Power Station Problem in Maryland Caused Outages Across DC - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Power Station Problem in Maryland Caused Outages Across DC

Posted:
Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum wait for it to reopen after widespread power outages caused many of the buildings along the National Mall in Washington to shut down temporarily, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. (Photo: AP) Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum wait for it to reopen after widespread power outages caused many of the buildings along the National Mall in Washington to shut down temporarily, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP)- The U.S. Capitol building was running on a generator for a time, and Metro trains kept moving, but on emergency power.

Tourists were evacuated from museums. At the State Department during the daily press briefing, spokeswoman Marie Harf was forced to finish her comments in the dark. In the White House, President Barack Obama barely noticed Tuesday's disruption.

All this was caused by problems at an electrical station 35 miles southeast of Washington that caused widespread power outages on Tuesday.

The mechanical failure occurred shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday at a transfer station in Charles County, Maryland, that is controlled by utilities serving Washington and southern Maryland. Homeland security officials in Washington and Maryland said there was an explosion at the station, although the two utilities, Pepco and the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, could not immediately confirm that there was a blast or fire. No one was injured, the utilities said.

Many of the outages were brief, but some were longer and forced evacuations. Officials said a mechanical failure at a transfer station led to the outages, and terrorism was not suspected. Tens of thousands of customers lost power.

The outages affected the White House, the Capitol, museums, train stations and other sites.

At the White House, the interruption last only a few seconds before backup generators kicked on. The complex quickly went back onto regular power. Electricity in the press briefing room dipped around lunchtime, briefly darkening cubicles and blackening TV screens.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he was with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office when the power blip occurred, and they didn't notice anything unusual.

Power in the U.S. Capitol building twice shut down briefly, and then came back on via generator.

Some traffic lights were out, and Metro said 14 of its 91 public transit stations were affected. Power to the trains remained on and trains were moving, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said, but the affected stations were on emergency power, with dimmer lighting and nonworking elevators and escalators.

Some Smithsonian museums also lost power, were evacuated and closed to the public, including the popular National Air and Space Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, a spokeswoman said.

Thousands of tourists spilled from the museums onto the National Mall. It's a busy time of year for tourism as spring brings both better weather and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which draws thousands to look at the pink-budded trees.

Bill, 62, and Karen, 56, Smith, a retired couple visiting D.C. for a week from Canterbury, Connecticut, were in the National Air and Space Museum when the outage happened.

"We were looking for moon rocks and the lights showing the moon rocks went out," Bill Smith said. "Then the lights flickered and an announcement came over saying everyone needed to evacuate. They didn't say why."

He said no one panicked or even seemed irritated, though the crowd speculated about what happened.

Jenni Swan, who was visiting from Savannah, Georgia, with her husband and two children, said they were eating in the museum's atrium when security officers said the building was being evacuated.

"Honestly I think my kids are excited because of all the fire trucks and people leaving the building quickly," she said.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Teen Hospitalized After OC Hotel Fall

    Teen Hospitalized After OC Hotel Fall

    Thursday, May 25 2017 9:48 PM EDT2017-05-26 01:48:06 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 7:11 AM EDT2017-05-26 11:11:36 GMT

    Ocean City police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City on Thursday afternoon.

    More

    Ocean City police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City on Thursday afternoon.

    More
  • Vice President Pence to Speak at Naval Academy Graduation

    Vice President Pence to Speak at Naval Academy Graduation

    Friday, May 26 2017 4:49 AM EDT2017-05-26 08:49:31 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 4:49 AM EDT2017-05-26 08:49:31 GMT

    Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to address the graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy.      

    More

    Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to address the graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy.      

    More
  • Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:56 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:56:24 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:04 GMT
    Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen Hospitalized After OC Hotel Fall

    Teen Hospitalized After OC Hotel Fall

    Thursday, May 25 2017 9:48 PM EDT2017-05-26 01:48:06 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 7:11 AM EDT2017-05-26 11:11:36 GMT

    Ocean City police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City on Thursday afternoon.

    More

    Ocean City police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City on Thursday afternoon.

    More
  • Cruisin' Leaves its Mark on Ocean City

    Cruisin' Leaves its Mark on Ocean City

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 6:38 PM EDT2017-05-24 22:38:22 GMT
    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:41 AM EDT2017-05-25 11:41:49 GMT

     Cruisin' leaves it's mark on Ocean City. 

    More

    Last weekend's Cruisin' Ocean City event left its mark, in more ways than one. 

    More
  • Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:56 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:56:24 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:04 GMT
    Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Dover Shootings Cause Heightened Concern Over Safety

    Dover Shootings Cause Heightened Concern Over Safety

    Yellow tape on Wednesday marked the crime scene outside a home in Capital Green where police said two people were shot in broad daylight while filming a rap video.

    More

    Yellow tape on Wednesday marked the crime scene outside a home in Capital Green where police said two people were shot in broad daylight while filming a rap video.

    More
  • 'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs.

    Every morning during crabbing season, you can see watermen gathering up their pots, collecting their catch, and putting the pots back in the water. What you cannot see is the problem: pots that have had their lines severed sit on the bay's bottom, sometimes never seen again, along with the crabs inside them.

    More

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs.

    Every morning during crabbing season, you can see watermen gathering up their pots, collecting their catch, and putting the pots back in the water. What you cannot see is the problem: pots that have had their lines severed sit on the bay's bottom, sometimes never seen again, along with the crabs inside them.

    More
  • Updated: Polygraph Tests at Heart of White Marlin Open Trial

    Updated: Polygraph Tests at Heart of White Marlin Open Trial

    Thursday marked day four of the White Marlin Open trial in Baltimore, in which a federal judge has to figure out who will get the millions of dollars in prize money from last year's tournament held in Ocean City.

    More

    Thursday marked day four of the White Marlin Open trial in Baltimore, in which a federal judge has to figure out who will get the millions of dollars in prize money from last year's tournament held in Ocean City.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices