Flooding on Georgetown Waterfront

Buildings evacuated as Potomac overflows.

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.

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.

"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.

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