I hope by now most of you in the areas affected by Friday night’s derecho (the newest meteorological term and Spanish loanword to enter local residents’ vocabulary) have the power back on your house. I’m hearing from lots of people that they’re staying with friends and family, especially to beat the heat. 100 degrees this weekend with no air-conditioning was bad news.
From what I hear on the radio, Pepco’s working hard to get out to all the still-affected areas. There’s an outage map they update here: Pepco StormCenter, which presently shows over 110,000 people in the DC metro area without power. We lost power late Friday night. Before the power went out, I was watching the storm’s activity on my block. It began with the strongest winds I’ve ever seen in DC, followed by rain and near-continuous lightning. The sky was illuminated by flashes of lightning almost as much as it was dark. I probably shouldn’t have been near windows, but our block ended up being mostly spared – at least, no major fallen branches.
This, on the other hand, was a few blocks away from us. Photo taken a couple days after the derecho:
One big issue I noticed was that there were many intersections with the traffic lights out – and where an arterial road crossed a smaller road, drivers on the larger road tended not to yield. At one such intersection near my house, it was a cacophony of honking until a generator was brought out to temporarily power the intersection.
A useful resource to me over the weekend was Twitter: I could follow along as others in the region started to see the storm move in, hear who was without power, and read updates from official sources on how soon they predicted restoration afterwards. Definitely the best place for local, breaking news.