USA – Dozens of Flood Rescues After Record Rain Hits Washington DC

Dozens of people had to be rescued from vehicles and flooded homes after record rain caused flooding in areas around Washington D.C. on 08 July, 2019.

Over 25 people were rescued from flood water in Montgomery County, Maryland, 08 July 2019. Photo: Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service

Heavy rain was reported in parts of Washington D.C, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia during a storm which began 07 July, 2019. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a rare “flash flood emergency” designation.

NWS said that Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. reported 3.3 inches (83.82mm) of rain in just 1 hour on 08 July. A total of 3.44 inches (87.37mm) of rain for the day beat the previous 08 July record of 2.16 inches (54.86mm) set in 1958.

NWS Baltimore said that Frederick in Frederick County, Maryland, recorded 6.30 inches (160.02mm) of rain during the storm. North Potomac in Montgomery County, MD, recorded 5.55 inches (139.7mm).

Levels of the Four Mile Run at Alexandria, Virginia, jumped 11 feet in one hour, reaching 15.3 feet (above moderate flood stage mark of 15 feet) before quickly dropping back down again.

Flooding disrupted road and rail travel. DC Homeland Security warned during the storm that “Traveling at this time will be EXTRAORDINARILY dangerous! PLEASE stay off roads if at all possible and if in low area that may flood, seek higher ground! “

Around 20 roads in the D.C. area were closed at one stage. Several Amtrak trains were stopped due to flooded tracks near Alexandria,Virginia. Rain water also leaked into several Metro stations.

Dozens of people had to be rescued from vehicles and flooded homes. Several families were evacuated after flooding caused damage to the basements of houses, making the structures unstable. Montgomery County emergency workers rescued more than 25 people from flood water. Fairfax County officials said they responded to 55 calls for flood rescues. Washington D.C. Fire and EMS were also called on to carry out flood rescues in the city. At one point, even the basement of the White House was flooded.

A very moist airmass combining with thunderstorms caused the unusually heavy rain. NASA Precipitation Measurement Missions said: “Washington DC experienced extreme rainfall the morning of July 8th, 2019 when a cluster of slow-moving thunderstorms moving through the area tapped into a very moist airmass to produce extremely heavy rains, which resulted in flash flooding throughout the region. The storms were triggered by a nearby frontal boundary.”

floods Washington DC 08 july 2019 - DC Fire and EMS
Roads turned to rivers after record rainfall in areas around Washington DC, 08 July 2019. Photo: DC Fire and EMS
Levels of the Four Mile Run at Alexandria, Virginia. Image; NOAA / NWS


Social Media