Entire DC area under flood watch through Saturday morning

The waters continue to rise and the rain keeps coming in Washington, D.C., Friday, May 18, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The waters continue to rise and the rain keeps coming in Washington, D.C., Friday, May 18, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The waters continue to rise and the rain keeps coming in Washington, D.C., Friday, May 18, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The waters continue to rise and the rain keeps coming in Washington, D.C., Friday, May 18, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A man walks his dog on Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Dan Friedell) (WTOP/Dan Friedell)
Valley Wood Road in McLean, Virginia on Thursday evening. (WTOP/Joslyn Chesson)
Valley Wood Road in McLean, Virginia on Thursday evening. (WTOP/Joslyn Chesson) (WTOP/Joslyn Chesson)
Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford with a representative from State Highway Administration evaluate flood damage in Frederick and Washington counties. (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford)
Flood damage has torn apart roads in Frederick. (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford) (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford)
Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford with a representative from State Highway Administration evaluate flood damage in Frederick and Washington counties. (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford)
Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford with a representative from State Highway Administration evaluate flood damage in Frederick and Washington counties. (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford) (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford)
Emergency crews at the site of the road damage. (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford)
“While Tuesday’s rain was relatively short in duration and very intense, its effects are still being felt by many of our residents and businesses, and will be for some time,” City of Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor said. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
“While Tuesday’s rain was relatively short in duration and very intense, its effects are still being felt by many of our residents and businesses, and will be for some time,” City of Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli) (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Unceasing rains may exacerbate conditions in Frederick. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Unceasing rains may exacerbate conditions in Frederick. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli) (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Water rescues have been nonstop since Tuesday's downpour. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Water rescues have been nonstop since Tuesday’s downpour. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli) (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Gov. Larry Hogan has requested a presidential disaster declaration for the state because of flooding from the heavy rains that devastated Frederick and Washington counties May 15–19. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Flooding conditions have closed roads in Frederick. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli) (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Rain and fog are plaguing an already-waterlogged D.C. area Thursday. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Rain and fog are plaguing an already-waterlogged D.C. area Thursday. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Rain and fog are plaguing an already-waterlogged D.C. area Thursday. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Rain and fog are plaguing an already-waterlogged D.C. area Thursday. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Fog obscures lights in Northwest D.C. outside the WTOP newsroom. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Fog obscures lights in Northwest D.C. outside the WTOP newsroom. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino) (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Fog obscures lights along Wisconsin Ave. in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Fog obscures lights along Wisconsin Ave. in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino) (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Fog hangs over Wisconsin Ave. in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Fog hangs over Wisconsin Ave. in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino) (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Foggy conditions start off this soggy day, and heavy rain and flooding could come to some parts of the area — especially to already waterlogged Frederick County, Maryland. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Foggy conditions start off this soggy day, and heavy rain and flooding could come to some parts of the area — especially to already waterlogged Frederick County, Maryland. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Fog hit the D.C. area Thursday morning. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Fog hit the D.C. area Thursday morning. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Early fog is one of the many weather obstacles hitting people in the Washington area. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Early fog is one of the many weather obstacles hitting people in the Washington area. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
FILE - Rain falls along 14th Street in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Rain falls along 14th Street in Northwest D.C. on Wednesday. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Water floods a backyard in Columbia Heights on Wednesday. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Water floods a backyard in Columbia Heights on Wednesday. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Lightning streaks across the sky at Dulles Airport. (Courtesy BDwy via Twitter)
Lightning streaks across the sky at Dulles Airport. (Courtesy BDwy via Twitter) (Courtesy BDwy via Twitter)
Forecasted precipitation across the D.C. region. (Courtesy NWS)
Forecasted precipitation across the D.C. region. (Courtesy NWS) (Courtesy NWS)
If you like sunshine, there's bad news: The D.C. area might not see sunshine until Sunday. The flood threat will remain through the rest of the week. (Courtesy NBC Washington)
If you like sunshine, there’s bad news: The D.C. area might not see sunshine until Sunday. The flood threat will remain through the rest of the week. (Courtesy NBC Washington) (Courtesy NBC Washington)
Streets around D.C. got a coating of rain on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Streets around D.C. got a coating of rain on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Distant lightning closing in on the D.C. area. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Distant lightning closing in on the D.C. area. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Tuesday's sunset peeks through some formidable clouds. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Tuesday’s sunset peeks through some formidable clouds. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Lightning breaks over Columbia Heights in the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Lightning breaks over Columbia Heights in the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Storm clouds threaten the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Storm clouds threaten the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Lightning strikes in D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Lightning strikes in D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Thunder and lightning over Columbia Heights in the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Thunder and lightning over Columbia Heights in the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka) (WTOP/Will Vitka)
(1/34)
The waters continue to rise and the rain keeps coming in Washington, D.C., Friday, May 18, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The waters continue to rise and the rain keeps coming in Washington, D.C., Friday, May 18, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Valley Wood Road in McLean, Virginia on Thursday evening. (WTOP/Joslyn Chesson)
Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford with a representative from State Highway Administration evaluate flood damage in Frederick and Washington counties. (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford)
Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford with a representative from State Highway Administration evaluate flood damage in Frederick and Washington counties. (Courtesy Boyd Rutherford)
“While Tuesday’s rain was relatively short in duration and very intense, its effects are still being felt by many of our residents and businesses, and will be for some time,” City of Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor said. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Unceasing rains may exacerbate conditions in Frederick. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Water rescues have been nonstop since Tuesday's downpour. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Gov. Larry Hogan has requested a presidential disaster declaration for the state because of flooding from the heavy rains that devastated Frederick and Washington counties May 15–19. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Rain and fog are plaguing an already-waterlogged D.C. area Thursday. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Rain and fog are plaguing an already-waterlogged D.C. area Thursday. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Fog obscures lights in Northwest D.C. outside the WTOP newsroom. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Fog obscures lights along Wisconsin Ave. in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Fog hangs over Wisconsin Ave. in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Abigail Constantino)
Foggy conditions start off this soggy day, and heavy rain and flooding could come to some parts of the area — especially to already waterlogged Frederick County, Maryland. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Fog hit the D.C. area Thursday morning. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Early fog is one of the many weather obstacles hitting people in the Washington area. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
FILE - Rain falls along 14th Street in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Water floods a backyard in Columbia Heights on Wednesday. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Lightning streaks across the sky at Dulles Airport. (Courtesy BDwy via Twitter)
Forecasted precipitation across the D.C. region. (Courtesy NWS)
If you like sunshine, there's bad news: The D.C. area might not see sunshine until Sunday. The flood threat will remain through the rest of the week. (Courtesy NBC Washington)
Streets around D.C. got a coating of rain on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Distant lightning closing in on the D.C. area. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Tuesday's sunset peeks through some formidable clouds. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Lightning breaks over Columbia Heights in the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Storm clouds threaten the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Lightning strikes in D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Thunder and lightning over Columbia Heights in the District. (WTOP/Will Vitka)

WASHINGTON — After days of heavy rain, the entire D.C. region now has a concern greater than big puddles and wet commutes.

The region is under a flood watch through 8 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

And in already-waterlogged Frederick County, Maryland, a flood warning remains in effect through Sunday evening.

Up to 3 inches more rain is expected on Friday, Storm Team4 Meteorologist Chuck Bell said.

Friday morning’s commute was hindered by multiple reports of downed trees and utility wires. In Potomac, Maryland, on River Road near Falls Road, a downed tree blocked both lanes of the major connector to the Capital Beltway. (Check WTOP’s traffic page for live status updates.)

Stay alert for new flood warnings, as they mean flooding is imminent or occurring and that people should avoid flooded roads.

Warnings have also been issued for various creeks and rivers around the D.C. area. (Find updated advisories for Maryland and Virginia on the weather service’s website.)

The National Weather Service released its latest measurement — 11.48 feet — for the Potomac River at Point of Rocks, Maryland early on Friday morning. Flood stage is considered 16 feet. The service predicts a crest of almost 19 feet sometime on Sunday, May 20. The river reached 18.2 feet on October 31, 2012.

Closer to the District, the weather service has issued a coastal flood advisory — effective through 8 p.m. Friday — for the shorelines of D.C., Arlington County and Alexandria. A coastal flood watch will be in effect from then until Sunday morning.

Storm Team4 Meteorologist Amelia Draper warned of a severe impact on the Georgetown waterfront.

An additional 2–5 inches of rain are possible through Saturday, Storm Team4 Meteorologist Doug Kammerer said.

City of Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor declared a local state of emergency Wednesday, urging all residents to sign up for emergency alerts and take all weather warnings seriously as more flooding scenarios are possible.

In Frederick, the nearby Monocacy River was at 14.1 feet around 2 p.m. Thursday, not far from the flood stage of 15 feet.

Residents are being told to limit their water use in the coming days in order to take pressure off the area’s wastewater treatment plant and help prevent sewage from backing up into homes.

Frederick police warned of road closures and said new areas may be affected. (Follow Frederick police on Twitter for updated list of road closures, which the department said is constantly changing.)

National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Strong said Friday, “Fortunately for Frederick, the Monocacy is on its way down. If we can keep too much rain from falling up there, I think the worst hopefully is over for them … we’re going to have to watch and just make sure that’s the case.”

He predicted that most places on the Potomac will see “at least some minor flooding, minor inundation along the shorelines.” But if the area gets more substantial rain through the course of Friday, “there is the possibility for some more moderate river flooding as well.”

Strong added that the Potomac River near Washington is not expected to crest until Sunday, since it takes a while for rainwater to make its way into larger rivers.

He said the highest risk areas on Friday are Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

“They did get some heavy rain overnight and they’ll continue to get some heavier rain today,” Strong said, “so we’re monitoring not only the water just piling up in low areas, but also the streams that do run through southern Maryland.”

The possibility of that much rain means residents should be checking their drains to make sure they’re clear of debris so they don’t back up, in addition to being generally cautious.

Drivers, too, should be aware of the dangers of high water.

On Frederick’s Willowbrook Road, for instance, floodwaters pushed a car 45 to 50 feet into a grassy field. “The driver was still in it when it washed away,” said Clay Bussard with Bussard’s Auto Repair and Towing, who’s been towing cars stuck in high water, many times after people inside were pulled out by rescue crews.

“It’s been nonstop,” he said. “Some of the city roads are pretty bad.”

Next week might still be wet, but for now it appears that it won’t compare to what the area has been seeing the last few days.

 

Current conditions

Forecast

  • Friday: Rainy with highs in the high 60s; flood watch all day
  • Saturday: More rain likely, with highs in the low 70s
  • Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and highs in the low 80s
  • Monday: Chance of scattered thunderstorms, with highs in the mid-80s

WTOP’s Will Vitka, Nick Iannelli, Abigail Constantino, John Aaron and Patrick Roth contributed to this report.


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