Sunny day flooding strikes waterfront

Sunny day flooding strikes waterfront
Flooding at the base of King Street. (Photo Credit: Scott Collins)

By Missy Schrott |

After weeks without rain, Alexandrians were surprised by seemingly random flooding along the waterfront last weekend.

The flooding closed parts of Union Street and The Strand, leaving some people trapped at the Portside in Old Town Festival at Waterfront Park.

The flooding was a result of multiple factors, according to Jack Browand, division chief of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.

Flooding in front of Waterfront Park. (Yvonne Weight Callahan)

“We often have what we refer to as sunny day flooding here,” Browand said at a Waterfront Commission meeting on Tuesday morning. “From what I can gather … there were a number of factors associated, also with the [Chesapeake] Bay, there were some Atlantic storms that held bay water, all that backs up … then the Potomac itself stayed high, then we had the full moon.”

According to a Washington Post article, both the hunter’s full moon and the retreat of Tropical Storm Melissa contributed to coastal flooding along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

The city has been working with Stantec Consulting Services Inc. since 2016 to conduct the preliminary engineering for the flood mitigation implementation project, according to the city’s flood mitigation webpage.

“We’re going to continue to have our nuisance flooding until such time we’re able to implement fully the plan that has been adopted by council,” Browand said at the meeting.