Washington region hammered by heavy rain, flash floods; more than a dozen water rescues

Washington region hammered by heavy rain, flash floods; more than a dozen water rescues
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  • calendar-gray 08 July 2019

Washington region hammered by heavy rain, flash floods; more than a dozen water rescues, APA reports citing The Washington Post.

After four inches of heavy rain fell in an hour, there was mayhem: dozens of water rescues throughout the region, standstill traffic along major highways, bus route cancellations, and more than 8,000 customers without power.

In the District, parts of Constitution Avenue NW were closed as streets and sidewalks flooded. People crammed under bus shelters along Connecticut Avenue NW. And pedestrians had to leap over rivers of water at curbs. On L Street NW, a woman stood under the overhang of a building, emptying the water out of her boots.

Some of the most severe flooding occurred along Canal Road near Arizona Avenue, near the Fletcher’s Cove boathouse along the Potomac River. Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman for D.C. Fire, said several people were rescued from the rooftops of their cars as they climbed out, trying to avoid the water along Canal Road.

Elsewhere in the District, parts of Rhode Island Avenue near Fourth Street in Northeast flooded, and officials said several people were rescued from cars stuck on flooded roads near South Capitol Street at Southern Avenue in Southeast Washington. Maggiolo also said several motorists were trapped in vehicles at 15th Street and Constitution Avenue, near the Mall in Northwest.

No injuries were reported in the District and no one was taken to the hospital, according to Maggiolo.

“The message here is that you don’t know how high the water is before you drive into it,” he said. “So don’t drive into it.”

In Maryland, the Prince George’s County Fire department said they received more than 30 flooding and eight water rescue calls Monday morning. No injuries were reported.

Along parts of the Clara Barton Parkway, there were reports of at least five feet of water.

In Montgomery County, the flash floods were the worst the region had seen in years, according to Earl Stoddard, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management. Rainfall totals were more than four inches an hour.

Stoddard said they hadn’t seen such intense rainfall over such a widespread area. The hardest-hit areas for flooding were Germantown and Gaithersburg, along with parts of Bethesda and Potomac. There were no reports of any life-threatening injuries from the floods, officials in Montgomery County said.

Rescuers in Montgomery County responded to about 250 calls for service in a three hour period, according to Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the fire department. They typically get about 350 calls a day. The calls on Monday included about 50 from people who were stuck in their cars in areas of high water. Most of them were able to get themselves out but 25 people were rescued, Piringer said.

In Fairfax County, 17 road closures were reported around 10:30 a.m., with the hardest-hit areas in McLean and Reston, officials said. And in Alexandria, at Four Mile Run, forecasters with the Capital Weather Gang said there were “textbook flash floods” as there was an 11-foot rise in water in just an hour. The county said it had 30 swift water rescues.

Faiq Mahmudov

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