Building collapses in Northeast as winds whip through DC

A building on 20th Street collapsed on March 29, 2021.
The structure on 20th Street fell apart around 9 p.m. on 20th Street near Rhode Island Avenue.
Firefighters look at the collapse of a home on 20th Street.

A building that was at least three stories high collapsed as 50 mph gusts whipped through Northeast D.C. Sunday night.

The structure fell apart around 9 p.m. on 20th Street near Rhode Island Avenue.

D.C. Fire and EMS sent in a canine rescue dog named Kimber to determine whether anyone was inside the building in the 3000 block of 20th Street. No one was found.

The building was either being renovated or was under construction, according to the fire department.

Splintered wood and dry wall took down nearby electrical poles.

No one was injured.

Six people — three adults and three children — in an adjacent home did have to evacuate during the collapse, but they were able to return shortly after.

A building inspector is investigating the collapse.

In a separate incident, Sunday’s storm caused a scaffolding on a four-story building on Prospect Street in Northwest to partially collapse. According to D.C. Fire and EMS, the scaffolding was found leaning over the sidewalk in a “precarious position,” forcing emergency crews to evacuated restaurants that were below it, including Peacock Café, Mai Thai and Café Milano.

No injuries were reported.

Trees down across DC area

Powerful winds brought trees and wires down across the area, causing power outages.

As of 11:30 a.m. Monday, the WTOP Traffic Center reported the following street closures due to storm-related damage:


  • Prospect Street NW closed both ways between 33rd Street NW and Wisconsin Avenue NW due to structural damage to a building involving a partially-collapsed scaffolding.
  • Huntington Street NW closed both ways between 39th Street NW and Reno Road NW due to a downed tree.


  • MD-97/Georgia Avenue closed both ways at Aspen Hill Road due to a report of downed wires on the roadway.
  • MD-108/Clarksville Pike closed both ways west of Centennial Lane due to downed wires, drivers should follow police direction.


  • VA-193/Georgetown Pike closed both ways near Leigh Mill Road due to a downed tree and damaged electrical pole.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Submit traffic tips by calling 866-304-WTOP or tagging @WTOPtraffic on Twitter.

“We had really high winds overnight. Watch out for a lot of debris on the roadways,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Mike Stinneford said Monday morning.

Monday is expected to again be windy, with winds out of the northwest. Gusts will be over 25 mph as temperatures top out near 60 degrees.


  • Monday: Mostly sunny and breezy. Winds of 10 mph to 20 mph, with gusts to 25 mph. Highs near 60.
  • Tuesday: Slight breeze, sunny and warmer. Winds out of the South at up to 20 mph. Highs in the upper 60s.
  • Wednesday: Rain showers. Highs in the mid 60s.
  • Thursday: Cold with morning rain. Winds out of the Northwest of 15 mph to 25 mph. Highs in the upper 40s

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez, Jose Umana and Luke Lukert contributed to this story.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

Luke Garrett

Luke Garrett is a D.C. native dedicated to journalism. He joined the WTOP newsroom in 2020 after graduating from the University of San Diego, where he studied physics and philosophy.

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