- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray set off on a tour of shelters and sites along the Potomac River Tuesday morning to examine the damage and debris left by a one-two punch of harsh weather in the capital region.

Mr. Gray also plans to survey downed trees around the District ahead of a press briefing at 12:30 p.m., where he will discuss the city’s plans to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and wintry air from west and north of the city.

While potentially dangerous conditions remain, the winds and rains that battered the region for about 24 hours had morphed to a relative calm by Tuesday morning. City officials and lawmakers took to the Internet to coordinate the response to fallen trees, standing water and broken stop signs, while schools and government offices in the region remained closed for a second straight day.

Mr. Gray is scheduled to stop at the Tidal Basin and the Georgetown Waterfront, where waters threaten to overflow their banks.

Pepco, the utility that serves the nation’s capital and surrounding counties in Maryland, reported 3,500 outages in the District as of early Tuesday, according to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

The utility has faced intense criticism for infrastructure problems and their response to prior storms — such as the June 29 derecho — but some D.C. residents who retained power throughout the night hopped on Twitter to thank the utility for their efforts.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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