Rains strand Washington drivers, flood White House basement

SHARE Rains strand Washington drivers, flood White House basement
AP19189499788152.jpg

Motorists are stranded on a flooded section of Canal Road in Washington during a heavy rainstorm, Monday, July 8, 2019.

Dave Dildine/WTOP via AP

WASHINGTON — A slow-moving rainstorm Monday washed out roads, stranded drivers and soaked basements, including the White House’s, during a chaotic morning commute in the national capital region.

Water gushed into the press workspace in the basement near the White House’s West Wing. Government employees worked to drain puddles of standing water with wet vacs.

National Weather Service meteorologist Cody Ledbetter said the storm dumped about 6.3 inches of rain near Frederick, Maryland, about 4.5 inches near Arlington, Virginia, and about 3.4 inches at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in a two-hour period.

“The storm was not moving very quickly,” Ledbetter said.

Water levels at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia, a flood-prone area along the Capital Beltway, rose more than 7 feet over 30 minutes after 9 a.m., according to the weather service. Four Mile Run, which runs through Arlington and Alexandria, saw a similar increase.

Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the fire department in Montgomery County, Maryland, said emergency workers used boats for dozens of rescues, plucking people from flooded cars.

“Everywhere I turned, there was traffic and roads closed,” he said.

Piringer said he didn’t immediately receive any reports of storm-related injuries.

In northern Virginia, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said it responded to more than 30 calls for swift water rescues throughout the county. Authorities advised people to avoid driving if possible. Neighboring Arlington County also reported numerous rescues.

Gretchen Eisenberg’s morning 4-mile commute usually lasts 10 minutes. It took her nearly an hour to drive to work from her Frederick home. She stopped to shoot eye-popping video of a Frederick park inundated with raging floodwaters.

“I tried to take my normal route, but I had to turn around and take a different way in because of the flooding,” she said.

The Latest
If only so many weren’t too lazy and incurious — and triggered by discussions of race — to click on an easy-to-find three-year-old story so that they might gain an actual understanding of the context.
At issue are pending increases in health insurance costs for Affordable Care Act plans. Voters will learn just before the November elections that temporarily boosted subsidies will expire in 2023 — unless Congress acts.
One is product shortages, as with the shortage of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic and recently with infant formula. But are we willing to pay higher prices for less reliance on the global supply chain?
The hurried ordinance allowing outdoor amplified entertainment events without oversight is a bad idea.
The woman, 27, was not on the Red Line platform when she was shot, police said.