Sunday Storm Devastates Trees – Many Homes Without Power

Thanks to all the readers who sent in photos of the devastation. It painful to see all these beautiful trees knocked down. It makes me appreciate the programs supported by Casey Trees that much more.

Mt. Pleasant

More photos and a press release from DDOT after the jump.

Alert DC says:

“Appx 28,000 customers are currently without electrical power in D.C. due to this afternoon’s severe thunderstorm. Additionally, several trees are blocking roads throught the District, and several wires are down. PEPCO, DDOT, DPW, and other agencies are aware of the storm damage, and are responding as quickly as possible. If you must travel around the city, please use the utmost caution and be alert for these hazards.”


5100 block of 3rd st NW

DDOT Press release:

A storm burst that came through the Washington region in the early evening has felled over approximately 70 trees and large limbs throughout the District. Power outages are also being reported in a number of neighborhoods with traffic signals out along some major routes.

The District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA), along with DDOT’s Traffic Operations and Safety Inspector and Oversight Division are working with the Metropolitan Police Department, Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) and the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) to coordinate emergency response, secure areas with downed electrical wires, and to remove large trees that have fallen and are blocking roadways.

Residents and travelers are advised of the following:

· STAY AWAY from downed wires. Pepco or other electrical experts will be dispatched as soon as possible. Also, if traveling do not drive over downed wires, drive around or go another way.

· Call 311 for any downed trees or large limbs causing damage or blocking roadways or sidewalks. Please provide a specific address including building number and street name, if available, so crews can quickly identify the location.

· If you have to travel on the roadways, please treat any signals that are dark as a 4-way stop. This means the first vehicle to the intersection stops and then proceeds first. Please wait your turn.

· If you have to travel on the roadways, please be alert for possible blocked streets due to downed trees and be prepared to turn around or detour around an area.

· If you can, please clear sidewalks of any small fallen tree branches and debris. Place the debris at the curb so DDOT UFA crews can pick it up later in the week.

Trees are removed from roads first, followed by trees on houses and then those that have fallen on sidewalks. Removal of trees that have fallen near or on power lines requires coordination with Pepco. Citizens should note that it can take up to two to three weeks to get all debris and limbs cleared from public space.

15 Comment

  • Almost tornado-like at the Upshur Pool! Tree on the fence there too…/.

  • I watched from my deck as the wind ripped the roofs off three houses on the opposite side of the public alley that runs behind my house. I knew we were due for a storm this afternoon but that one was just incredible. You know you’re in for something big when the temperature drops about 20 degrees in the space of just a few minutes.

    At one point I noticed that the clouds were in a rotational pattern very much like what you see when a tornado forms. I’m not certain whether any touched down elsewhere in the region, but in my part of Petworth I think the storm got about as close as one can get without actually producing a tornado.

    • bfinpetworth

      I watched in Petworth also – I agree that it was very close to being a tornado. It was wierd how it was initially just the wind with no rain or lightning, and the wind was just so intense. I’m actually surprised more trees didn’t come down.

  • On the 1700 block of Allison, a massive old tree fell against a house. It seems to have done a fair amount of damage to the porch.

  • Has anyone had any luck in contacting Pepco? The fallen tree and power line at 3rd and Hamilton St NW is still lying in the middle of the road. One Pepco vehicle passed by at 1am but only to observe. The emergency and contact lines have been busy or gone to voicemail and I do not see the outages on the Pepco outage map

    • I have a feeling those that live around this block will not have power for a long time. Goodbye food in the fridge!

  • Still without electricity and no response or updates from Pepco…

  • Good luck with Mayor’s 311 on getting anything fixed. I have been calling every 4 weeks since March to get a sidewalk fixed that was damaged when a tree was uprooted in a windstorm.

  • It’s times like these that I’m grateful for the underground power lines in Columbia Heights.

    • We have underground lines in our neighborhood and are STILL without power in Bloomingdale. This is the 4th time this year we’ve lost it for an extended period of time, often for no apparent reason (not days where power usage should be extreme or for storms). Pepco has been unresponsive in letting us know why our little stretch of 1 or 2 blocks keeps losing power. The houses across the street are never affected.

  • Just went for a run in RC Park. The wind damage differed pretty dramatically throughout the park. In a handful of places 2-4 trees were blown down, some broke halfway up the trunk, others uprooted. Pretty much everywhere, there were branches down, most of them dead but some with leaves.

  • Wish the city had a program to turn downed trees into lumber. There’s a lot of board feet lying around now that’s just going to be thrown in the dump to rot and release its CO2 into the atmosphere. At least lumber, put into a building, doesn’t rot and so doesn’t contribute any greenhouse gas.

    San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Oakland, Seattle, Toronto, Ithaca, heck even the whole state of New Jersey have such programs to reclaim urban trees as lumber.

  • It definitely wasn’t a tornado, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some areas experienced microbursts.

    Full trash cans on our alley were all flying through the air–with about a dozen of them landing in a pile at one end. Two panels of our fence were blown down–the screws were stripped right out of the posts.

    It was all over in 4-5 seconds.

  • I actually saw one PEPCO truck working Monday night!!! Kudos to PEPCO. You may want to call PEPCO CEO Joseph M. Rigby at his home (410) 996 8620 or drop him a thank you note @ 119 Blake Road, Elkton, Md. 21921.

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