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.
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.”
DYK on 7/8, in 3hrs (730-1030a), @mcfrs handled ~250 calls for Service (typical 24hr average is 350) Incl ~40/50 calls for possible water rescues, some folks self-rescued, while others didn’t need help. However, about 15-20 incidents @mcfrs rescued >25 people, no serious injuries pic.twitter.com/VlAoA60DJ6
— Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) July 8, 2019
Water rescue Canal Rd & Arizona Ave NW. #DCsBravest on scene with vehicles stranded in high water on Canal Rd. Water levels high and all motorists must stay away from area. (photo by Dave Dildine WTOP radio) pic.twitter.com/8N8zyLOvKY
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) July 8, 2019
Unprecedented downpour but @dcwater crew working aggressively to clear stormwater from the underpass as quick as possible @wusa9 @nbcwashington @fox5dc @ABC7News @WTOP @DCist @capitalcommnews pic.twitter.com/7fvmMkDNPK
— Vincent Morris (@VincentMorris) July 8, 2019
This was the scene earlier this morning at S. Capitol St & Malcolm X Ave SE. #DCsBravest worked hand in hand with our partners from @NavalDistWash Fire Department, who were first on scene, to remove 3 individuals caught in their vehicles in high water. pic.twitter.com/pbzyWs46tf
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) July 8, 2019
Showers in central Virginia are coming to an end, and dry weather can be expected overnight. A summary of rainfall totals greater than one inch from today can be found here: https://t.co/Ut8Q2HF0Ee pic.twitter.com/bwmJBXcTny
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) July 9, 2019
— Washington Informer (@DC_Informer) July 8, 2019
— WUSA9 (@wusa9) July 8, 2019
This morning #WashingtonDC was hit by extreme rainfall which caused devastating #flashflooding. #NASA's GPM Core Observatory flew over the storm system at 8:51am detecting rainfall rates over 100 mm/hr in some regions. Learn more: https://t.co/y9eKmsgRGz #dcflood #DCwx pic.twitter.com/1tccDfeNeF
— NASA Precipitation (@NASARain) July 8, 2019
Our top weather story this AM comes out of Washington DC where a Flash Flood Emergency was issued earlier. Reagan National Airport reported 3.3" of rain IN AN HOUR! Always turn around, don't drown when you encounter flooded roadways! pic.twitter.com/tYw5JtfZPo
— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 8, 2019