Could D.C. handle major flooding?

As rain from Hurricane Sandy arrives in Washington, workers haul sandbags to shore up vulnerable spots at The Pavilion at the Old Post Office, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Washington. The Justice Department is seen in the background. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON – The Washington area has been dealing with some flooding this week, though nothing compared to the floods in New York and New Jersey.

But the damage could have been worse if superstorm Sandy made landfall a bit more to the south and headed west toward the nation’s capital.

The District is highly flood prone, as river surges and heavy rains have the potential to put parts of the city underwater.

That happened in 2006 when storms caused several federal buildings, including the Internal Revenue Service, United States Department of Justice and National Archives, to shut down due to flooding after heavy rain.

Addressing the issue would be a massive undertaking that would require a major overhaul of the city’s antiquated sewer and storm drainage system.

After the flooding six years ago, a major report on flood-related issues was prepared by the National Capital Planning Commission to address flooding risks and propose stormwater management improvements.

Read the report here.

WTOP’s John Aaron contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.


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