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Metro plans to keep regular Sunday schedule

Sunday - 8/28/2011, 8:51am  ET

WASHINGTON - Metro prepared for Hurricane Irene with chainsaws, sandbags and extra weekend staff. It seems to have paid off since they plan on keeping a regular Sunday schedule.

Metro says the system will open as planned at 7 a.m., and operate on a normal Sunday schedule.

Metrobus and MetroAccess service also will operate on a regular Sunday schedule. However, the agency warns that customers should add extra time as vehicles may have to navigate around downed trees and power lines.

At Metro stations like Cleveland Park, Foggy Bottom and King Street, where high water tends to flow into stations, crews have placed more than 2,000 sandbags around escalators.

Metro supervisors are being given chainsaws to carry in their SUVs so they can clear fallen trees and branches that may block roads.

Drainage areas and pumps are being cleared and checked in advance of Irene, and extra workers will be on the job this weekend.

Bus customers should be aware that Metro's Next Bus service may not be reliable during the storm.

In 2003, when the remnants of Hurricane Isabel hit our region, high winds forced Metro to suspend rail and bus service.

Capital Bikeshare, the popular bike renting service with stations in D.C. and Arlington, closed down at 6 p.m. Saturday, but reopened around 8:30 Sunday morning.

WTOP's Michelle Basch and Adam Tuss contributed to this report. Follow Michelle Basch and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)