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Record-Setting Rain Floods Roads, Highways Across DC Metro Area

Updated Monday, 3:33 p.m.

Another record-setting rainstorm blasted through the DC area over the weekend with more storms forecasted through the week. The gloomy weather threatened to flood roads, strand motorists in high water and cause power outages affecting thousands.

More Flooding

First responders rescued numerous motorists in Prince William, Fairfax and Montgomery counties, just days after 40 people were rescued from their stranded vehicles on George Washington Parkway last week.

Saturday’s storm dropped from 4 to 6 inches or rain, with some areas getting 7 or more inches. Flood risks will persist through the week, thanks to occasional rainfall and thunderstorms.

Street flooding was reported in the District, Virginia and Maryland.

The National Weather Service said heavy rain remains in the forecast for the next 48-72 hours and could dump 3-5 inches of additional moisture.

“Repeated rounds of showers and thunderstorms through Wednesday will lead to increasingly susceptible conditions for not only flash flooding but eventually some river flooding,” NWS said. “Soil is already saturated, so it won’t take much to realize flood concerns.”


The ones noted below are prime candidates for future flooding this week:

Watch for High Water on These Roads and Highways

DC

  • The southbound Rock Creek Parkway at Waterside Drive and Massachusetts Avenue was blocked for several hours Saturday night due to high water.

Virginia

  • Right side of westbound I-66 after I-495
  • Left lane of eastbound I-66 between US-50 and VA-123

Maryland

  • Southbound ramp of US-29/Colesville Road to I-495
  • All lanes of MD-450/Defense Highway between St. Stephens Church Road and Huntwood Drive

Driving in High Water

A few helpful words of advice:

  • Don’t drive past barricades; someone put them there for a reason.
  • Don’t drive through standing water on roads or parking lots; the average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water.
  • If you have no choice but to drive through water, estimate the depth; drive slowly and steadily; avoid driving in water with downed power lines; and watch for items moving downstream that could possibly trap or crush your vehicle.
  • If your vehicle stalls, try restarting the engine and get out of there (although restarting may cause permanent damage to your engine.
  • If all else fails, note your location (with clear tangible landmarks) and call for help.

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