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Washington Braces for Blustery day

September 16, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The nation’s capital braced for heavy rain and generally blustery weather from Hurricane Floyd today, but the federal government was remaining open for business.

However, federal employees, as well as those of most local governments were extended ``liberal leave″ _ meaning they could feel free to take a vacation day without having to call in for permission.

District of Columbia schools were closed, along with a number of suburban districts in Maryland and Virginia in a bow to the possibility of some localized street flooding during downpours.

But the heaviest weather was to pass well east of Washington, with the capital expecting two or three inches of additional rain during the day and just enough wind to warrant keeping a wary eye on trees with root systems weakened by months of drought.

The most visible bow to the nasty weather was a decision House of Representative leaders to give members a one-day early start on their traditional long weekend.

``I wish all my colleagues safe travel home,″ House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said Wednesday as he and the other leaders canceled legislative business for the rest of the week.

No changes were announced in the Senate schedule.

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