The city's morning road-use restriction does not apply to public safety officers or hospital employees and other medical providers. Businesspeople who have pre-registered with the Corporate Emergency Access System, a credentialing system that the city uses in emergencies, are allowed on the streets so that their companies can continue to offer continuous service, he said.
Though no other local governments have instituted driving bans, other counties were asking people to stay off the roads while emergency crews got to work.
"Unless absolutely essential, please stay off the roads a little longer as utilities, roads department and
emergency crews get their first daylight look at things and start the recovery," said Mike Dixon, a spokesman for the Cecil County Department of Emergency Services.
About 192,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers without power just before 7 a.m., about 49,00 of those customers are in Baltimore. Anne Arundel had the most outages in the region — about 56,000, about a quarter of the county's homes. Still, that was fewer than officials expected and under the number of outages caused by Hurricane Irene last year.
"Anne Arundel County is typically in the cross-hairs," Leopold said Tuesday morning. "We have more than 500 miles of shoreline and our low- lying areas are always susceptible. But we didn't take as big a hit as other jurisdictions."
Utility officials have said that this round of power outages could throw life out of kilter for tens of thousands over the next several days, if not longer. About 2,000 out-of-state workers are currently working with BGE to restore power, BGE officials said. Another 1,000 are expected later today.
The utility is conducting a damage assessment today and is not expected to make predictions before Wednesday about when power will be restored to all customers.
Most schools, government offices and businesses remain closed Tuesday. All flights in and out of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport were canceled through Tuesday, as were train, light rail and bus services across the state.
The Bay Bridge was reopened around 9 a.m. Tuesday following a damage assessment by bridge inspectors.
The Tydings Bridge, which carries Interstate 95 over the Susquehanna River, was also reopened Tuesday morning. The Key Bridge and the Hatem Bridge are open, with restrictions on tractor trailers and box trucks, the Maryland Transportation Administration reported.
The Maryland Transit Administration plans to resume limited service after finding little damage on its rail lines. Spokesman Terry Owens says Baltimore's subway will resume operating at noon on Tuesday, along with limited local bus service and mobility paratransit service for disabled riders.
There was no major flooding or damage to the transit system, Owens said. The MTA's light rail system will remain suspended through Tuesday, though, to give crews time to reinstall crossing gates. They were removed as a precaution during the storm to prevent debris from breaking loose in high winds.
MARC trains and commuter bus lines remain closed.
Federal, state and local government offices remained closed for non-essential employees, as were Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground, and while most hospitals remained open for routine business.
Johns Hopkins Hospital announced it was canceling all outpatient appointments Tuesday.
"Sometimes the aftermath of a big storm, when people think it is safe, can be the most dangerous," said Steve Zubrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "There are downed power lines, weakened trees and remnants of the system to deal with."
The weather system — a rare confluence of a northward-moving tropical front and a low-pressure trough that arrived via the Midwest — was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone when it hit the southern New Jersey coast Monday evening, as Marylanders braced for a night of winds gusting up to 65 miles per hour. Those intense southerly gusts were in part responsible for downing trees with root systems weakened by saturated soil, officials said.
The storm prompted some areas such as Ellicott City and parts of Harford County to begin voluntary evacuations Monday night. Tuesday morning, people in Ellicott City were feeling that they had dodged a bullet.
An estimated 1,200 Marylanders spent the night in 41 shelters.
Outside Maryland, Sandy caused millions of outages. New York in particular coped with heavy flooding after high tide as well as blackouts. As of late Monday night, The Red Cross had 112 shelters open on the East Coast. The Federal Emergency Management Administration had more than 1,500 staff on hand, and thousands of National Guardsmen were deployed to help affected states deal with the storm.