A day full of moderate to heavy rain meant flooding throughout the D.C. area Thursday.
An area of low pressure, along with a cold front, swept through the region, bringing rain with it and making a messy evening commute. Fallen trees contributed to the rush hour obstacles.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon because of the threat of flooding, WTOP reported.
In addition to flood concerns, severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were issue throughout the area into the evening. A tornado warning expired at 7:30 p.m. for Montgomery County, Md., and Manassas, Manassas Park and the counties of Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax in Virginia. A tornado warning for central Fauquier County and northwestern Prince William County in Virginia expired at 6:45 p.m.
There is a flash flood watch for the entire region for the rest of the night. Several flash flood, flood and severe thunderstorm warning also were issued throughout the afternoon and evening Thursday.
Area rivers and streams are likely near or above flood stage, leading the National Weather Service to issue flood warnings for those areas. The Potomac will likely reach flood stage Friday night.
Flood warnings have been issued for Rapidan River in Culpeper and Orange counties in Virginia; the Potomac River near Little Falls in Montgomery County, Md., and Fairfax County, Va.; Seneca Creek near Dawsonville in Montgomery County, Md.; the Monocacy River in Frederick County, Md.; the Rappahannock River in Culpeper, Fauquier, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties and Fredericksburg in Virginia; Goose Creek near Leesburg in Loudoun County, Va.; the Potomac River at Harper's Ferry affecting Washington, Loudoun and Jefferson counties; and the Potomac at Point of Rocks affecting Frederick and Loudoun counties.
Some spots around the region were expected to get three inches of rain or more, but most areas will likely get between 1-3 inches.
Ronald Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport both reported weather-related delays -- up to 45 minutes at Reagan, up to 2 hours at Dulles.
Virginia Railway Express riders could expect delays up to an hour after Norfolk Southern imposed flash flood restrictions for the Manassas Line.
Rising waters in Culpeper County prompted early dismissal of elementary schools at 1:15 p.m. Thursday and secondary schools at 1:30 p.m. After school and evening activities have been canceled.
Baltimore fire officials said they were being overwhelmed with calls for flooded basements due to heavy rains. Officials asked residents not to call 911 for flooded basements unless the situation was dangerous and an emergency response was needed. The department does not routinely help residents pump out flooded basements.
At 7:15 a.m. Thursday, D.C. officials said one eastbound lane of Canal Road in northwest Washington, near Clark Place, had been closed due to a mud slide.
In Maryland, emergency officials are urging motorists to use caution, and to check news, weather and traffic reports before traveling. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency activated Level 3 at noon Thursday, meaning representatives of state agencies involved in firefighting, rescue, law enforcement, transportation, hospitals, utilities, evacuation, sheltering, and emergency medical response will join MEMA staff in the state emergency operations center.
Maryland Natural Resources Police said boating and other recreational uses of the upper Potomac River and its creeks and streams should be avoided.
Meanwhile Pepco, which serves Washington and two Maryland counties, said it was prepared to send out crews as necessary. The utility said heavy tree limbs and branches already weakened by
previous storms could fall onto power lines and cause outages.
Metro said it has plans in place for flooding issues -- including sandbagging where needed, chainsaws for downed trees, and wet-vacs, generators and sump pumps. Officials will pay close attention to the following stations: Farragut North, Cleveland Park, National Airport, Federal Triangle, National Mall, 7th St, Navy Yard and the platforms at Virginia Square, Courthouse and McPherson Square.
For tips on navigating flooded waters, you can access the National Weather Service's online tip sheet, Turn Around Don't Drown.
This is all going to be ending after midnight tonight with a dry trend to follow for Friday and into the weekend.
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