Isabel Leaves Capitol Unscathed

Posted September 19, 2003 at 2:24pm

The Capitol emerged from Hurricane Isabel unscathed, without the power outages and flooding Thursday’s storm brought to much of the region.

Despite precautions such as boarding up some office building windows, scattered debris and a few downed trees were the only repercussions felt on the Capitol grounds.

“There was no significant damage to the Capitol grounds,” Capitol Police spokeswoman Jessica Gissubel said Friday. “We continue to work closely with the Architect of the Capitol to make sure the debris gets cleaned up.”

AOC spokeswoman Eva Malecki said 15 medium trees were lost or sustained enough damage that they must come down, although she noted that none was a memorial tree.

The Architect’s office planned to work through the weekend so all damaged trees and debris would be cleaned up by today.

And with the Capitol and office buildings closed for the second straight day, the police on Friday were able to take advantage of the near-empty corridors to run emergency drills.

“It’s an opportunity for us, at full manpower, to do some training,” Gissubel said. Although the force frequently goes through drills at its training facility in Cheltenham, Md., “it’s very helpful to get practical experience where we actually work,” she said.

The Capitol complex operated during most of Thursday and all of Friday on a typical Saturday schedule. Rather than all building entrances being open, staff and visitors could access the Capitol itself through only the East Front, and access to the office buildings was limited to 24-hour entrances.

Capitol tours were suspended Thursday and Friday and are scheduled to resume today.