Our Morning Roundup: Beat by the Heat Edition
Good morning, Washington! As far as heat waves go, D.C. has been putting in a pretty impressive performance this week. Yesterday temperatures peaked at a sweltering 102 degrees, a record for the day. While today will be a bit cooler—the balmy mid-90s!—a heat advisory will still be in effect from noon until 9 p.m.
The rising mercury wasn't kind to local public utilities. About 3,000 Pepco customers in Northeast and Southeast started yesterday's scorcher with no power, thanks to a burnt cable near Linden Place NE and 12th Street NE. Meanwhile, a huge water main break in Potomac has led to mandatory water restrictions in Rockville, after several days of restrictions over the weekend for another pipe problem.
It's never a good time to dump grease on to a busy city street, but yesterday seemed like a particularly unfortunate choice. The 14th and U St. oil and grease spill's slipperiness and stench—which has been described as "a combination of rancid paint and the inside of an old boot," "trashy vomit," and "a rancid Chinese food restaurant"—combined with the heat led the Post to declare the intersection the "capital of Wednesday's weather misery."
Of course, not every one had such a hard time with yesterday's high temperatures. WTOP reporter Andrew Mollebeck successfully cooked hot dogs on car dashboard, and the residents of the National Zoo were treated to special fruit popsicles.
Another negative side effect of summer: with residents heading for cooler climes, blood donations have slowed down considerably and now the D.C. area is facing a "critical shortage" of type O negative blood.
Finally, some good news for those of you who have been resisting buying a SmartTrip due to the exorbitant cost: Metro will be lowering the price of a new SmartTrip from $5 to $2.50, effective August 29th. (Which means it'll be cheaper to go hide out in an air-conditioned subway car if we have any more heat waves later in the summer.) In less promising Metro news, though, the Examiner reported today that the increasing operational costs are outpacing ridership increases for local transit agencies.