Torrential Rain Swamps Fairfax Area, Floods Streets, Disrupts Commutes

photoPhoto by DC Fire & Rescue

UPDATED 2:30 pm 7/8

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning until 6 p.m. for Fairfax County, as well as Arlington County and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. A Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. All interested parties should take necessary precautions immediately.

At 12:52 p.m., reporting gauges indicate larger streams are still rising from the earlier torrential rain, and many road closures are still being reported. Although the threat of rapid rise life threatening flooding is diminishing, some flooding is likely to continue for the rest of the afternoon. This Flood Warning replaces the Flash Flood Warning.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Arlington, Alexandria, Reston, Annandale, Springfield, Herndon, Fairfax, Fort Hunt, Vienna, Groveton, Falls Church, Huntington, Lowes Island, Mantua, Fort Belvoir, Pimmit Hills, Mclean, American Legion Bridge, Reagan National Airport and Rosslyn.

Three to four inches

Three to four inches of rain fell in a short period of time this morning, bringing the Fourth of July weekend to a soggy end.

Roads were flooded throughout Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland as unwary commuters set out for work, only to find themselves sitting in gridlocked traffic or, worse yet, watching the water rise rapidly around their stalled cars.

Fairfax County officials issued a list of weather-related road closures.

The DC Fire and Rescue Department responded to numerous reports of people trapped in flooded cars, including at 15th St. and Constitution Ave. NW, at S. Capitol and Malcolm X Aves NW and at the Rhode Island Ave NE underpass at 4th St.

Cars trapped in water at Canal Road and Arizona Avenue in DC. (Photo: DC Fire & Rescue)

As of noon, DC Firie & Rescue confirms rescuing 15 people from their cars in high water — 6 on Canal Road NW, 3 at Malcolm X Ave & S. Capitol St SE, 3 at S. Capitol & Southern Ave SE, and 3 at 15th St. & Constitution Ave NW.

Turn around, don’t drown, police and fire departments throughout the area urged. Although the hardest rain had mostly stopped by noon, the forecast calls for showers and thunderstorms this afternoon, with rainfall amounts between one-half and three-quarters of an inch likely. Conditions are expected to clear by tomorrow.

 

 

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.