Flooding on Georgetown Waterfront

Buildings evacuated as Potomac overflows.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Potomac River rose overnight, leaving parts of Georgetown completely under water. Now local businesses are coping. (Published Monday, Apr 18, 2011)

    Police have closed sections of the Washington Harbour in Georgetown due to flooding Monday morning.

    The Potomac River, swollen from severe weather over the weekend, has run over the banks there, swamping vehicles and submerging streets.

    Flooding in Georgetown

    [DC] Flooding in Georgetown
    The weekend rains caused flooding Monday morning in Georgetown. (Published Monday, Apr 18, 2011)

    Witnesses on the scene reported that lower levels of parking garages were completely underwater.  D.C. fire spokesman Pete Piringer said that several buildings had been evacuated, due to first floor floor and basement flooding. The restaurant Tony and Joe's was under more than 10 feet of water on Monday morning.

    Before 11 a.m. on Monday, the floodgates on the river designed to prevent overflow had not been engaged on a day when the Potomac was 3 feet above flood stage. Piringer said there was a problem raising the gates. After help from fire crews, the gates were raised, stemming the flow of water.

    Viewer Video of Georgetown Flooding

    [DC] Viewer Video of Georgetown Flooding
    Vid Mohan-Ram sent this video of flooding in Georgetown. (Published Monday, Apr 18, 2011)

    "I think the wall being up would have prevented this from happening," Piringer told WAMU 88.5. "There was a coastal flood warning in place, so there was some moderate flooding, but certainly [it] could have been prevented."

    Fire and restoration crews pumped water out of the courtyard and restaurants, Melissa Mollet reported.

    Washington Harbour's property managers released a statement Monday afternoon: "We have taken precautions to protect the residents, tenants and visitors to Washington Harbour, including evacuating the commercial tenants and are working expeditiously to mitigate further damage."

    Restaurants' insurance polices typically cover damage and lost food but not lost revenue, Mollet reported.

    The flooding could cost the restaurants tens of thousands of dollars over Easter weekend. Dean Cibel, a partner in Tony & Joe's, Nick's Riverside Grill and Cabanas, said they were expecting thousands of customers next weekend.

    Coastal and river flood warnings are in effect throughout the day.

    Stay with NBC Washington for more updates as this story develops.