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District Government Continues Response and Cleanup in Wake of Destructive Storm and Dangerous Heat Wave

Sunday, July 1, 2012

District Government Continues Response and Cleanup in Wake of Destructive Storm and Dangerous Heat Wave

Crews are working quickly to process calls for removing debris from roadways, manning intersections without working traffic signals and responding to reports of downed trees on homes or cars.

Emergency response teams from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and their Urban Forestry Division; Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA); Department of Health (DOH); Department of Public Works (DPW), Metropolitan Police Department (MPD); Fire & Emergency, Medical Services (FEMS) and others are continuing to monitor and immediately respond to thousands of calls in the aftermath of Friday's severe weather.  Crews are working quickly to process calls for removing debris from roadways, manning intersections without working traffic signals and responding to reports of downed trees on homes or cars. The joint emergency command remains in effect to coordinate District government response as well as collaborate with Pepco, other utilities, and federal partners.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray is monitoring the situation as he travels back to the District from an economic-development trip to China today, as City Administrator Allen Y. Lew also is staying on top of developments to ensure that DC residents have access to cooling centers, water and any other emergency services that may be necessary. This is especially true for our seniors and young children.   

Residents are encouraged to get the latest information on emergency response from www.hsema.dc.gov, www.dc.gov, and their Twitter and DC311 app accounts.

Below is a round-up of the latest information from across the DC government in response to the storm:

COOLING CENTERS  

The following libraries will be open to the public from 1 - 9 pm today (Sunday, July 1):

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library (901 G Street NW)
  • Anacostia Neighborhood Library (1800 Good Hope Road SE)
  • Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library (3935 Benning Road NE)
  • William O. Lockridge/ Bellevue Neighborhood Library (115 Atlantic Street SW)
  • Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW)

DPR Recreation Centers Open:

  • Ward 1 - Kennedy Recreation Center
    1401 7th Street NW
    (202) 671-4794
    Hours of operation: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
     
  • Ward 3 - Guy Mason Recreation Center
    3600 Calvert Street NW
    (202) 727-7736
    Hours of operation: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
     
  • Ward 4 - Emery Recreation Center
    5801 Georgia Avenue NW (202) 576-3211
    Hours of operation: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
     
  • Ward 5 - North Michigan Park Recreation Center
    1333 Emerson Street NE
    Hours of operation: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
     
  • Ward 7 - Benning Community Center
    5100 Southern Avenue SE
    (202) 341-6764
    Hours of operation: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
     
  • Ward 8 - Southeast Tennis & Learning Center
    701 Mississippi Avenue SE (202) 645-6242
    Hours of operation: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The following religious establishments have volunteered to serve as cooling centers:

  • New Bethel Baptist Church (1739 9th Street NW)
    (202) 387-9100                
     
  • First Trinity Lutheran Church (501 4th Street NW)                                                      
    (202) 737-4859 ext.605
    Sunday: 1300 hours – 1600 hours
     
  • Capitol Hill United Methodist Church (421 Seward Square SE)                         
    (202) 744-6440
    Sunday: 1100 hours – 1500 hours        

PEPCO UPDATE

As of 1200 hours, PEPCO reported 60,773 customers in the District were without service. The outages were spread amongst the following:

  • 60,760 residential/business establishments
  • 5 health facilities (nursing facilities, hospitals, and community clinics.)
  • 0 Federal government buildings
  • 46 traffic signals
  • 8 schools

FIRE AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (FEMS)

  • FEMS units are in the field assisting DDOT Urban Forestry with tree removal.

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES (DHS)

The following pools will be operating on an extended schedule (1200 hours – 2000 hours):

  • Ward 1: Banneker Recreation Center Pool (2500 Georgia Avenue NW)
  • Ward 2: Jelleff Recreation Center Pool (3265 S Street NW)
                  Francis Pool (25th & N Street, NW)
  • Ward 4:  Upshur Recreation Center Pool (4300 Arkansas Avenue NW)
  • Ward 5:  Harry Thomas Sr. Pool (1743 Lincoln Road, SE)
  • Ward 6:  Randall Pool (25 I Street SW)
  • Ward 7:  Fort Dupont Pool (830 Ridge Road, SE)
  • Ward 8:  Barry Farm Pool (1230 Sumner Road, SE)
                   Fort Stanton Pool (1800 Erie Street, SE)

DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION (DPR)

The following DPR properties are without power:

  • Ward 3:  Hardy and Stoddert
  • Ward 4:  Riggs LaSalle
  • Ward 5:  Arboretum and Turkey Thicket
  • Ward 7:  Fort Davis, Benning Stoddert and Hillcrest
  • Ward 8:  Douglass and Bald Eagle

Assistance from PEPCO getting these facilities up and running could assist over 1,000 citizens with cooling and feeding for Monday operation.

DPR will staff cooling centers from 1400 hours to 2000 hours.

DISTRICT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DDOT)

As of 1150 hours, DDOT reported that 69 fallen trees remained on public space, but none were blocking major roadways in the District. The trees were spread over wards as follows:

  • Ward 1:  7
  • Ward 2:  5
  • Ward 3:  31
  • Ward 4:  5
  • Ward 5:  5
  • Ward 6:  6
  • Ward 7:  10
  • Ward 8:  0

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL GUARD (DCNG)

As of 0900 hours, DCNG soldiers had been sworn in for duty by Lt. William Farr of MPD. The platoon of 20 will be deployed to the following locations:

  • 14th Street & South Dakota Avenue NE (power)
  • South Dakota Avenue & Webster Street NE (power)
  • Riggs Road & South Dakota Avenue NE (power)
  • New York Avenue & Florida Avenue NE (power)
  • Alabama Avenue & Naylor Road SE (power)
  • Pennsylvania Avenue & Branch Avenue SE (power)
  • New Hampshire Avenue & Peabody Street, NW (tree)
  • Minnesota Avenue & Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE (tree)

Beat-the-Heat Tips

It is recommended that those with lung disease, asthma, small children and the elderly stay inside if at all possible to avoid unhealthy outdoor air.

Residents should know the difference between an advisory and a warning. An excessive-heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service means that extreme heat is likely. An excessive-heat warning means that extreme heat is likely and can pose a threat to life if proper precautions are not taken.

In the event of extreme heat, you should take the following precautions:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Turn on the air conditioner or fan.
  • DO NOT leave children or pets in vehicles.
  • Pay special attention to young children, the elderly and the mentally ill.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside (SPF 15-30 is best).
  • Limit exposure to the sun (the sun is most powerful between 10 am and 3 pm).
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • If you do not have access to a cool-temperature location, visit one of the District’s cooled indoor facilities referred to above.

Residents should also be reminded that these hot and humid conditions can cause many medical problems, such as heat stroke and exhaustion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider heat stroke to be the most serious heat-related illness. According to CDC, “heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.”

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Hot, dry skin (no sweating)
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Throbbing headache
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion/dizziness
  • Slurred speech

Groups at greatest risk for heat-related illness:

  • Infants
  • Children up to four years of age
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who are ill or on certain medications.

Groups at greatest risk should be monitored carefully, and their environments should be regulated. The CDC recommends that those at greatest risk be closely monitored and visited at least twice a day to view for possible signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children should also be closely monitored.