The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning for the nation’s capital, as well as surrounding cities such as Baltimore, Arlington, Virginia and Silver Spring, Maryland, through the evening hours. Floodwaters overtook highways, city streets and Metro stations across Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland, on Wednesday afternoon as storms dumped more than 4 inches of rain on parts of the region in less than two hours.
The source of the rainfall was a slow-moving cold front, which remained a factor across the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast, including the I-95 corridor encompassing Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, throughout Wednesday night. The area from Alexandria through northeast D.C. into Prince George’s County experienced the heaviest rainfall. Water levels rose quickly causing local businesses to flood and giving way to disastrous effects on travel with stalled vehicles, and some commuter rail stations closing.
WHAT TO DO IN A FLASH FLOOD
Never walk or drive through flood waters. Six inches of water can knock a person down and only two feet of water can sweep away any vehicle during a flash flood. Remember that even shallow flood waters can pose a danger. Flood waters can contain debris and harmful contaminants that lead to injury and serious health risks. Never let children play in a flooded area for any reason. Head for higher ground, which is generally safer. If caught at home, avoid the basement and head to the upper level. Keep your flood emergency kit close at hand as well as a weather-emergency radio and a cell phone.