Inaugural attendees pack the nation's capitol

KPCC's Brian Watt reports on the atmosphere in Washington, D.C. as it prepares for the presidential inauguration.

Steve Julian: They're expecting about, it not more than 2 million people in Washington, D.C. tomorrow for Barack Obama's inauguration. KPCC's Shirley Jahad and Brian Watt are both in Washington. Brian joins us now. So just how crowded is it this morning, Brian?

Brian Watt: Oh, Steve, the question is, just how crowded is it on a Martin Luther King Day morning. You can actually see the light of day through all the people in the capital. The real gauge of how crowded this city was getting was last night, late Sunday night in Washington, D.C., on the Metro system, I have never seen it so packed with people dressed in jeans and ski jackets, sitting next to people dressed in fur coats and formal wear.

People are coming from all over the United States, all over the world, really, to be here for this inauguration day, and you're really seeing it in the Metro because, as a lot of roads are being jammed with limousines, and police cars, and fire trucks, and ambulances, the Metro is becoming the smart way to travel. A lot of people figured that out last night, and you could see it in the Metro cars that were jam packed as late as 11 o'clock last night.

Julian: Have you been to the Mall?

Watt: I have been down on the Mall a little bit, and it's quite a scene. That's where you really, really get to capture some stories. A lot of people are just taking pictures, trying to make sure that they get a look at the castle and the scene of the actual Inauguration, in all of its stages of development.

Just an hour ago we had a light snow falling on Washington, D.C. Very, very beautiful. Now the sun is poking through, the snow is gone. You wouldn't have even known it if you slept through it. But it is a very, very beautiful scene here, and very, very festive here on Martin Luther King Day.

Julian: All right, Brian, thanks very much.

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