by Borderstan.com November 5, 2012 at 8:30 am 0

"Off Road"

Off Road at U Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

On Monday, November 5, all of the classes at Off Road Indoor Cycling (905 U Street NW) will be free.

Instead of charging admission to the classes, Off Road will collect cash-only donations for the Red Cross to support victims of Hurricane Sandy. Sign-up for Monday’s classes (including a Cycle Circuit and Cycle 50) online.

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by Borderstan.com November 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm 0

"Gift"

Sandy’s gift: In danger and despair, we run towards not from each other. We unite as one. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Dito Sevilla. Email him at dito[AT]borderstan.com, follow him on Twitter @DitoDC.

I can’t completely articulate the devastatingly disastrous destruction directly caused by the ongoing mega-storm, Sandy. With her awesome power and endless well of natural strength she tore through and over our East Coast like a drunken bull in a china shop. Lingering ominously off land, she reared, and charged. With her great winds came rain, snow, sleet, and debris; floods followed. Oceans churned, waters surged. In her peripatetic path she toppled and tumbled all that man had built. Those who doubted her force were left humbled in her wake. Billions of dollars of damage, millions left powerless, thousands displaced, some homeless, and over 50 have lost their lives. Flooded streets, sunken ships, states blanketed by feet of snow. But that is not all.

Even as her state-by-state journey may be drawing to a close, her effects linger on. Obscured by the immediate devastation, are the blessings she bestowed. Hidden beneath her Halloween mask of murky water and debris, are her gifts of opportunity. Opportunity to realize our individual greatness, the opportunity to contribute that greatness to each other, to our communities, and our communities’ opportunity to shine among the inspiring stories of generosity and humanity surrounding us as the resounding call to action is sounded by those in need are the greatest opportunities of all. It is in these times of trouble, times of struggle that we as Americans band together. In danger and despair, we run towards not from each other. We unite as one.

To me there is no greater gift than the reminder of that union. A reminder that two are a couple, that a few build a family, that down a street lives a neighborhood. Sandy provides the reminder that while we are each one, we too, are many, and out of many we become one. The whole is truly greater than the sum of our parts. Through this sense of union and through our unique ability to come together, our nation has built itself and prospered for over 200 years.

In the past few days I have been struck by the spirit and generosity inherent in Americans. The spirit that can only be awakened in each of us by the knock of the common cause is the spirit of America. A nation so large, encompassing so many cultures, full of immigrants, of different religions, a place of different languages, and the sounds of conflicting dialects — it is this nation that time after time proves that together is better. Together we profit and together we mitigate our losses. Sandy reminds us how a presidential campaign that seemed interminable, divisive and polarizing now seems so small; the politics of separation being too weak, and far too temporary to hinder our spirits, to lessen our resolve.

Sandy’s strong winds and pounding rain didn’t make us generous, but they did create the opportunity for us to prove to ourselves that we are. In a season of holidays, of disguises, of family, of the great harvest, and of the giving of thanks, isn’t the opportunity to do them all at once the best gift of all?   Rather than focus on what she took from us, we have the opportunity to rise to the occasion and focus on what she has given us, and that is a view of ourselves, a view into our own humanity — an opportunity to come together like a nation should, like America does. Sandy made us more American, more human, and much more aware.

Long after she is gone her name will be retired, her waters will have receded, and her path will be rebuilt. Sandy’s greatness is her strength, her power, and her unstoppable resolve, qualities we Americans all share.

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by Borderstan.com October 30, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,000 0

"Sandy"

Hurricane Sandy, wind and rain. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

Hurricane Sandy is upon us and the worst is, hopefully, over, but that doesn’t mean the damage is done. DC hunkered down on Monday, with flights grounded, Metro halted, Amtrak derailed and the city and federal government closed. And it looks like Tuesday will be the same.

Even though the worst of Hurricane Sandy did not hit the DC area until Monday evening, by late afternoon, trees were down throughout the city, and thousands of District residents were without power. This damage is leaving Tuesday’s work-day similar to Monday’s.

What to Expect on Tuesday

  • The federal government is closed.
  • DC government is closed.
  • Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAcces service is suspended for Tuesday (or until announced). Update: According to WJLA-7, “Metro will restore its rail and bus service beginning at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and will function on a Sunday schedule. Normal service will be restored Wednesday.”
  • MARC and Virginia Railway Express have announced that all service has been canceled for Tuesday.
  • All flights in and out of DC airports are cancelled.
  • DC Public Schools are closed on Tuesday.
  • Capital Bikeshare will remain closed through Tuesday morning at a minimum.
Do you have photos of the storm’s damage? If so, email them to borderstan[AT]gmail.com

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by Borderstan.com October 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm 1,430 0

"Sandy"

The first rainfall from Hurricane Sandy began reaching DC late Sunday evening. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

Hurricane Sandy is closing in on DC, and the city is preparing itself for the worst. As of this evening, the Federal Government, the DC Government and all Metro service has been suspended for Monday, October 29, in anticipation of the storm. According to a statement from Mayor Gray’s office, Metro service will only be restored when it is safe to do so. Following the storm, Metro personnel will need to perform a comprehensive damage assessment, including inspections of track, bridges, aerial structures, stations and facilities.

DC Public Schools are also closed on Monday, and President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency for DC as Hurricane Sandy approaches.

The weather and transportation closures will make it especially hard for commuters to get to work Monday morning, with bad road conditions expected. Additionally, Capital Bikeshare announced that it will be closing temporarily starting at 1 am Monday morning. According to an email alert, the system will reopen when weather conditions allow.

Streetsweeping  has been suspended through Wednesday. There is no parking enforcement tomorrow. In addition, the DC Department of Transportation has generators in place at major intersections. If power is disrupted, traffic signals will continue to work, and DDOT traffic control officers will be deployed to direct traffic where necessary.

All throughout the weekend, DC residents and employees were busy preparing for Hurricane Sandy. The city’s grocery stores were wiped clear of bottled water and other essentials, and the city placed sandbags in areas where flooding could be problematic. In this year’s past storms, flooding has been a problem in the Borderstan area.

According to The Washington Post, DC is expected to experience 4-7″ of rain and a long period of sustained winds above 35 mph, with peak gusts of more than 60 mph from Hurricane Sandy.

According to WTOP, several locations in DC have opened as shelters ahead of Hurricane Sandy, including:

  • Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue NE
  • Bald Eagle Recreation Center, 100 Joliet Street SW
  • Emery Recreation Center, 5701 Georgia Avenue NW
  • Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street NW
  • Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue NW
  • Deenwood Community Center, 1350 49th Street NE

For information on closings, delays and weather, check WTOP’s website for the latest listings.

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by Borderstan.com October 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm 1,327 0

The following information is from the DC Department of Public Works (DPW).

Mayor Vincent C. Gray has declared a state of emergency in the District in anticipation of the effects of Hurricane Sandy and a simultaneous Nor’easter, which are expected to rake the region beginning late this weekend and continuing through the early part of next week. He and other District officials have been meeting to coordinate preparations for the storm, and multiple agencies are working to mitigate its potential effects on the District.

Go to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency website to get tips to help prepare your homes and families for the storm. To receive important text messages about the latest information on weather, traffic, closings and more, sign up for ALERT DC. DC government agencies will maintain a constant presence throughout the storm on Twitter and other social-media outlets and provide crucial information as conditions develop. Please follow the Mayor (@MayorVinceGray), DPW (@dcdpw), DDOT (@ddotdc) and DC Water (@dcwater) on Twitter for information on Hurricane Sandy response, using #SandyDC as a hashtag.

Near the Shaw Library: Preparations are underway in DC for Hurricane Sandy. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Officials will work through the weekend to ensure the District’s residents, businesses and infrastructure are as ready as possible for the effects of the storm, which could include heavy rain and street flooding, strong winds and power outages, and storm-surge flooding along the Potomac River and its tributaries.

Forecasters are predicting 4″ to 8″ of rain to fall between Sunday night and Wednesday, with bursts of rain falling at a rate of 2″ per hour. Sustained tropical-storm-force winds of 40 to 60 miles per hour with gusts up to hurricane strength (75 miles per hour or more) are possible, and duration of the storm’s peak impact may be several hours.

“Meteorologists are sounding increasingly dire warnings about the magnitude and historic nature of this combined storm, and the District is preparing in earnest,” Gray said. “We are working hard to ensure that we minimize any of this storm’s negative effects in the District.”

DC Government Preparations

The D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW) is coordinating the District government’s advance preparations. “Crucial District government agencies are already implementing their storm-response plans,” said City Administrator Allen Y. Lew. “We will be ready for this storm.” Lew highlighted responses already underway:

  • DC Water is clearing storm drains citywide.
  • DPW is distributing sandbags on Saturday, October 27) between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. at RFK Stadium, Lot 7. DPW will be giving out sandbags again on Sunday for DC residents at Takoma Park Recreation Center, Van Burenand 3rd Streets NW; hours are 10 am to 6 pm with a maximum of five bags per vehicle.
  • The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is assigning staff and contractors to be ready to collect storm debris starting Monday, October 29, and DPW crews will assist.
  • DPW tow trucks will be deployed as necessary to remove vehicles blocking roadways.
  • The DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) has generators in place at major intersections. If power is disrupted, traffic signals will continue to work, and DDOT traffic control officers will be deployed to direct traffic where necessary.

For Residents

  • DPW is postponing Monday’s bulk garbage collections and notifying residents of the new day. Also, residents are asked to bag their leaves so they don’t collect in the storm drains and cause flooding.
  • Residents are asked to bag their leaves so they don’t collect in the storm drains and cause flooding.
  • Residents may go to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency website to get tips to prepare their homes and families for the storm. To receive important text messages about the latest information on weather, traffic, closings and more, sign up for ALERT DC.
  • DC government agencies will maintain a constant presence throughout the storm on Twitter and other social-media outlets and provide crucial information as conditions develop. Please follow the Mayor (@MayorVinceGray), DPW (@dcdpw), DDOT (@ddotdc) and DC Water (@dcwater) on Twitter for information on Hurricane Sandy response, using #SandyDC as a hashtag.

Downed Trees and Power Lines

  • Residents are reminded to stay clear of broken and hanging tree branches, which can fall at any time.
  • Please report any downed tree branches by calling 311.
  • Residents are also reminded to stay away from downed wires, as they could be energized and electrical contact could be fatal. Report downed wires to Pepco by calling 1-877-737-2662.

Power and Water Outages

Roadways

  • Motorists are reminded to treat dark intersections as four-way stops and to avoid driving through standing water.
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