The pace of damage from now “Superstorm” Sandy picked up in Bethesda just before 9 p.m. Monday, a trend reflected countywide according to a Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services spokesman.

Assistant Chief Scott Goldstein said “MCFRS noticed an increased tempo of responses,” to downed trees, wires and other damage as winds picked up and heavy rain continued. He urged people to remain in their homes and off the roads.

Despite a relatively low amount of power outages (about 2,500 in nine Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington and North Bethesda zip codes, according to the Pepco outage map) a number of trees and downed wires were reported from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Police closed down Glen Clove Parkway near Newport Avenue after a tree fell on an unoccupied car and home in that residential neighborhood around 7:40 p.m.

A tree fell on and knocked down wires on Willard Avenue near North Park Drive and River Road in Chevy Chase around 8:30 p.m., causing live wires on the street.

Downed trees were also reported near Grosvenor Lane and Farnham Drive and near Grosvenor Lane and Cheshire Drive just east of Old Georgetown Road around 8:40 p.m.

Police reported another downed tree in the 9100 block of Kittery Lane, just south of where Bradley Boulevard passes over the Beltway, at about 9:45 p.m. A tree fell on wires and witnesses said sparks were visible.

Goldstein said MCFRS has increased the amount of personnel on-hand through tomorrow and possibly into Wednesday, depending on the need. Montgomery County Police also urged people to stay off the roads:
If you must travel during the storm or after the storm, remember that when approaching a traffic signal without power, state law requires you to treat the intersection as a four-way stop. #mdsandy
While winds are expected to die down Tuesday, rain will continue, causing the second day of a number of closures around Bethesda, the county and the D.C. Metropolitan area.