84°Partly Cloudy

Round 3 Goes to Mother Nature Again…

by Prince Of Petworth August 12, 2010 at 8:26 am 57 Comments

Flooding in Bloomingdale photo from Tom

We’re getting our asses kicked in this summer’s weather wars. I don’t often get awed by a simple rainstorm, but I’m fairly certain I cried for my mommy this morning, from the safety of my home…

Anyway, as you can imagine things are a mess. A brief survey of twitter shows power outages, traffic issues (including Georgia Ave, NW), trees down, metro stations closed (including Cleveland Park). We took a beating, not doubt about it.

A reader sends in the photo above from an alley off 13th St, NW.

And more flooding, Tom notes “with legit tides” from Bloomingdale:

  • 17th and U

    No power here. First time in over 3 years…

  • FH

    I live on the 100 block of T NW and every time there is a heavy rain the intersection of 1st and R.I. becomes a big bowl of rainwater.

    • Anon

      I really feel for those of you that live on that block! It’s a like a catch basin; water drains down from up near the reservoir and down the hill from both sides of RI Ave. Plus that fact that the Tibor creek runs basically directly under you. Since it’s been built over there are no banks to overflow to so any excess volume just goes up through the sewer system preventing anything else from draining. Actually shocked that we haven’t had a sinkhole open up somewhere down there. I think it should be a mandated disclaimer for any sale or rental contract (especially basement apartments) that those 1 or 2 blocks are known flood zones.

      • Rome


      • Anonymous

        it will get worse once the sand filtration site is developed.

        if those areas become designated “flood zones” insurance will skyrocket.

        • Anon

          Well, is it a known flood zone or not? At least with the designation people can make informed choices.

          • JustMe

            I own a place in that neighborhood. It is not designated as a flood zone. It shouldn’t have to be: the drainage infrastructure should be sufficient to handle it.

  • Inside

    Ah, the sun is coming out. What a way to start the day, so much freakin’ lighting, saw a bolt take out a light on Illinois Ave. At least the big old oak is still standing.

  • David J

    Shepherd Park hit very badly. Lots of trees down.

  • reverse commuter

    16th street was insane this morning! saw multiple fires and had to drive through dangerously high water at a couple major intersections.

  • I live at the top of Belmont just west of 14th and there was a literal river of water covering both lanes, cascading down my street this morning, went up over my ankles and was collecting at the bottom. It was up over car’s tires. Kind of makes me wish i had a boogie board.

  • johnkin

    I live in Bloomingdale, but ride down R all the way to Dupont. Didn’t see any flooding, but think the Thaiphoon near Connecticut was hit by lightning. There was a bug scrorch mark being hit with am extinguisher by a fire fighter.

  • Native American JD

    At 7:10 when I left for work is was as dark as night. The storm was just about to hit. All the street lights were still on.

  • marc

    First we cook, then we drown. Maybe not global warming all the way, but certainly there’s got to be something going on. I’m glad that my Congressmen and legislators back in Texas are in it, tho. Wait, no. They’re busy trying to get rid of the Fourteenth Amendment, talking about the scurge of terror babies and Michelle Obama. I guess I’m literally up the creek (that used to be my freakin’ alley).

    • ah

      No, first we get buried in 3 feet of snow.

      Oh, how good does that sound right now?

    • Oh the humanity!

  • Cool pictures POP. Never see photos like that for Washington D.C..

  • It must suck to be a PEPCO worker in 2010

    • ProfChris

      More like “PEPCO contractor,” I think they laid off all of the maintenance workers, for as we all know, there’s no profit in customer service & safety.

    • Anon

      Actually, from an overtime point of view it’s a great year to be a PEPCO worker! Or as mentioned above a PEPCO contractor.

      • Anonymous

        which means price increases for all of us + reduced service.
        a company paying out a lot of overtime is a poorly run company.

        • Anon

          That’s not exactly a fair response. By all accounts this had been an extraordinary year weather-wise with the power delivery issues that come along with it. I’m not saying that PEPCO is well-run, but from a business standpoint overstaffing year after year to deal with literally once-in-a-century weather (the snow storms) would be irresponsible as well for the bottom line. I would rather see them kick money into improving the infrastructure like getting rid of overhead lines or more aggressively trimming trees where that can’t happen instead of paying for workers to sit on the sidelines waiting for extreme weather to hit.

          • Anonymous

            good points.

  • andy

    Non-resident neighbor starts building deck in back yard, removes gutter connections, lays plastic under deck project on ground slanting toward my house, abandons project.

    Rain comes, water pours into the drain area outside my basement like a river after filling up her entire outside-basement area. Basement tenant has six inches outside her door of water even though the drain works very well.

    Lazy neighbors!

  • dreas

    Rock Creek Parkway became quite literally that this morning, with the southbound lanes flooded by the creek near Massachusetts Ave. All traffic was forced to drive over the grassy median, which was very quickly turning into deep mud. Hopefully the Park Police opened up the northbound lanes to southbound traffic after we passed, because all it would take is one car stuck in the mud to screw up that road even worse than it was already screwed.

    And such a strange time for a storm. I can’t remember the last time we had one first thing in the morning.

    • djdc

      That’s my normal route to my job in Virginia. Thank goodness I’m working downtown today. My bus was fine. Green line was more crowded than normal but also fine. Didn’t I read on the post that some guy had his van washed away by Rock Creek?

  • DL

    My basement flooded. Time for a sump pump.

    • Petworther

      Even a sump pump would have been overwhelmed, I’m sure. Hopefully you at least have a shop-vac!

      • Thomas St

        I learned from the incident in 2006. My shop-vac collected dust for 3 years, but I am glad I had it this morning.

        • Cait B

          I will be making a trip to Home Depot to pick up a shop-vac shortly!

          Are sump pumps appropriate for row houses in the city? As far as I know, my home doesn’t have one and before today I hadn’t thought that I would ever need one, but now I’m rethinking those assumptions.

          • Ragged Dog

            Yeah, they’re appropriate for any sub-grade space.

          • jcm

            It’s expensive to have one installed, though. Plan to spend over $3K.

  • PFL

    Hey PoP, we had a little leakage due to our gutters. I think you posted some gutter company references back in winter. Can you re-post? Thanks!

  • Huge tree down on Aspen @ Georgia:

  • Sorry. Here’s the correct link:

  • Lauren

    It’s almost as if we are seeing some kind of change… in the climate…

    Hmm, puzzling.

  • _joecrawford

    Does anyone know how much we actually got?

    • Ragged Dog

      5″/hour peak estimated in NW.

  • Anonymous

    Wow.. I cant believe I slept through all this!

    Got up around 830.. saw a few droplets of water on the windows and wet streets/outdoors..

    Didnt know there was a huge storm till I got on Rock Creek Parkway around 10 where the creek was flooded (although not till the road anymore as people said earlier).

    This is so crazy.. i must have been in a coma to have missed such a huge storm!

  • sb

    When my alarm went off at 7:30 I checked all my clocks to make sure it was really morning–that’s how dark it was! I turned on the radio to see if there were tornado warnings. First time I’ve done that in DC.

    The tree at 8th & P NW I’d contacted 311 about earlier in the week (it was hollow and I was worried it would fall) did in fact topple, taking out a section of fence and closing a block of P St. Luckily it didn’t fall the other way and hit a house! I’d gotten an email from 311 saying the inspection I’d requested was complete, so I emailed the Urban Forestry Administration…if they’d decided the tree needed to come down and it just takes more than a day or two to do it, I can understand, but if they inspected the tree and decided it was fine that’s a problem. I also asked how long it normally takes to get a tree removed after it fails inspection.

    • First time?

      Havent lived here long, huh? There are tornado warnings every summer.

  • ni

    Had my basement flood a little bit due to clogged exterior drains. I have a plumber coming today, but has anyone else dealt with clogged exterior drains? I live in Mt. P on Irving.

  • Anonymous

    DC is built on a swamp. Of course it’s gonna be a flood zone.

    • Anonymous

      no it wasn’t.
      but part of bloomingdale WAS built on a creek.

    • _joecrawford

      That is an untrue common myth, the “swamp” is more of political statement.

  • Anonymous

    ni they usually use a long metal pole about 3 inches thick and 6 feet long with a slightly larger flat head. using it like a plunger it both smashes out clogs and creates suction that clears clogged exterior drains. it weighs 40+ pounds. If you can find one it’s cheaper than paying a plumber.

  • Ragged Dog

    If you had collapsed underground drain traps, you know about it today.

  • me

    Wonder how well those “creative” gutters that were posted the other day were working!

    • DCster

      I walked by yesterday – they had already been removed!

      • Tres

        The question is, was it the public shaming or the landlord that made it happen?

    • Florista

      My thoughts EXACTLY!!!!!

  • takeiteasy

    anon 11:08
    That kind of plunger is called a Curb Plunger, for exterior drains you will probably need a 4 inch of 6 inch disc…and they work. I have one and it’s the bomb. Though if your entire house is bunged up, you will need to snake the whole house. If you have an old Petworth rowhouse (hell, any DC rowhouse) all those exterior drains, your toilet, gutters…all the drains are all attached to the same line that goes under your house and out to the street. If that line is clogged, you whole house is and you can plunge till you are blue but it will not budge. The exterior drains have a bend that stops sewage gases from coming out, often that bend is clogged (leaves, twigs, etc.) and a curb plunger works like a champ on those. And regarding a sump pump…I had problems with hydrostatic pressure sending water up through cracks in the basement floor…drove me crazy. I had a sump pump installed and viola! It drains enough ground water to lower the water table and therefore the pressure and not let the water seep up. After all that snow we had, no water in the basement! Install it in the lowest part of the basement and drain it out and away from the house (though not on the sidewalk…major hazard and illegal.) And man, those pumps can handle even major water flow, mine which is only 1/3 hp, can handle just over 30 gallons of water a minute with a head (distance it can send the water) of 10 feet, which gets it out of the basement and through a wall no problem.

    • Anonymous

      thanks i’ve always wanted to know what they were called. They are life savers for sure!

  • ET

    I looked out the window at 7ish and it looked OK, at 7:30 I was feeling like it was 5 am.

  • I’d kill to have rain like that, well maybe not quite that much but it has been so hot here and I can’t remember the last time it rained!


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