tv News 4 Today at 5 NBC December 21, 2011 5:00am-6:00am EST
dressed up, and mrs. claus even made an appearance. >> nice of her to do that. >> a lot of great things going on this time of year. >> stay with us. "news 4 today" continues now at 5:00 a.m. i think that human life was not priority on the list. >> what happened? [ sirens ] >> runners vow to ban metro after a scare as the transit agency takes action to prevent another mishap. and another live look on capitol hill this morning where your paycheck is in the middle of a nasty political fight. good morning, everyone. i'm angie goff, in for eun. >> good morning. i'm joe krebs. welcome to "news 4 today" on this wednesday, the 21st day of december, 2011. taking a live look outside. still have mild temperatures out here as we approach christmas day. is that going to change, tom? going to get colder? >> not until the first part of
next week. we're going to be above freezing all the way into the weekend, it does look like right now, which is unusual for december. good morning. i'm meteorologist tom kierein. here's a live view from the city camera showing a cloudy sky over the monuments. there's the jefferson memorial, 14th street bridge. 50 degrees at reagan national right on the potomac river. we've got a light southerly breeze. it is a milder morning all around the region under a cloudy sky. we do have a few sprinkles on radar, those areas of green. those are some sprinkles in prince george's county, calvert, northern charles, and across the potomac farther west, southern fairfax, prince william, stafford, spotsylvania, fauquier, parts of southern loudoun county. into the shenandoah valley getting a few sprinkles. western maryland and west virginia, temperatures are around 40. closer to washington, mid-40s in the suburbs. later today, sunrise 7:23, will hover near 50 through the morning, a little light rain off and on. as well through midday, just
having a little light rain. near 60 by midafternoon. the rain may get heavier tonight. a look at your evening planner at 5:11. danella has a look at our traffic. good morning. >> good morning. still very light in our area as far as volume goes. not seeing a lot of issues there. if you're traveling along route 50, i'll give you a live look at i-97. volume still again very light. no accidents to report at this time. traveling along the beltway in prince george's county, here's a look at 201. inner loop and outer loop in this area, very clear. not seeing any issues for you. you have a really good travel speed. nothing in the roads for you. if you're taking the rails, they're open. so far no delays. on the metro, marc, or vre. joe, back to you. the congressional game of chicken continues on capitol hill as the clock ticks closer to new year's day. at stake, an increase in your payroll taxes. most house lawmakers left town last night after rejecting a senate bill yesterday that would have extended the tax breaks for another two months. republican leaders say they want only a full year extension, and
they're calling on senate democrats to return to the bargaining table here in washington. some are calling this standoff a high stakes poker game. >> it's not a game for the average family who doesn't have an extra thousand bucks to lose. >> i need the president to help out. >> the tax increase would cost americans roughly $20 a week. nearly 2 million people would also lose their unemployment benefits. u.s. futures and the asian stock markets are up this morning after wall street's best day this month. japan's nikkei is up 1.5% this morning, and hong kong's hang seng is up nearly 2%. it comes after a 337-point surge on the dow yesterday after traders saw encouraging signs in the european debt crisis, and the construction sector reported a jump in new apartment projects. this morning metro officials are trying to figure out why a train lost part of its braking system, leaving many passengers stranded underground. this happened during yesterday's morning rush hour near the
l'enfant plaza metro station. news 4's megan mcgrath is live there with what happened. good morning, megan. >> reporter: good morning, joe. they're still trying to figure out exactly why they encountered this problem. they say it's a little unusual, the part that fell off this car for this to happen. two other trains were damaged as well. this all happened on a 5000 series car, what they call the friction ring, which is part of the braking assembly, fell off the car, was a part of a blue line train that had just left l'enfant plaza station. that friction ring made impact, connected with the electrified third rail and that called for tense moments for people on board that train. take a look at this video. it was shot by passengers who were on board and experiencing exactly what was going on down there in the tunnel. rather scary for a lot of folks. when that ring touched the third rail, it put off sparks. there was also smoke that entered the tunnel, and folks
didn't understand what was going on. the train was underground. they were inside a tunnel. two orange line trains behind that blue line train were also damaged. one of the trains got stuck on the tracks as power to the third rail was cut off. those folks, some of them on board that train for about two hours in the dark. now, rescue workers used glow sticks and flashlights to illuminate a path along the tracks. the passengers then walked to the smithsonian station platform. today investigators trying to figure out why all this happened. they're inspecting all 190 of the 5000 series cars. those apparently are among the newer cars in the metro system. they're going to take a look at each and every one, paying special attention to those friction rings, that braking system. metro says the inspections will not impact service today. they say they don't expect any delays as a result of pulling these cars out and taking a look at them. they expect service to be normal this morning. but, again, they want to take a close look and figure out
exactly why this friction ring fell off. a lost folks who are on board those trains and who got caught up in the tie-ups, they want answers as well. back to you all. >> i'm sure they do. megan mcgrath reporting live. thanks very much, megan. new from overnight, a driver is in the hospital after his taxicab was carjacked. it happened last night in the 2300 block of benning road northeast. "the washington post" reports the driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. police found the cab abandoned a few blocks away. no arrests have been made. meanwhile, police are trying to figure out who stabbed a transgender person in the district. it happened in the 1500 block of gale street northeast last night. when emergency crews got to the scene, the person was conscious and breathing. this morning a local man is in custody, accused of leaving his own 2-year-old daughter alone in a prince george's county apartment for 24 hours. police say they discovered the little girl cold and hungry yesterday afternoon. she is expected to be okay, though. an apartment manager tells news 4 that the girl's mother had
been in a hospital since last friday and the girl's father was supposed to be watching her. when the mother called him to check in, though, she learned that her daughter had been alone in the apartment for 24 hours. she and her mother have since been reunited. this morning we're working to learn more about a body found in a reston apartment complex. fairfax county investigators received calls about a foul smell from gray wing square near reston parkway. the person's identity have not yet been released. several more occupy d.c. protesters could face charges after being arrested in front of the white house. we were there as park police arrested seven protesters after they refused to leave the sidewalk in front of the white house. it was the group's second day of protests there. during monday night's protest, 11 people were arrested. the group is protesting a piece of the defense appropriations bill that expands the military's power to detain terror suspects indefinitely even if they are
u.s. citizens. we could hear closing arguments as early as this afternoon in the case of an army intelligence analyst charged with giving classified secrets to wikileaks. investigators say that bradley manning is behind the biggest leak of u.s. secrets in american history, but his lawyers are expected to argue that the army should have never given him access to classified information and that security at his baghdad workplace was lax. manning faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy. if he's convicted at trial, he could be sentenced to life in prison. this morning south korean officials are reporting that north korea is tightening security in the cities as the government now focuses on transitioning power to late leader kim jong-il's son kim jong-un. the new leader received national leaders today as his father's coffin lies in state. north korea's news agency is
reporting that at least 5 million people have paid condolences at statues and portraits of the leader and his father, north korean founder kim il-song. they'll mark the memorial commemorating the 25th anniversary of pan am flight 103. 270 people were killed when the pan am flight exploded over lockerbie, scotland, 23 years ago today. more than 183 people were americans. our time is 5:09. how police hope technology can how police hope technology can help find
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good morning. on this wednesday morning at 5:11, we've got a cloudy sky and a few sprinkles. just south of washington and southeast as well as far northern west toward loudoun county and western maryland. those sprinkles will be moving into the metro area over the next hour. right now mid-40s in suburbs and rural areas. near 40 parts of the shenandoah valley and out of the mountains. near 50 southern maryland and near the bay. sunrise 7:23. a little light rain off and on through midday. temperatures in the 50s. near 60 midafternoon. the rain may become a little heavier by midafternoon and this evening. maybe a little thunder and lightning by mid to late evening. look at chances for more rain coming up later this week and into the holiday weekend in ten minutes. danella, how's traffic? so far still very light in our area. that's great news. if you're traveling along i-95 in maryland as well as bw parkway in maryland, i'm not seeing any issues northbound and southbound. we'll take a live look right now
at bw parkway and 32. traveling, again, north and south. not seeing anything in the roadway for you, and you're traveling at a really good travel speed, at speed actually because there's no delays at this time. crossing over the american legion bridge making your way on the outer loop as well as the inner loop, you're clear as well. no issues there. if you're taking the rails, no reported delays on the metro, marc, or vre. now back to you all. >> danella, thank you. the time right now is 5:13. ahead on "news 4 today," the new chance for more than 100 dogs caught up in an animal abuse case. >> why more disciplinary action could still be ahead after mishandled remains
a montgomery county street is open for the morning commute after a water main break. they closed off a street in gaithersburg last night as crews scrambled to repair the 10-inch pipeline. this is the scene from chopper 4. hundreds of people were left without water for several hours. police in prince george's county are hoping this video
helps them catch two men who robbed an armored car employee. the robbery took place inside the bank of america on old branch avenue in clinton back in april. the enhanced video shows the robbers with high powered guns holding up the employee. they took off in a white van. if you have any information, you're asked to call the police. a couple of american university students have quite a story to tell about their trip home for winter break. they say a man tried to carjack them just as they were getting out of town. police say sham seoul kahn jumped head first through the window of their car, which was parked but still running outside an apartment on massachusetts avenue. they say kahn sped off but crashed into a tree on ward circle. police say he then tried to carjack another vehicle. witnesses say a dump truck driver who was stuck in traffic apprehended him until police arrived. a new pair of cameras will be watching over you the next time you pay a visit to a
popular park in frederick, north dakota -- maryland. these new cameras went up over carroll creek in the park. the new cameras are recording at all times of the day in the hopes of spotting crimes there. the city of frederick is covering the price tag. a committee is examining the punishments handed out after bodies were dumped in a pit. the air force disciplined three supervisors but did not fire anyone. the debate over how to redevelop the alexandria waterfront in old town has dragged on for years, but now a work group of local residents has added its voice. the waterfront plan work group has released a report that criticizes the city council plan. it calls for studies into how to
handle flooding, the environmental impact of redevelopment, and what to do with the warehouses at the robinson terminal. a public hearing and possible city council vote on the plan is set for january 21st. and investigators are collecting the wreckage of a small plane that crashed on one of the new york city area's busiest highways. they suspended their search. two new york city investment bankers were among the five dead after the plane went down tuesday on interstate 287 in harding, new jersey. a company there says two directing managers were on board. one man was there with his wife and two children. investigators in california are trying to figure out what caused a 7-year-old boy to fall to his death from a ski lift. the boy was a member of a ski team at a resort near lake tahoe. authorities say he fell 60 feet while practicing with the team
on sunday. he died yesterday. the resort is not releasing the boy's name but is cooperating with investigators. a strong winter snowstorm buried several states. drivers using those freeways are finding conditions are still pretty rough. a state trooper in kansas says they're dealing with dozens of accidents after drivers slid off the highways which are still covered with ice, with snow packed on top. up to ten inches of snow fell across kansas, new mexico, and the texas panhandle. they're just getting pounded. >> they really are getting pounded and slipping and sliding out towards 5:21. here's tom with a look at our weather. tom? that same storm is coming our way, but it's coming into warmer air sochlt it. so it's going to be in the form of rain here. we're seeing a few sprinkles in the metro area to the south and east of washington. we're getting a few sprinkles from the central bay to southern anne arundel, northern calvert, southern fairfax and southern
prince william county throughout much of stafford and spotsylvania getting a few sprinkles. in loudoun county, warren, clark, and frederick county, west virginia, panhandle of west virginia and western maryland getting a few sprinkles as well. we'll have them with us from time to time. passing light rain. we're in the mid-40s to 50 in the suburbs and rural areas. little chilly, shenandoah valley into the mountains in the low 40s. low to mid-50s in southern maryland now. here's your day planner. sunrise at 7:23. temperatures near 50 this morning. little light rain off and on through the middle of the day. rain may become heavier later this afternoon. by early afternoon may be near 60 degrees. and then this evening the rain coming down a little bit harder and maybe some thunder and lightning too. all the rain should be ending by midnight. we'll be in the low to mid-50s then. by dawn tomorrow, mid-40s and cloudy. cloudy day thursday. highs again near 60 degrees. could get more rain thursday evening into friday morning. little sun back on friday afternoon.
highs mid-50s. getting colder friday night. saturday afternoon partly cloudy, highs near 50. still looking like a chance of rain on christmas day. the latest indications are it would be a smaller chance of rain christmas day. storm system may be passing just to our south. chilly with sunshine returning on monday and tuesday next week. danella, how's traffic? tom, right now i have report of an accident on i-270 if you're travel towards montrose road. seeing report of an accident, checking cameras in the area. northbound i did see several drivers check the brakes as they make their way northbound. i'm going to keep watching and let you know. southbound i-270, no problems there. if you're making the trip onto i-95 northbound, getting a little volume. nothing serious at this time. southbound, you're in the clear. travel speeds northbound, you're at 63 miles per hour. as you continue on to seminary road, make your way on 395, you're clear actually from the beltway to the 14th street bridge. as you cross into the city, all is calm right now.
keep your fingers crossed. i'm back in ten minutes with another look at your traffic. now back to you all. >> thanks very much, danella. the epa is expected to make a controversial announcement today about new regulations aimed at improving air quality. the regulations will likely require power plants to reduce emissions of mercury and other air toxins. supporters of the new rule say they will prevent as many as 17,000 premature deaths. opponents say the new regulations are not economically feasible and could cause power plants to shut down. 5:23 is the time. today maryland officials will decide whether to spend $168 million to buy slot machines. the board of public works will vote on whether to buy more than 4,700 machines for the new casino being built in anne arundel county. the state has already spent nearly $100 million for slot machines in casinos in perriville and berlin, maryland. it's now deciding whether to buy the machines for the maryland live casino, which is set to open next june. state lawmakers decided that
maryland should buy the slot machines itself to make sure it has greater oversight over gambling. france may be on the brink of ordering a massive recall of breast implants. french officials are expected to order the recall of the implants because of a possible cancer risk. eight cases of cancer have been reported, and a study due out friday will reveal if there is any link to the implants. if one is found french officials will pay to have the implant removed. the holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also one of the deadliest. researchers say that more people have heart attacks on christmas, on the day after christmas, and on new year's day than at any other time of the year. they say weather is a major factor. they make blood vessels restrict so the heart has to work harder. spending time with family,
shopping, and stress increase your risk of a heart attack. today the national rescue league will take in more than 100 dogs recued from arkansas. they were kept in filthy outdoor pens. several dead dogs were found in the happy times kennel in hot springs. the dogs will be evaluated before they can be adopted. >> santa decides to show up early to bring a little cheer to deserving kids. sport chevrolet in silver spring invited 120 disadvantaged kids to a holiday party, where santa surprised them all with brand new bicycles. the big man even took time to deliver the bikes to each boy and girl individually. parents say it is wonderful to see someone reaching out to kids in the community and that the surprise look on the faces of the children made it even more special. >> it was very emotional. they were so happy. this one was jumping up and down
and screaming. when they saw the bikes, it was just totally unbelievable. >> nothing like a bike for christmas. this is sport chevrolet's third year of hosting the event. they said it started after the employees wanted to do something special in place of the traditional office holiday party. >> love that idea. right now it's 5:26. coming up, the one presidential candidate who could shake up the turns to winter and brings in the cold. because of our economy, millions more will feel
that chill than ever before. they're the forgotten ones. the big boys have abused the system to enrich only themselves, while workers are still hurting. it could be a layoff after 22 years of working for the same company. or choosing between food and heat for a sick child. or after working your whole life, you don't have what you need to stay warm. you played by the rules, but who changed them? even though oil prices are soaring to record levels, in washington, fuel aid for the poor was cut in half. citizens energy asked big oil companies and oil producing nations to help. they all said 'no,' expect for citgo and the people of venezuela. for the last 7 years, citgo has helped struggling families in the united states in good times and in bad. so if you need help staying warm this winter, give me a call. because no one should be left out in the cold.
ready, set, go, let the busy holiday travel season begin. the clock is ticking. time is running out. >> and less than two weeks to go before a tax may go up on your paycheck. we're live on capitol hill with why lawmakers seem willing to let that happen. good morning to you. i'm joe krebs. >> and i'm angie goff in for eun yang. welcome to "news 4 today" on this wednesday, december 21st,
2011. breaking news now in afghanistan. nato says five service members have been killed in a roadside bomb in eastern afghanistan. we don't know if the service members were american. we'll continue to follow the story and bring you the very latest as the information comes into our news room. right now we're going to take a live look outside where we have 51 degrees. looks like we might have cloudy skies, though. tom, means we may get some rain a little later on. is that right? >> in fact, we're getting a few sprinkles just to the south and southeast of washington now. if you're flying out of town and head agwai fing a if you're flying out of town and head agwai fing way for the hol you shouldn't have any difficulties in the area as we have just a little light rain. right now at reagan national under a cloudy sky, this is a live picture from city camera. it's 50 degrees there with a southerly wind. it has turned more humid. we do have light rain falling, these areas in green, you see moving in from west to east. they're just to the south of
washington in charles county, southern prince george's, calvert, and st. mary's. southern anne arundel getting a few sprinkles there. a few sprinkles on the eastern shore as well as out in loudoun county, northern shenandoah valley, panhandle of west virginia and western maryland, we'll have these occasional light showers and maybe a few sprinkles this morning. temperatures are chilly. low to mid-40s in the suburbs and rural areas to near 50 in washington, southern maryland, and by the bay. now, for the rest of the day, sunrise at 7:23. we'll have temperatures still around 50 by 9:00 with maybe a few sprinkles around. few light showers maybe around noontime. then the rain may become heavier by late afternoon. until then, temperatures climbing to near 60 degrees. more rain this evening with maybe thunder and lightning. we'll talk about that with your evening planner at 5:41. danella, good morning. how's traffic? >> good morning. problems on i-270 northbound. if you're traveling northbound, making your way on montrose road, an accident there blocking the left lane.
please use caution as you travel through the area. i have been noticing cars slow down as they make their way towards the accident again. it's on the left side of the roadway for you there. traveling on i-66, faring much better. not seeing any problems as you travel east or west on i-66 at waples mill road continuing inside the beltway. a look at glebed road. not seeing any issues inside the beltway either. and eastbound travel speed is 58 miles per hour. angie, back to you. >> thank you, danella. new from overnight, a driver is in the hospital after his taxicab was carjacked. it happened last night on benning road in northeast. "the washington post" reports the driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. police found the cab abandoned a few blocks away. no arrests have been made. meanwhile, police are trying to figure out who stabbed a transgender person in the district. it happened in the 1500 block of gale street northeast last night. when emergency crews got to the scene, the person was conscious and breathing.
the standoff in congress is over your payroll taxes is getting worse, it seems. no one is budging, and many lawmakers are giving up on reaching a deal and heading home for the holidays. that as the january 1st deadline draws closer. tracie potts is live on capitol hill with more on this right now. good morning, tracie. >> reporter: hey, joe. good morning, everyone. not a lot of hope they'll get this done at least this week. we've seen another mass exodus. this time members of the house, some republicans who are just literally throwing up their hands, giving up, and going home for the holiday. republicans trying to force negotiations to come up with a one-year deal, something they tried before. it didn't work. house speaker john boehner asking for the president's help. the president telling boehner they need to approve the 60-day extension that the senate approved before they left. one law maker said this is like a high stakes poker game. >> it's not a game for the average family who doesn't have
an extra $1,000 to lose. >> i need the president to help out. >> reporter: the president is saying republicans will probably end up backing down and not looking too good in the end. we don't know. this is still a fluid situation, and, of course, in the middle of it, 160 million american workers who could see that extra 2% come out of their paychecks come january 1, plus almost 2.5 million people who could lose unemployment checks, plus 48 million seniors whose doctors may not get paid. a lot at stake, joe. >> indeed. thanks very much. tracie potts reporting live from capitol hill. also today, d.c. mayor vincent gray will sign a bill that will help d.c. jobs get created. it creates a work force program designed to match job seekers with employers. a major overhaul to d.c.'s ethics law goes to the mayor's office for his signature. the d.c. city council passed an ethics reform package 12-1 yesterday.
it sets new limits on donations to campaign transition committees and how much council members can raise for their constituent service funds. it also requires more financial disclosure. some of the new rules would require changes to the city charter that need to be approved by voters. those include a council member convicted of a felony would be required to give up their seat. the council could reprimand, censure, or impeach a member for violating the public's trust. it does not include impeaching the mayor. this morning metro says it's planning to inspect all of its 5000 series rail cars. this comes after a train lost part of its braking system during yesterday morning's commute. this cell phone video that you see here shows metro riders confused and concerned. they were underground near the l'enfant plaza metro station. several passengers were stranded on the train in the tunnel in the dark. some had to wait two hours before they were evacuated through the tunnel. one passenger told news 4 it all could have been avoided if metro
officials evacuated the train after, he says, he heard a loud and unusual sound as the train pulled into the station. >> sounded like metal, like maybe something had come loose. i noticed the metro guy was standing in the door, and i could tell from his reactions, the way he responded to the sound. and what he did is, when the door opened, he left out of the train. >> metro says this friction ring fell off a blue line train and hit the third rail. the ring is part of the braking system. it's similar to a brake disk on a vehicle. two orange trains were also damaged. today republican presidential hopeful newt gingrich will hold a campaign rally in northern virginia. it's happening tonight at 7:30 at the key bridge marriott in arlington of the the town hall style event is free and open to the public. candidates have until december 22nd to gather enough signatures to get on the virginia primary ballot, which is march 6th. gingrich is going after
rival mitt romney, accusing him of, quote, a negative smear campaign. he asked romney to demand positive ads instead of the negative attack ads paid for by political action committees on romney's behalf. several ads have attacked gingrich's character and his years in congress. with less than two weeks until the iowa caucuses, ron paul is emerging as a wild card. he and the other candidates are hitting the campaign trail in iowa today. paul remains well behind gingrich and romney in the latest polls, but he is ahead of the other candidates. the iowa caucuses are january 3rd. today attorney general eric holder will lead a memorial service marking the 23rd anniversary of the bombing of pan am flight 103. holder will be among the speakers at the memorial at arlington national cemetery. 270 people were killed when the pan am flight exploded over lockerbie, scotland, 23 years ago today. 189 of those victims were americans. some of their family members will also speak at today's
our time is 5:40, almost 5:41. we have 51 degrees here in the nation's capital. you can see the spotlights on the capitol reflected off the clouds above us. we could get rain soon. >> definitely don't want to leave home without the umbrella. let's check in with meteorologist tom kierein. >> good morning. not a lot of rain, just a few sprinkles moving in over the last 12 hours. we've had a lot of cloudiness. right now where you see the green, those are areas of light rain from the panhandle of west virginia into western maryland, into loudoun county and far northwestern montgomery county getting a few sprinkles there as well as to the south of washington in southern prince george's county, charles and calvert, and across the bay near cambridge and salisbury. farther south, southern culpeper and a few sprinkles in spotsylvania and stafford
counties. temperatures around the region in the suburbs and rural areas low to mid-40s. in washington near 50. near 50 by the bay. out of the mountains, low 40s now. we will have maybe a few scattered sprinkles off and on through noontime. a bit of light rain from time to time. we'll be up near 60 degrees by early afternoon. by mid to late afternoon, we'll have more moderate, maybe even briefly heavy downpours coming in. that may continue into this evening with thunder and lightning. and all the rain activity should be ending by midnight. by then down into the low 50s. chance for some more rain coming in tomorrow night into friday as well as perhaps over the holiday weekend. details on that in ten minutes. danella, how's traffic? >> some good news on i-270 northbound, approaching montrose road. had an earlier accident blocking the left lane, right about here. it's now in your shoulder lane. i'm not sure if you can see the hazard lights on. regardless, as you're traveling, all your lanes are open on i-270 northbound. southbound not seeing any issues in that area as you connect to the spur. traveling on the beltway in
montgomery county, you're clear on the inner loop. outer loop increasing in volume. you still have a good travel speed. you're at 60 miles per hour as you make your way from i-95 to i-270. taking the beltway in virginia, you're look the at robinson terminal. inner loop and outer loop clear here as well. inner loop travel speed, you're at 60 miles per hour. to get from the interchange to the dulles toll road, that trip will take 14 minutes to do so. now back to you both. >> danella, thanks. our time is 5:43. coming up, two people included
tsa agents got a surprise when they opened a seemingly harmless book. a passenger was trying to board a flight to chicago with two large daggers in the hollowed out book. the passenger had no ill intent. he handed over the knives and was not charged. right now millions of people prepare to head to grandma's house for the holiday season. here's a live look at reagan national, one of the airports where thousands of travelers are expected to arrive and depart in the next couple of days. that as people get ready to
hit the roads in one of the busiest travel days of the year. >> news 4's tracee wilkins is live at reagan national with our travel forecast. >> reporter: good to see you. 2.2 million people from the washington area are expected to travel home for the holiday season. that is the largest number of people traveling 100 miles or more away from the washington ar in this decade. you're going to have plenty of company out there. 40% of washingtonians will be out of town for the holidays. that's really high considering only 30% of the nation will be traveling away from home this holiday season. this is a guide sign for our area. experts say d.c.'s local economy is doing well. folks have lots of disposable income and vacation time to burn. american airlines is predicting fewer people nationwide flying. that trend applies to washington. we're looking at 125,000 people departing from the region's airports. that's a 20% from last year.
but still planned for packed flights since airlines have reduced flights. here's the busy travel days to look out for. airlines for america is expecting 3.3 million people to fly this holiday season with the busiest days expected to be between today and the 23rd. then we're looking at another increase between december 26th and the 30th and increases on january 2nd and also january 3rd. now, if you are driving -- and most people are -- you're looking at a lot of company with you on the highways, this friday and also saturday. they're saying those are going to be the worst days to be on the road. tracee wilkins live this morning at reagan. back to you all in the studio. >> all right. >> thanks very much, tracee. there are now just four days left for last minute christmas shoppers, and several stores in our area, they're opening nonstop. macy's at tysons corner will stay open around the clock until 6:00 p.m. christmas eve. toys 'r us has already started operating 24 hours and will stay
open up until 10:00 p.m. the night before christmas. shoppers tell us they are excited about the overnight hours and sales. >> i usually don't do this in the evening, but i'm behind. >> thought i'd get some better deals. they're trying to get rid of stuff. so that's great. >> why? >> that makes me feel real good. >> why? >> because i can shop all night. >> the latest report shows many shoppers are still behind compared to a year ago. the retailers hope the added hours will help boost their bottom line. a secret santa in connecticut is making the holidays a little more special for a number of toys 'r us shoppers. they're not buying gifts, but instead the person is paying off the layaway balances for a number of unsuspecting shoppers. one fortunate woman says she was actually going into the store to cancel her layaway plan because she could not come up with enough money. >> the manager in the sack went over to the computer, and they looked it up and it was paid
off. i was like it's paid off? i was excited and numb at the same time. >> those shoppers in connecticut aren't the only lucky ones, of course. in maryland, about 150 shoppers at this kmart had their layaway bills paid off. the mystery man who gave the donation told kmart to take care of children and make sure they had a very good christmas. wonderful stories. the clock is ticking right now to mail those christmas gifts to loved ones. >> today is the deadline to send priority mail so they can get them before christmas. tomorrow is the final day to send packages by express mail. the longer you wait, the more expensive it's going to be to mail your packages. the u.s. postal service will be closed saturday and sunday. and it is 5:51 now. tom is here to take a look at our forecast. getting some rain, tom? >> yes, but that shouldn't affect travel too much locally. some flights may be delayed
arriving in as well as departing this evening. between now and then, a little light rain from time to time. might have a few sprinkles where you live this morning. i'll show you where the rain is falling here in just a second. right now it's 50 degrees at reagan national. we've got a light southerly breeze under a cloudy sky. over the last 12 hours, it's been cloudy. that area of green is rain. we are getting a few sprinkles in southern maryland and across the potomac west to southern fauquier county, northern stafford, into culpeper. farther to the north, getting a little light rain northern montgomery county into frederick and washington, panhandle of west virginia, western maryland, as well as other light showers on the eastern shore. these are just light rain showers. really should not be interrupting travel this morning. right now temperatures are rather chilly. we're in the low to mid-40s in suburbs and rural areas. southern maryland from washington south into the northern neck and eastern shore, low 50s there. just near 40 out of the mountains. sunrise 7:23. we'll be staying in the 40s to around 50 through midmorning, and we'll have maybe a few
sprinkl sprinkles. maybe a bit of light rain. highs reaching near 60 by then. then later this afternoon and into this evening as a front approaches we could have heavier downpours. sunset at 4:49. after sunset, moderate to maybe briefly heavy downpour coming through with thunder and lightning. all the rain ending by midnight tonight. tomorrow cloudy, up near 60 again during the afternoon. after sunset thursday evening, could get more rain that may linger into friday morning. a little sun back friday afternoon. friday early afternoon down to the mid-30s by dawn saturday. saturday partly sunny, near 50. clouding up saturday night for christmas eve and christmas day. does look like a smaller chance of any rain. however, there is still a chance, especially to the south of washington, trying out and getting chilly first part of next week. now, danella, how's traffic? if you're traveling i-95 at fairfax county parkway, seeing an accident on camera. looks like it's in your right lane as you're merging onto i-95, you're going to see some problems as the cars try to get out of the right lane.
right now looks like multiple vehicles are involved. as i look closer, maybe just two vehicles are involved. i want to make ayou aware of ths traveling i-95 northbound at fairfax county parkway, you are going to hit the brakes. your far left lane gets by faster as this accident has just occurred. going to keep watching that for you. traveling on 66, this time eastbound at fairfax county parkway, watching this road as well. i am seeing some volume increase here. you're still traveling at a good speed right now. wur at 57 miles per hour. on i-95 northbound, still seeing the accident at fairfax county parkway. now back to you all. >> thank you, danella. today jews around the world are celebrating the first day of hanukkah. the eight-day festival of lights began last night at sundown. here in washington, the national menorah was litt on the ellipse. there are hanukkah events going on downtown. you can find them on our website, nbcwashington.com. the debate over how to redevelop the alexandria
waterfront in old town has dragged on for years. now a group of local residents has added its voice. the waterfront plan work group has released a report that criticizes a city council plan and calls for studies into how to handle flooding. the environmental impact of redevelopment, and what to do with the warehouses at the robinson terminal. a public hearing and possible city council vote on the plan is set for january 21st. > >> this is approval of a concept, but we still have a plan to implement. there were insufficient materials, we felt, in eight different areas to move forward in implementation. >> we need to do something better at the end of our main street. it's a great street. we need to make it a better street where it meets the river. >> once again, it's possible the city council will vote on this plan on january 21st. a highly anticipated movie may provide a lifeline for a d.c. landmark. starting today, "the girl with the dragon tattoo," will begin showing at the lincoln theater on "u" street. the four-week showing is the first step in the d.c. arts
commission's plan to make the theater a financially viable business. >> it's real important for the next four weeks for everybody to come to the theaters, and then based on the number of people that come, we will provide this opportunity not only to landmark because we believe in free enterprise. we'll also invite regal and amc and other theater venues to explore the diversity and magic of the "u" street corridor. >> the mayor says landmark will donate the proceeds from the movie back to the theater. the top sports moment of the year has little to do with hits or touchdowns or goals but instead is a touching moment of personal triumph. the return of paralyzed rutgers player eric legrand has the fans' choice for the "sports illustrated" 2011 moment of the year. legrand returned to the gridiron this fall one year after being paralyzed from the neck down during a game against army. more than 78 million people
voted on facebook. legrand will appear on the cover of the december 26th issue of "sports illustrated" which hits newsstands today. take the corner kick, and it's a goal! usa ahead. >> that goal by u.s. soccer player abby wombach almost single handedly won her the associated press female athlete of the year. wombach scored with just minutes left in the women's soccer game against france this summer. it catapulted them to the finals and created a frenzy across the country for the women's team. it's the first time an individual male or female soccer player has won the award in its 70-year hishistory. >> that was an exciting moment and an exciting match. >> a lot of fans posted youtube videos of their reaction to it. it was kind of fun. the major medical breakthrough