Rain strands Washington drivers, flood White House basement
WASHINGTON (AP) — A slow-moving rainstorm Monday washed out roads, stranded drivers and soaked basements, including the White House’s, during a chaotic morning commute in the national capital region.
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.
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.
“The storm was not moving very quickly,” Ledbetter said.
Water levels at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia, a flood-prone area along the Capital Beltway, rose more than 7 feet over 30 minutes after 9 a.m., according to the weather service.
Four Mile Run, which runs through Arlington and Alexandria, saw a similar increase.
Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the fire department in Montgomery County, Maryland, said emergency workers used boats for dozens of rescues, plucking people from flooded cars.
“Everywhere I turned, there was traffic and roads closed,” he said.
Piringer said he didn’t immediately receive any reports of storm-related injuries.