergency calls that rescue personnel were responding to early Monday, Mr. Brady said.

Officials on Monday evening ordered residents who live on Fenwick Drive and Arlington Terrace in the flood-prone Huntington neighborhood of Fairfax County to evacuate their homes and move their vehicles to higher ground because of rising water Monday evening.

The increasing winds brought down several live wires in the District early Monday evening. One landed on the porch of a home in the 1600 block of Fort Davis Street in Southeast, but officials were able to contain it quickly. However, flames engulfed a parked car in Barry Farm after a live wire fell underneath it.

Montgomery County police fielded calls for high water in several areas typically prone to flooding, but a spokeswoman said the call volume was still about average.

“We’re encouraging everybody to stay off the roadway,” spokeswoman Officer Rebecca Innocenti said.

Roads reported closed in Montgomery County on Monday afternoon included Little Falls Parkway between River Road and Massachusetts Avenue, Sligo Creek Parkway between University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue, and Beach Drive between Carroll and Wayne avenues.

In Fairfax County, high water also closed five intersections Monday afternoon, including Old Courthouse Road and Besley Road in Tysons Corner; and Burke Lake Road and Kilkenny Lane in Fairfax Station; Prosperity Avenue and Hillside Place in Annandale; and Woodburn Road at both Robey Avenue and Spicewood Drive.

A road collapse also closed a section of road at 1951 Kidwell Drive in Dunn Loring, just off the Capital Beltway and Leesburg Pike.

As early as 10 a.m., Alexandria police officers were posting wooden barriers where standing water was beginning to pool a block from the Potomac River. Many sidewalks were covered in leaves blown from trees by the steady wind gusting down the cobblestone streets.

As he fought to control his umbrella, 71-year-old Guy Guthridge stood on a bobbing wooden dock along Old Town, surveying his 40-foot trawler, Bright Pleiades, moored nearby.

The Alexandria resident said normally the boat only requires eight lines to keep it secure when it is docked, but he added another six lines to ensure it wasn’t damaged during the storm.

“I tanked it up with water, and the boat has a generator,” Mr. Guthridge said. “After the storm if we lose power, perhaps we’ll take up residence here.”

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