Arlington estimates $3.5M in flood damage to county property

July 9th, 2019

Pedestrian bridge washed away along Lubber Run (photo by Ashley Hopko)

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Arlington officials estimate that Monday’s flash flooding caused $3.5 million in damage to county infrastructure, particularly bridges and local parks.

As of Monday night, an Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman said the department was aware of “at least six pedestrian bridges adjacent to the Four Mile Run stream and one storage building at Bon Air Park” that have been washed away.

Restrooms, playgrounds and picnic tables along local streams also sustained damage and “a few community centers experienced minor to moderate flooding,” though the community centers all remained open with “no major operational impacts,” ARLnow is told.

“We anticipate finding additional damage to its infrastructure as crews continue to assess the rest of the park system,” said DPR spokeswoman Martha Holland.

Photos and video also shows damage along Lubber Run, near the amphitheater. A torrent of muddy water can be seen rushing through the park; pedestrian bridges were washed away, though the amphitheater itself was spared.

Foot bridges along even tiny babbling brooks were no match for raging floodwaters. One such wooden bridge connecting Chesterbrook Road and N. Vermont Street in the Old Glebe neighborhood was washed off its foundation and blocked off by caution tape this morning.

A couple of Arlington libraries were also impacted.

“The auditorium at Central Library sustained water damage and all programs are canceled this week,” Arlington Public Library spokesman Henrik Sundqvist told ARLnow. “Central Library opened up on schedule today.”

“Cherrydale Branch Library closed early yesterday due to flooding and power outages,” Sundqvist added. “We expect to open on time today.”

Arlington County has closed two roads that suffered damage to the road surface as a result of the flooding: until repairs can be made, 18th Street N. is closed between N. Lexington and McKinley streets, while 20th Street N. is closed at George Mason Drive.

“There’s no other significant damage to facilities at this time, but assessments are ongoing,” said county spokeswoman Jennifer K. Smith.

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