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Power Companies Gearing Up for Thursday Storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Myra Oppel was sitting in her office at Pepco's Headquarters when the Derecho of 2012 hit. 

She watched as the power company's outages jumped from a few thousand to almost half a million. By the time it was all over, more than two-million people in Virginia, Maryland, and the District were in the dark, and it would take nearly two weeks before all the power was restored.

Almost a year later, Oppel met with WUSA9 to discuss what Pepco's doing to prepare for this latest round of storms. 

City Of Manassas Gears Up for Cold Weather With Tree Trimming; Shares Energy-saving Tips

City Of Manassas Gears Up for Cold Weather With Tree Trimming; Shares Energy-saving Tips

The City of Manassas Department of Public Works and Utilities serves more than 15,000 customers and with the cold season coming, it’s just as important for Manassas to prepare for the cooler temperatures as it is for the home owner. Manassas City’s ongoing tree-trimming program helps to prevent most electric interruptions during storms, which costs $60,000 annually. With cooler nights already forcing many to turn their heat on, City of Manassas suggests these eight tips in helping to conserve this year’s heating bill. For more information and tips, go to www.manassascity.org.

 “Preparing your home before the winter months is essential in helping to conserve energy and save on heating bills,” said Mike Moon, City of Manassas, director of utilities and public works.

Here are some steps to help save on heating bills:

Avoiding the Derecho's Autumn Harvest

On June 29th, like so many in the path of the Derecho, my power went out around 10PM. For roughly two days. Almost immediately I felt an itchiness arising from my carpet. By Sunday, since my apartment faces West and catches the afternoon Sun, I sought shelter in a hotel, as the temperature in my unit was fast approaching 90 degrees. I'm originally from upstate New York. Growing up, Summer was six weeks. I don't do heat, let alone this!

When I swung by my abode Monday morning, I had power, so I checked out of my temporary digs. The A/C was on; the apartment was cooling; but the scratchiness remained.

PWC Public Schools 2 Hour Delay

On Monday, January 23, all Prince William County Public Schools will open two hours later than normal.

FEMA chief: Stay at home in Irene's wake

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the nation's emergency response agency says people shouldn't underestimate the danger once Hurricane Irene passes.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Craig Fugate says flooding, weakened trees and downed power lines pose a danger even after the storm moves north up the Atlantic Coast.

Fugate is urging people not to drive around and sightsee after the storm has passed through their areas. His advice: Stay inside, stay off the roads, and let the power crews do their job.

Fugate made the round of the Sunday talk shows as the storm moved through New York City and the Northeast.