Flood warnings issued for DC region after Saturday rainfall

WASHINGTON — Saturday’s heavy rain may be tapering off, but much of the D.C. area had to deal with the wet weather’s aftermath.

Temperatures are high enough that the Winter Weather Advisory in place for the western part of the D.C. area ended at 4 p.m. But after that, many areas were dealing with flooded roadways.

The National Weather Service posted flood warnings for most of the WTOP listening area just before 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Areas in Carroll, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, Harford and Frederick counties in Maryland are under the warning until 6:30 a.m. Sunday, while warnings for Montgomery County and the District were canceled early as waters receded.

In Virginia, the NWS issued a flood warning for small streams in areas of Fairfax and Prince William counties, as well at the cities of Manassas and Manassas park until 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

Montgomery County’s Fire and Rescue Swift Water team, along with National Capital Region Park Police, helped evacuate those attending a 1-year-old child’s birthday party at Meadowbrook Park. Close to two dozen people were helped out of the building, which was surrounded by water, at the intersection of Beach Drive and Leland Street.

The area of Beach Drive in Montgomery County, between East-West Highway on the D.C. border, was closed overnight due to high water.

On Saturday afternoon, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office tweeted locations of roads affected by the rain. Fairfax and Loudoun counties did the same thing, as well.

In Fairfax County, one person was rescued from a car due to rising waters in Annandale, Virginia.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue was on the scene of a vehicle and its driver stranded in high water just before 8 p.m. near the intersection of Bordly Drive and Brighton Dam Road.

Saturday’s downpour continued 2018’s trend as being one of the wettest years on record, especially in the fall. The Capital Climate Twitter account ran the numbers and determined that 2018 jumped into second place all-time for the wettest fall, surpassing 1877 (18.61 inches). This year’s seasonal total is still short of 1934’s 21.78 inches. If the area received just 1.33 inches of wet weather through December 31, it will break the record for the wettest year on record.

Areas of most concern were generally northwest of Montgomery County, along Interstate 270 through Hagerstown, with greater accumulations up to two-tenths of an inch of ice along the I-68 corridor, and the northern Shenandoah Valley along the I-81 corridor. The National Weather Service called Saturday’s weather a “tight squeeze,” meaning if temperatures had dropped low enough, it could have created problems on the roads northwest of D.C.

“The true complicating factor is that surface temperatures range from 30 to 35 degrees across most of the area, and obviously if rain is falling into subfreezing temperatures, we’ve got icing problems to deal with,” read Saturday morning’s NWS forecast discussion.


Sunday: Partly sunny, clouds. Mild. Highs in the mid 50s to near 60 degrees.

Monday: Cloudy with rain showers. Breezy and cooler. Highs close to 50 degrees.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny and cool with highs in the mid-to-upper 40s.

Current conditions:


WTOP’s Dan Friedell and Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this story.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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