Mid-Atlantic region shuttered as storm bears down

By Jessica Gresko

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 29 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

In drenching and galloping winds, 76-year-old William Warren slowly drove around the Delaware City trailer park where has lived for nine years.

The retired general laborer said he hadn't heard about the evacuation order that was issued Sunday for his neighborhood near the mouth of the Delaware River — but he wasn't planning to leave.

"Where else am I going to go?" Warren said Monday morning, sitting in his car outside the mobile home where he rents a room. "It's just going to rain, that's all."

On Fenwick Island, bordered on one side by the Atlantic Ocean and by Assawoman Bay on the other, Mayor Audrey Serio said she woke up with six inches of water on the ground floor of her home. Neighbors' homes were also flooded, she said. Al Daisey stood outside his home, warily observing the bay, normally at the end of his street, creeping several feet into his yard.

"Four a.m., this road was dry," he said.

In Lewes, Del., tree limbs were coming down and taking out power lines Monday morning. Darryl Marker said a branch took out a power line leading to his home around 9:30 a.m. In Rehoboth Beach, the main commercial streets were deserted, shops were boarded up and 12-foot waves were pounding the beach.

The Metro transit system in Washington closed for the first time since Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Officials weren't expected to decide on restoring service until Monday evening and first needed assurances from utility companies that they would be able to maintain electricity. The system would be restored only when rail and bus travel is considered safe, spokesman Dan Stessel said.

In northern Virginia on Monday morning, roads were passable and traffic was light, reminiscent of an early Sunday morning. In the suburb of Burke, Va., residents were running errands and walking dogs amid heavy rain and little wind. On the Capital Beltway and Interstate 395 — typically choked with traffic before 9 a.m. on weekdays — motorists were slowed only by scattered accidents.

With relatively light winds in Washington Monday morning, some were having fun with the storm. A shirtless man wearing a horse's-head mask was shown on WRC-TV cameras jogging in the flood-prone Bloomingdale neighborhood, an image that quickly went viral.

Associated Press writers Randall Chase in Lewes, Del., Brian Witte in Reisterstown, Md., David Dishneau in New Castle, Del., Alex Dominguez in Baltimore, and Eric Tucker and Ben Nuckols in Washington contributed to this report.

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