Washington: Flash floods hit the area, flooding White House basement: On Monday morning, a slow-moving rainstorm creating an ominous situation across the capital as numerous roads were washed out amid flash flooding, even the White House basement ended up getting soaked. The torrential rain prompted the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue a flash flood emergency of life-threatening situations, that was in effect until 2 pm on Monday.
The agency warned on Twitter by quoting, “If you are in this FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY area, travel will be EXTRAORDINARILY dangerous, including washouts, #flooding over roads. Stay out of low areas, if in a low area that may flood, seek higher ground. Stay off the roads if at all possible. This is not the ‘usual’ flooding.”
The unseasonable storms have caused dangerous conditions in the metro area, including washouts and flooding over several roads. Several photos went viral that showed cars barely driving through the rising floodwaters as some motorists became stranded along certain DC roads. Another photo shows two people standing on nearly submerged vehicles in DC.
Water gushed into the press workspace in the basement near the White House’s West Wing. Government employees worked to drain puddles of standing water with wet vacs.
It is reported that several Metro stations in Washington had at least ankle-deep water with commuters taking to Twitter to share their hassles. Many complained that the local authorities were woefully unprepared to deal with the weather phenomena. Emergency personnel was deployed to Metro stations and other parts of the city where they have been carrying out rescue works. Large pumping machines have reportedly been deployed in areas where streets are waterlogged. Motorboats and rafts too were brought out to help commuters stranded in cars which were partially submerged in water.
National Weather Service meteorologist Cody Ledbetter said the storm dumped about 6.3 inches of rain near Frederick, Maryland, about 4.5 inches near Arlington, Virginia, and about 3.4 inches at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in a two-hour period. He said, “The storm was not moving very quickly.”
According to a statement from the National Archives, flooding led to electrical outages that closed the National Archives Building and Museum. However, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were safe and not in any danger.
According to Fox News Meteorologist Adam Klotz, the line of storms has since moved south of the metro area, and that clearing skies will give the area a chance to dry off as the day progress. After this morning’s onslaught, dry conditions are expected to continue this week.