Flash flooding hits Alexandria, city continues to assess damage

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By Cody Mello-Klein | cmelloklein@alextimes.com

Alexandria and the larger DMV area faced a flash flood emergency on Monday, as four inches of rain fell in about an hour.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, around the same time that all lanes of the Capital Beltway’s inner loop shut down.

Heavy rains cut short morning commutes, as road closures brought traffic to a standstill, flooded roadways prevented travel and DASH bus service was suspended. Between the flooding and limited Metro access due to the summer Metro shutdown, some commuters found themselves temporarily stranded at Reagan National Airport. Hundreds of vehicles remained stuck on the George Washington Parkway north of the city, according to a Tweet from the IAFF Local 2141 union.

The Alexandria Fire Department deployed Fire Boat 201 and the Swift Water Rescue Team in response to calls from stranded motorists.

“The Fire Department responded to various calls within the City limits to rescue people who were stranded in their vehicles,” Rayteva Evans, senior public information officer for AFD, said in an email. “No injuries, deaths [or] missing people were reported. The department also responded to water rescue mutual aid calls in surrounding juris- dictions.”

In Alexandria, the rapid, sudden storm filled streets even outside known flood areas like the lower end of King Street.

“It wasn’t central to Old Town. We had a section of Van Dorn that was closed, a section of Eisenhower Avenue right near Cameron Run that was closed. Actually, Old Town, down by the water, was not that impacted,” Jeffrey DuVall, deputy director of the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, said.

The city and Alexandria Police Department started closing roads around 10 a.m., as the heavy rain started to make certain roads impassable. Around 10 specific locations were closed for roughly an hour, DuVall said.

“We received many calls for hazardous conditions, like tree limbs down, high water in places where the water shouldn’t be, a few disabled motorists, which led us to have to close down streets,” APD Captain Jamie Bridgeman said.

Around 2,000 Dominion Energy customers in Old Town reported power outages, according to a Tweet from Mayor Justin Wilson. Potomac Yard also faced scattered power outages.

The city spent much of Tuesday assessing the damage done by the storm.

“We expect some damage to our storm infrastructure itself, culverts and pipes and outfalls,” DuVall said.

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