Get the forecast from Storm Team 4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer.
Although no serious damage was caused by Tropical Storm Andrea, many residents of the D.C. area experienced flooding and fallen trees during their evening commutes Friday.
Andrea delivered rainfall -- sometimes heavy -- into the evening, forcing commuters -- and those heading out of town for the weekend -- to face hazardous driving conditions and long backups. Transportation officials around the region reported accidents and lane closures due to standing water.
The Maryland Transportation Authority warned of long Bay Bridge delays, where weather conditions prevented two-way traffic on the westbound span, leaving only two eastbound lanes open. A 20-mile backup was reported at 5:45 p.m. Surrounding routes also were backed up.
Delays were reported on I-95 and the B-W Parkway in Maryland, as well as southbound I-95 between the Beltway and Fredericksburg in Virginia. Seven cars were involved in an accident on the Outer Loop of the Beltway in Prince George's County after a tractor-trailer jackknifed about 2 p.m.
Southbound traffic on I-395 stopped between Duke Street and Edsall Road in Alexandria due to a crash. Delays remained after 5 p.m., but the crash was cleared.
The weather also may be the culprit for some fallen trees in the area.
In Arlington, a tree fell on a house (pictured, right) about 11:30 a.m. The homeowner said the tree actually split, and he is unsure what caused that. The family, which was not home at the time, does not have power because the tree took down power lines.
Hundreds of other customers lost power in the area, the Associated Press reported.
About 2-3 inches of rain fell in the D.C. area since it began raining Thursday, Storm Team 4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer said. The heaviest rain during the afternoon moved east, and the remnants of Andrea are down to the south and east, where most of the heavey rain will stay. The storm will move back out over open waters around Ocean City, Md., about 2 a.m.
Flash flooding can be dangerous, particularly to drivers who think they can drive through standing water, said Storm Team4 meteorologist Tom Kierein.
"Every time we get high water, people get stranded driving," he said. "People are driving a big SUV and they think, 'I have ground clearance, I will be fine,' but they don't know how deep that water is."
Even shallow water can separate a car's tires from the roads -- and lead to the car floating away.
Another safety concern: streams and creeks that are attractive to kids and thrill-seekers, who can be swept away by fast-moving water, Kierein said.
“Commuters heading home this evening are reminded that they will be faced with the same treacherous weather conditions as this morning’s drive to work,” AAA Mid-Atlantic's John B. Townsend said. “The most important steps to take when driving in wet weather are to buckle up, slow down, and keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.”
The heavy rain forced the Virginia Department of Transportation to cancel a series of weekend closures on the HOV lanes on Interstates 95 and 395. VDOT had planned to close the lanes overnight Friday and Saturday on their entire length, from the D.C. line to Dumfries in southern Prince William County, similar to closures in place recent weekends for work on the 95 Express Lanes project.
Anyone planning to go to beach should wait until Saturday, Kammerer advised. The National Weather Service issued a beach hazards statement due to a risk of high rip currents through the evening.
Big waves can be expected, too, when winds blow against the tidal flow.
Saturday and Sunday will be mostly dry, but there will be a chance of rain both days.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believes we'll see 13 to 20 named Atlantic storms this season, with seven to 11 that strengthen into hurricanes and three to six that become major hurricanes.
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