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Montgomery County: 'Back To Normal Operations'

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett says the county was spared significant damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said the county was spared significant damage from Hurricane Sandy and the county's emergency operations and shelters would come to a close at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"News for us today is we're going back to normal operations," Leggett said from the Montgomery County Emergency Operations Center in Gaithersburg. "We fared very well compared to other locations."

Approximately 10,000 Pepco customers remain without power, with numbers nearing 23,000 at the height of the storm. "Compared to previous events, that's significantly lower," Leggett said.

The county executive praised Pepco for its proactive efforts in preparing for the storm. The utility service provider brought in a considerable amount of help, and communication with the county was significantly better than the Derecho storm, Leggett said.

Montgomery County government will be open Wednesday along with county schools. Metro and bus services Tuesday afternoon were on a Sunday schedule and will run a normal schedule on Wednesday.

All early voting stations in the county have power and will operate on an extended schedule, open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Chief Richard Bowers said the county fielded a below average number of emergency calls over the last two days, but fire and rescue officials were prepared to help in any way, with some having been on the job and away from their families for 2-3 days without a break.

The county also has a USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team of approximately 80 men and women in New York City on a search and rescue mission, Bowers said. The team had been deployed to New Jersey but was called upon by FEMA to help with efforts in the city’s Rockaway Division.

Leggett said the most frequent question his office received was whether or not Wednesday night’s Halloween celebration would go on as planned. He said it will.

“Parents will need to check neighborhoods for safety issues,” Leggett said.

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