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Winter weather is here for the Manassas, Va. area and the City of Manassas Utilities and Public Works Department is well armed with salt, sand and trucks. The City of Manassas Utilities and Public Works Department annually budgets approximately $225,000 for snow treatment and removal, and is prepared with 21 snow-removal trucks, 20 contract equipment, 1500 tons of road salt and 500 tons of sand. For details, go to www.manassascity.org or call 703-257-8219.

“We all remember the long winter last year, so we’ve prepared to clear and pre-treat our roads to allow for safer and easier access to roads,” said Mike Moon, director of public works and utilities for the City of Manassas.

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:

Alexandria, Virginia Gears Up For Sandy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) -- Matt Irby has been a server at the Mai Thai restaurant for the past three years. On Sunday, he was a mover, moving everything -- including food, tables, chairs, and kitchen equipment -- from the first floor of the restaurant to the second, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.

Like many businesses near the water in Old Town, Alexandria, Mai Thai has been flooded several times over the past few years, so the restaurant's management is taking no chances with a storm the size and strength of Sandy.

"I have to be prepared for water to come inside because it's probably going to happen," Irby said.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille thinks that a very good idea, and is urging all Alexandria residents to take every precaution, including removing campaign signs from their lawns, as Sandy approaches.

"With the heavy wind gusts, these signs will get blown and thrown all over the place," Mayor Euille said.

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.

Critical Fire Weather Conditions In The DC Area

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- A red flag warning has been issued for Northern Virginia and the DC Metro area from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Monday, April 9, 2012.

The warning was issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). 

"A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are occurring, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low humidity, low fuel moisture, and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential," officials said. 

Fire danger is severely elevated due to dry conditions along with gusty winds. 

The potential will be high for rapid spread of any uncontrolled brush or wild fires. 

Everyone should be extremely careful igniting any flames during this period, and should avoid it entirely, if at all possible, officials said.