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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Storm Watch: GW, D.C. to shut down for second day

Campus streets remained largely empty Monday as Hurricane Sandy marched into the District. Cameron Lancaster | Hatchet Photographer

Updated: Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:16 p.m.

Bracing for a battering from Hurricane Sandy, the University canceled classes for the second day, as the District announced public schools, office and transit would also remain closed.

High winds and beating rains began thrashing campus early Monday, the first day GW fully shut down since the historic 2010 Snowpocalypse, while forecasters’ storm warnings grew more threatening.

Two hours after the Mount Vernon Campus lost power, GW announced it would suspend shuttle service to the Mount Vernon Campus after 6:45 p.m. The Vern was equipped with extra generators in preparation for the storm.

Mayor Vincent Gray said D.C. residents had reported only “minor street flooding” as of Monday afternoon, but that heavy rain could total more than a foot in the District by the storm’s end. City and University officials have warned residents to stay indoors and avoid windows as violent winds pick up overnight.

The National Weather Service amplified its forecast for the District Sunday night, issuing flood and high wind warnings for the District through Tuesday night. Peak winds – which could reach more than 75 mph – will sweep in tonight and Tuesday morning.

“Because this storm is expected to continue affecting the region with strong winds for the rest of the night and into tomorrow morning, we think it’s in the best interest of public safety to close our government offices and public schools again tomorrow,” Gray said in a release.

A facilities employee braves the storm Monday afternoon. Jordan Emont | Photo Editor

Thousands have reported power outages around the D.C. area, with lights flickering in residence halls across campus.

Dining halls on Foggy Bottom and the Vern have kept up normal operating hours. Several other local businesses shuttered Monday afternoon, including Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s. Nearly all restaurants will close after 7 p.m. tonight, with FoBoGro promising to keep doors open until midnight even if power fails.

The Office of Personnel Management announced this afternoon that the federal government would again close. Georgetown and Catholic universities, along with the University of Maryland, both announced today that Tuesday classes would be canceled.

The University began hurricane preparations over the weekend, clearing storm drains to prevent flooding and designating the Marvin Center, the Smith Center and the Media and Public Affairs building as campus shelters.

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