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UPDATED: Officials Warn Of High Winds, Heavy Rain This Afternoon

by BethesdaNow.com — January 30, 2013 at 10:40 am 0

The National Weather Service says storms this afternoon might bring damaging winds and flooding rains to Montgomery County and much of the D.C. area and Pepco says it’s ready.

The power company released a statement today saying it has extra crews prepared for today’s storms, which caused NWS to also issue a Wind Advisory until 6 a.m. It issued its latest info on the storm at 7:30 p.m:

…LINE OF HEAVY SHOWERS TO AFFECT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA…ARLINGTON…MONTGOMERY…PRINCE GEORGES…HOWARD AND FAIRFAX COUNTIES…

AT 733 PM EST…HEAVY SHOWERS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 2 MILES EAST OF GREAT FALLS TO WOLF TRAP TO CLIFTON…MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE WEST SPRINGFIELD…MANTUA…THE AMERICAN LEGION BRIDGE…CONGRESSIONAL MANOR…WOLF TRAP…ASPEN HILL…NORTH SPRINGFIELD…SPRINGFIELD…THE I395 AND I495 INTERCHANGE…CLOVERLY AND SPENCERVILLE.

HEAVY RAIN WITH THESE STORMS WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO BELOW ONE MILE AND MAY CAUSE PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS.

BRIEF WIND GUSTS OF 35 TO 45 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED WITH THESE STORMS.

From Pepco:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pepco is closely monitoring approaching winter thunderstorms. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the Washington Metropolitan Area until 6 a.m. Thursday. The strongest winds are expected late this afternoon and this evening out of the south at 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 to 50 mph.

High winds can bring tree limbs into contact with power lines causing power outages. Heavy rain can adversely affect saturated soil and allow trees already weakened by previous storms to fall onto power lines and equipment to cause power outages. Outages can also occur due to drivers skidding into utility poles along wet roads.

Pepco will have extra line and tree crews available and the Call Center will be staffed overnight. Pepco has about 150 internal linemen and more than 400 contractors already working on its system available if needed.

Customers are asked to please call in any outages and stay away from any down wires. ? To report outages and/or downed wires, please call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662), follow the prompts, and please ask for a call back to confirm that power has been restored. Outages also may be reported through pepco.com or through the mobile app.

For more information and updates, visit www.pepco.com, follow us on Facebook and Twitter at PepcoConnect, and download our mobile app at www.pepco.com/mobileapp.

In a Special Weather Statement, the NWS said the warm temperatures of the past few days combined with an arriving cold front could mean some severe weather:

… STRONG COLD FRONT WILL BRING SEVERAL THREATS TODAY…

WARM TEMPERATURES SURGING AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT WILL FUEL SEVERAL WEATHER THREATS TODAY AND TONIGHT.

STRONG WINDS…

WINDS WILL STEADILY INCREASE TODAY AND WILL GUST 40 MPH BY LATE AFTERNOON. GUSTS OF 50 MPH ARE EXPECTED ON THE RIDGES ABOVE 1500 FEET.

WITH STORMS THAT COME THROUGH FROM WEST TO EAST DURING THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING… DAMAGING WIND GUSTS OVER 60 MPH AND DOWNED TREES ARE POSSIBLE.

FLOODING RAINS…

VERY HUMID AIR FOR THE SEASON AHEAD OF THE FRONT WILL ALLOW FOR HEAVY RAIN. RAINFALL OF ONE TO THREE INCHES IS EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND OVERNIGHT. THE CITIES AND THE MOUNTAINS ARE MOST LIKELY TO SEE FLOODING PROBLEMS FROM 3 PM THROUGH TONIGHT. A FLOOD WATCH FOR THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING HAS BEEN ISSUED WEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE AND AN AREA INCLUDING THE BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON METRO AREAS.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for Montgomery County and much of the D.C. area for 3 p.m., when a line of thunderstorms and intense rain is expected to roll through town.

The NWS expects about one inch of rain in a very short period of time.

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