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Metro general manager Paul Weidefeld just announced in a press conference that the Metro rail system will be closing for at least 29 hours beginning Midnight tonight. In response to incidents such as Monday’s cable fire and the January 12th smoke incident in L’Enfant Plaza resulting in one death and a string of lawsuits Metro is not willing to take any chances. This will be the first time Metro has shut down for non weather related reasons ever!

So far the response has been just as unsettling as the news of the shut down was. Montgomery county buses will beef up the system to help the passengers but Prince George’s county will continue regular service. The Marc train will try to accommodate passengers, but there is still no official statement about whether government workers will be afforded telework.

Jack Evans the Chairman of the Board at Metro expresses that while they understand the implications on traffic in the D.C. metro area will be huge, safety is priority. The mayor has been informed as well as the two governors of Maryland, and Virginia, however amidst such late notice accommodations will be at best, hastily prepared, if at all.

Metro General Manager Paul Weidefeld reports 600 locations with cables, boots, and filters that need to be inspected. The first time they were inspected, nearly two years ago, 125 were found deficient.