FYI for all you DC commuters.


b*tch rocket
09-17) 12:41 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --

The nation's capital probably will shut down its subway and bus systems Thursday as Hurricane Isabel heads up the coast, officials said Wednesday, raising work-or-stay-home questions for hundreds of thousands of commuters.

"We're looking at some point (Thursday) probably closing down entirely," Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said. "We will have a minimum of two hours advance notice."

The transit agency said if the storm creates sustained winds of more than 40 mph, all of its buses would be pulled off the roads in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, and all subway service would cease.

Metro officials said they were concerned about riders being blown off platforms onto tracks at aboveground stations, or blown in front of buses.

The warning left commuters facing a decision. With the Washington area expected to feel the impact of Isabel late Thursday and into Friday morning, subway and bus passengers using mass transit to get to work risked the possibility of being stuck.

Meanwhile, the White House was battening down the hatches as Isabel approached.

"We are working to secure items that may be blown away in the event of the high winds here," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday. "This could include flags. It could include the awnings around the complex. Those will likely be brought down. We'll be checking the drains in the complex to be sure that they are clear."

President Bush received a briefing about Isabel from Tom Ridge, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Mike Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They talked about ways to ensure coordination among state, federal and local officials to assess damage in coastal states and provide assistance, McClellan said.

He said FEMA had deployed liaison teams and equipment to areas the hurricane could damage to help coordinate the response.

"Some of that propositioning included cots and food and water, generators -- things of that nature," McClellan said.