Virginia Commute Gets Even More Miserable

A sea of standing water appears on the Beltway

By Andrea Berry
|  Thursday, Nov 12, 2009  |  Updated 2:31 PM EDT
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Heavy rains lead to a flooded Beltway.

Heavy rains lead to a flooded Beltway.

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If you're traveling the Beltway in Fairfax County, bring a boat. You might want to pack your patience, too.

 
It turns out you can thank a water main break for your ridiculously soggy morning commute, and the problems could last into the night and maybe even the Friday morning rush.
 
Drivers found themselves struggling to navigate through a sea of standing water on the northbound lanes at the Route 29 overpass. It's a construction area with jersey walls on both sides. Initially, crews thought some awful drainage problems were to blame.
 
However, our new scapegoat is a 10-inch main buried 11 feet beneath the Beltway. One right lane on the Inner Loop will be closed at Arlington Boulevard while crews make repairs.
 
The broken pipe has been shut off, stopping the flow of water, and water pressure has been restored in the areas of Merrifield and Fairview Park.
 
The initial suspect was a downpour Thursday that came from the remnants of tropical storm Ida, which blew ashore in Alabama from the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and has meandered north and eastwards.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine declared a state of emergency Wednesday.  Dominion Power reported more than 19,000 outages in Virginia
early Thursday. In Norfolk, on the coast, several bridges and a major tunnel were closed.

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