The rain and wind from Hurricane Sandy is expected to leave the DC metro area Wednesday morning, but it may be too late to save Halloween for thousands of local children.
Hurricane Sandy is predicted to dump several inches of rain and bring strong, dangerous winds to the area through dawn Wednesday. The National Weather Service in Sterling predicts there will be a chance of lingering showers Wednesday during the day with high temperatures in the mid-50s. Wednesday night will be mostly cloudy with a low temperature of about 41 degrees.
Even if the storm itself is mostly gone, the damage may linger. Gov. Bob McDonnell said Monday afternoon that cleaning up debris, downed trees and power lines could take days.
Since Halloween is a community activity, Fairfax County Director of Public Affairs Merni Fitzgerald said Fairfax County officials have no authority to cancel the holiday, but she hopes parents and community leaders keep safety in mind above all else.
“Hopefully, communities with planned activities and parents with eager trick-or-treaters will pay attention to the weather and make decisions based on keeping everyone out of harm’s way. Safety is the paramount concern; we don’t yet know what the situation or conditions will be on Wednesday, but it’s important that everyone take actions to stay safe,” Fitzgerald said in an email to Patch Monday afternoon.
On a Good Morning America segment, summarized here, about how to talk to your children about Hurricane Sandy, psychologist Janet Taylor told parents, “Have them put their costumes on that day. Hide candy in the house. Invite friends over if you can do that,” Taylor said. “Or, if you have to go to a shelter, say, ‘Listen, we can make our own un-Halloween day, and we can decide.’”
In 2011, a nor’easter hit Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states just before Halloween, giving children an unusual white holiday. For many, trick-or-treating was not safe, as power outages lasted several days in some areas.
Children who still want to go trick-or-treating Wednesday night should take flashlights, stay very far away from downed tree limbs and power lines and not venture into neighborhoods where the power is out—even with flashlights.