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Hyattsville "Incredibly Fortunate" During Sandy

Storm leaves area wet, windswept, but largely undamaged

While the winds were strong and the rain was persistent Hyattsville residents were largely spared from any great destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy as she churned up the Mid-Atlantic region this week.

"We were incredibly fortunate," said Abby Sandel, acting director of Hyattsville's Department of Community Services. 

The storm, which blew through the region from Sunday evening through Tuesday morning, shut down local schools and mass transit options. City trash pickup was cancelled for Tuesday, but Hyattsville's city government kept on plugging with a skeleton staff manning offices at the Hyattsville Municipal Building on Gallatin Street. 

The closest National Weather Service weather station, three miles north at College Park Airport, recorded a top sustained windspeed of slightly more than 30 mph late on Monday, Oct. 29. Winds did gust up to roughly 40 mph as the storm reached its peak intensity into the area. 

The Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River rose more than six feet during the storm before the waters began to slowly recede on Tuesday. The waters lapped at the natural riverbank, but came nowhere close to levies which line the river near Hyattsville. 

The Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River near Riverdale also rose more than six feet during the storm. 

Still, throughout Monday and into Tuesday morning, the Hyattsville City Police Department responded to less than 10 storm related calls for service. 

'It was a very, very small number," said Sandel. 

At least one tree did cause significant damage to a house near the intersection of Ogelthorpe Street and 43rd Avenue, near DeMatha Catholic High School. Luckily, the house was not inhabited at the time.

According to Sandel, the city has become better at managing disasters since the 2010 Snowmageddon blizzard. 

"We've gotten a lot better at coordinating our response and making decisions about what strategic resources to have available," said Sandel. "The bottom line is that our public works and police departments have gotten really good at coordinating storm response. We've gotten to a place where we are well prepared to respond to…whatever we encounter."

Gretchen Ward Waller November 01, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Yes! Thank you Jesus our power did not go out and no damage except for a section of our stockade fence in the back yard fell over, but my husband has fixed it already. New York and New Jersey still in my prayers!

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