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Getting your car ready for winter

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Winter is just around the corner, which means it's time to get your vehicle ready for the cold weather.

AAA Mid-Atlantic is urging motorists to put the winter car emergency kits back into their trunks for another season of winter driving. 

"October's chill is a harbinger of things to come. There is still time to do preventative maintenance before frigid winter weather swoops in unawares," said Jeffrey Boone, AAA Mid-Atlantic's Car Care Field Operations Manager. "Proper maintenance now can help you prevent much more costly repairs during winter."

Winter Car Care Checklist

•         Battery and Charging System - Have the battery and charging system tested by a trained technician. A fully charged battery in good condition is required to start an engine in cold weather. 

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. 

A Tale of Two Seasons

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- What a difference a year makes as March 2013 will be remembered for being cooler than average in the Nation's Capital. 

That's in stark contrast to March 2012, which was 10 degrees warmer than normal. This March also saw more snowfall than in any month since early 2011 and this colder than normal weather also had other repercussions.

Many will recall that March 2012 was a balmy month in the Mid-Atlantic Region, with four days of temperatures in the 80s. Such unusual warmth, more characteristic of June, helped the cherry blossoms reach their peak bloom along the Tidal Basin by mid-month. 

In contrast, the warmest temperature this March was just 63 degrees at National Airport on the 10th. Consequently, the cherry blossoms did not reach their peak bloom until just this week.

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:

Weather-Related Delays, Cancellations In DC Area

WASHINGTON (WUSA) --Due to severe weather moving through the D.C. area on Tuesday, the following after school activities have been canceled.

1. Arlington Public Schools canceled afternoon activities & late buses. Extended Day operate as normal. No change evening activities. #APS

2. All Frederick County Public Schools afterschool and evening activities are canceled due to inclement weather.

3. All after school and evening student and community activities in Prince William County are cancelled due to the potential for severe weather. School Age Child Care (SACC) will close at its regular time.

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.

Microburst Survivor Was Thrown Through Door

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WUSA) - Michelle Smith didn't make to the safe room, the dance room, which withstood Sunday's microburst. Most of the rest of the Cheer Fusion cinder block building collapsed.

"You saw debris coming down. I was like, the building is coming down, I can't believe it," said Smith, a 47-year-old mother of a boy who is part of the Cheer Fusion team. She was watching the kids do their routines when the violent storm blew in the metal garage door. Smith said she saw that door crumple and go flying through the air.