While Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Friday declared the District in a state of emergency regarding expectations from Hurricane Sandy, updated weather reports indicate that the storm has once again been classified a Category 1 hurricane.
The D.C. Department of Public Works is coordinating the District's advance preparations, with work crews from multiple agencies in the city on duty throughout the weekend to help clear storm drains, distribute sandbags and to begin preparations to remove debris left in the path of the storm.
City Administrator Allen Y. Lew said crucial District government agencies have been on top of implementing their storm-response plan. "We will be ready for this storm," he said.
Gray added that meteorologists are sounding increasingly dire warnings about the magnitude and historic nature of the storm. "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."
Sandy, which has already wreaked havoc in the Bahamas, is expected to continue its path along the East Coast into the Carolinas on its way to the District and Boston areas, where significant damages are anticipated prior to hurricane hitting New York City by Monday, according to reports.
Reports further state that by late Sunday, as Sandy interacts with a strong current moving in from the west, the storm will intensify and be drawn to the northwest.
However, as the storm passes D.C., headed north, the District will likely be dealt a serious and severe chance of rain with winds of more than 40 miles an hour, traveling from the northeast then north then northwest through Sunday into Monday afternoon. In addition, forecasters are predicting four to eight inches of rain for the area between Sunday night and Wednesday, with bursts of rain falling at a rate of two inches per hour.
Because of the storm -- which could be at its worst in the District from Monday through Tuesday -- many residents are concerned about flooding.
As a result, residents are encouraged to plan for power outages that could last up to a week due to downed trees and power lines, and to be prepared for flooding if they live in area that's had that issue with past storms.
Meanwhile, breezy conditions are not expected to completely subside until late Wednesday or Thursday.